Mtskheta - one of the oldest cities of Georgia is located approximately 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of Tbilisi at the confluence of the Aragvi and Kura rivers. Mtskheta is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The city (population 19,423 as of January 1, 2008) is now the administrative center of the Mtskheta-Mtianeti region. Due to its historical significance and numerous ancient monuments, the "Historical Monuments of Mtskheta" became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994.
Svetitskhoveli Cathedral - is a Georgian Orthodox cathedral located in the historical town of Mtskheta, it known as the burial site of Christ's mantle, has long been the principal Georgian church and remains one of the most venerated places of worship to this day. It presently functions as the seat of the archbishop of Mtskheta and Tbilisi, who is at the same time Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia. The current cathedral was built in the 11th century by the Georgian architect Arsukisdze, though the site itself is even older dating back to the early 4th century and is surrounded by a number of legends associated primarily with the early Christian traditions. It is listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site along with other historical monuments of Mtskheta.
Sites to visit
Jvari Monastery -Jvari Monastery is a Georgian Orthodox monastery of the 6th century near Mtskheta (World Heritage site). The name is translated as the Monastery of the Cross. Jvari Monastery stands on the rocky mountaintop at the confluence of the Mtkvari and Aragvi rivers, overlooking the town of Mtskheta, which was formerly the capital of the Kingdom of Iberia.According to traditional accounts, on this location in the early 4th century Saint Nino, a female evangelist credited with converting King Mirian III of Iberia to Christianity, erected a large wooden cross on the site of a pagan temple. The cross was reportedly able to work miracles and therefore drew pilgrims from all over the Caucasus. A small church was erected over the remnants of the wooden cross in c.545 named the "Small Church of Jvari".The importance of Jvari complex increased over time and attracted many pilgrims. In the late Middle Ages, the complex was fortified by a stone wall and gate, remnants of which still survive. Jvari was listed together with other monuments of Mtskheta in 1994 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Samtavro - Transfiguration Orthodox Church and Nunnery of St. Nino in Mtskheta, Georgia, were built in the 4th century by King Mirian III of Iberia. The church was reconstructed in the 11th century by King George I and Catholicos-Patriarch Melkisedek.