The historic town of Mtskheta is located in Georgia and was the capital of the country until the 5th century. The Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located here, making the city one of the holiest sites in the country. Mtskheta occupies a central place in Georgia’s Orthodox culture and religion. The city is the seat of the Georgian Orthodox Patriarchate and home to numerous historic churches and monasteries. Visitors can attend Orthodox religious services, often accompanied by traditional song and dance.
Mtskheta’s history dates back to pre-Christian times, when the town was founded in the 1st millennium BC. It became an important center of ancient Georgian culture and religion. But it was also an important commercial and cultural center during the Roman Empire. The city experienced a period of growth and prosperity in the 4th century, when it became the capital of Georgia under the reign of King Vakhtang I Gorgasali. The introduction of the Christian religion to the city at this time gave it great importance for the Georgians.
During his reign, Vakhtang I Gorgasali built many public buildings, including the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral. Over the following centuries, the city underwent periods of prosperity and decline due to Persian and Arab invasion. As well as internal conflicts between Georgian kings. Control of the city passed to the Seljuk Turks in the 11th century, but Georgian king David the Builder liberated it in the 12th century.
Mtskheta continued to play an important role in Georgia’s political, cultural and religious life over the following centuries. In the 19th century, it became an important center of education and culture, with the opening of schools and libraries. Today, the city is a major tourist center, attracting visitors from all over the world with its historically rich monuments.
Svetitskhoveli Cathedral attracts many tourists to Mtskheta. This 11th-century cathedral is famous for its magnificent architecture and medieval frescoes. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site. The cathedral boasts impressive architecture, with domes and walls decorated with geometric motifs and well-preserved medieval frescoes.
The Jvari monastery is another important site in Mtskheta. This 6th-century Orthodox monastery, perched on a hill overlooking the town, offers a breathtaking view of the Mtkvari river valley. It is famous for its stone cross, considered a symbol of Christianity in Georgia.
The hilltop where the monastery is located offers visitors a breathtaking view of the Mtkvari river valley. With its medieval frescoes and distinctive architecture, it attracts lovers of history and culture.
The Samtavro monastery, located in the center of Mtskheta, is of great historical importance. Founded in the 4th century and one of the oldest monasteries in the country, it is renowned for its distinctive architecture and the remarkable preservation of its medieval frescoes. The monastery also houses the tomb of Saint Nino, Georgia’s patron saint, who brought Christianity to the country in the 4th century. In addition to its religious significance, Samtavro Monastery is a popular tourist attraction in Georgia, offering visitors a unique cultural experience and an opportunity to discover the country’s fascinating history.
The Chio Mgvime monastery, located near the town of Mtskheta, is an important historical and religious site. Founded in the 6th century, this Orthodox monastery is famous for its remarkable architecture, wall frescoes and sacred relics. Visitors can discover the history of this spiritual site and admire its medieval structures, including the main church, watchtower and Virgin Chapel. The Chio Mgvime monastery is also a popular place of pilgrimage for the Orthodox faithful, who come here to pray, meditate and connect with their faith. A visit to the Chio Mgvime monastery is an unforgettable spiritual and cultural experience.
The Bebris Tsikhe fortress is another important site in Mtskheta. This 14th-century medieval hilltop fortress offers panoramic views of the town and surrounding mountains. It was built to protect the city from foreign invasion. It is now an important symbol of Georgia’s military history.
The Mtskheta Archaeological Museum is also a popular tourist attraction. This museum houses an impressive collection ofhistorical artifacts, from the Bronze Age to medieval times. Visitors can see weapons, jewelry, pottery and other objects from the daily lives of the region’s ancient inhabitants.
The town itself is also a pleasure to explore, with its narrow cobbled streets, historic buildings and Orthodox churches. Visitors can stroll the streets, admire the architecture and sample the local cuisine in the restaurants and cafés.
In this video you’ll discover the town of Mtskheta, its history and its monuments.