Mtskheta tours are special for those who are really interested in ancient history of Georgia. It is a spiritual city and preserves numerous sanctuaries that are dear for every Christian. Let's discover the ancient capital of Georgia that is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List as a unique city-museum. People also call it “The second Jerusalem”.
Jvari Monastery is a sixth century Georgian Orthodox monastery near Mtskheta, built on a hilltop. Enjoy the view of confluence of Aragvi and Mtkvari rivers. According to local history, in the early fourth century a wooden cross was erected over a pagan sanctuary on a rocky mountaintop overlooking Mtskehta, the former capital of the Georgian Kingdom. The Cross symbolized the victory of Christianity over paganism in Georgia. In 545 the Small Church of Jvari was built just north of the cross.
Svetitskhoveli Cathedral is the main cathedral of Mtskheta and a sacred place where the robe of Christ is being kept. Currently it is the second largest church in Georgia after the Holy Trinity Cathedral. Known as the burial site of Christ's mantle, Svetitskhoveli has long been one of the principal Georgian Orthodox churches and is among the most venerated places of worship in the region. The construction of the present structure was completed in 1029 by the medieval Georgian architect Arsukisdze, although the site itself dates back to the early fourth century.
Svetitskhoveli cathedral, as well as Jvari monastery are listed as World Heritage sites by UNESCO.
Samtavro St. Nino’s Monastery is also located in Mtskheta. The first Christian royal figures - King Mirian and Queen Nana are buried here. Since the 480s Samtavro became an Episcopal see. The church was reconstructed in the 11th century. The famous Georgian Saint Gabriel is buried in the yard of the church. The pilgrims and worshippers of the saint always visit this church. Since the beginning of 19th century it has become a convent.
Svetitskhoveli cathedral, Jvari monastery as well as Samtavro convent are listed as World Heritage sites by UNESCO.
The history of the Shio Mgvime monastery goes back to the 6th century when the one of the Thirteen Syrian Fathers, monk Shio, chose to live in a dark isolated cave near the ancient city of Mtskheta (Shio-Mgvime literally means "the cave of Shio"). His grave is still visible there today. Later, in 11th century, a church was built over Shio's tomb. Another church, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, was built by King David the builder.