The city of Mtskheta

Mtskheta — the ancient capital of Georgia.


One of legendary places of Georgia is the city of Mtskheta – the ancient capital of the mountain country.

It is considered that the city was founded by the descendant Noya in the 5th century B.C. The city of Mtskheta was the capital for thousand years. Mtskheta was destroyed in 736 A.D. by the troops of the Caliph Marvan, and wasn’t fully restored, having lost it’s former greatness. The ancient city which is also called the christians “the second Jerusalem” remains the religious center of the country.

The Shio-Mgvime monastery.

Shio-Mgvime monastery

The Shio-Mgvime monastery – named after its founder Simeon Mgivimsky. The icon of the “Healer Panteleymon” is stored in this monastery. It was based in the 6th century and is remained in it’s original form.

Samtavro Monastery

Samtavro Monastery

The female operated monastery Samtavro – or Preobrazhensky, consists of several separate structures. There is a smaller church, Makvlovani, which according to the legend the Saint Nino’s tent hidden among blackberry bushes stood still. The Saint had a vision that it has to become the port of Georgians to Christianity. Through its manuals the religion was accepted by the tsar Mirian, and behind him the whole country.

Svetitskhoveli Cathedral


The main place of interest of the ancient capital of Mkheta is the cathedral Svetitskhoveli. The history of it’s creation is shrouded in several numerous legends. The local priest, Eloise, redeemed Christ the redeemers attire from the soldiers who crucified Christ, during his pilgrimage to the holy land.

(there is an interpretation according to which Eloise himself was the soldier who is called up for the Roman military service, and the tunic received on a lot). A deeply believing girl by the name of Sidoniya asked it to bring anything somehow connected with Jesus. Having received a tunic, it was so struck that died of awe, without having unclenched hands with fabric. Buried the girl together with a sacred attire, and on the place of a grave the Lebanese cedar which exhaled Miro and cured grew.

In the temple there is the most ancient font in the country for a baptism. At the request of family every third child who was born in family can be christened in it by the acting patriarch of Georgia.

Jvari Monastery

Jvari Monastery

Jvari Monastery was constructed in the 6th century on the Cross mountain, in the countryside near Mtskheta. The Jvari Church is one of the most important shrines in Georgia, but the size and the interior is not the most impressive. It was constructed on the place where Saint Ninos converting of Christianization of all Georgian people began. The cross symbolically crowned the top of the hill under which the pagan temple was located, ennobling Christianity over paganism.
The temple structure later became typical for Georgia, but this tetrakonkh form appeared for the first time. It means that the building is crosswise, with rounded edges. There is no special furniture and frescos, only century stones which are filled with light from narrow window loopholes inside.
The architectural instruction entered in the list of the sights of Georgia protected by UNESCO. From this hill you get a great panoramic view of Mtskheta and the two crossing rivers called Kura and Aragvi.
It is considered that Jvari Monastery was sung by Lermontov in the poem “Novice”.