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Mtskheta

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Mtskheta is one of the oldest cities of Georgia and its former capital. It is located approximately 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of Tbilisi at the confluence of the Mtkvari and Aragvi rivers. Mtskheta has been Georgia’s spiritual heart since Christianity was established here in about 327, and holds a near-mystical significance in Georgian culture. Due to its historical significance and several cultural monuments, the “Historical Monuments of Mtskheta” became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. As the birthplace and one of the most vibrant centers of Christianity in Georgia, Mtskheta was declared as the “Holy City” by the Georgian Orthodox Church in 2014.

Mtskheta makes an easy and enjoyable day trip from Tbilisi.

Sights in Mtskheta :
Svetitskhoveli Cathedral
 

Arguably the most well known cathedral in Georgia, Svetitskhoveli is also one of the biggest in the country. This Georgian architectural wonder dating back to the XI century has served as the religious center of the country for hundreds of years. The complex includes the church, a gate, a bell tower, castles, and clerical residences. Harsh conditions throughout Georgia’s history couldn’t stop the 10-century old building from retaining its beauty. Svetitskhoveli was the religious center for all Christians for many centuries. Further proving its importance to Christianity, there is a legend that a seamless robe of Jesus Christ is buried within the temple. Another legend states that King Giorgi ordered the hand of amputated Svetitskhoveli’s architect, so that he could never recreate something so beautiful ever again. There is still a hand depicted on the Northern facade of the building.  The tombs of Tbilisi’s founder, King Vakhtang Gorgasali is also inside the building. The cathedral is included on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. Svetitskhoveli Cathedral is still the setting for important ceremonies of the Georgian Orthodox Church. Small fragments of paintings which date back to the 11th century let you live through the lives of ancient Georgia, leaving you amazed and stunned. Even though Georgia is packed with many astonishing churches and cathedrals, Svetitskhoveli is a must-see for any tourist visiting the country.

 

 

 
Jvari monastery
 
The VI century Georgian Orthodox monastery is  a rare case of the Early Medieval Georgian church that survived to the present day almost unchanged. The church is included on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. “Jvari monastery” is translated as “The Monastery of the Cross”and it is  in the shape of a cross. It is located on a mountaintop with a great view of the meeting between the Mtkvari and Aragvi rivers as well as the entire city of Mtkskheta. . Jvari is the perfect place for those looking to travel back in time and enjoy the architecture of the Middle Ages. Note that the place is windy throughout the entire year, so be prepared.
 
 
 
Samtavro monastery
 

Samtavro is one of the most important cultural monuments. St. Nino lived here, King Mirian and Queen Nana are buried here. Abibo Nekreseli, one of the Assyrian fathers, is also buried in the Samtavro monastery. The complex includes several buildings: the main temple, St. Nino’s church, bell tower and fence with a tower. The main temple dates back to the 11th century, although the date of its construction is unknown. Small St. Nino’s Church dates back to the 11th century, but it is known that the church was first built by King Mirian in the 4th century. This church is also mentioned in the life of St. Nino. The history of the Samtavro Nunnery dates back to 1820. While monastic life in Georgia was disappearing, ten nuns in Mtskheta laid the foundation for the establishment of a monastery. They also restored the small temple of St. Nino. During the Soviet period, mothers were sometimes trained as textile workers to save the monastery. There are candle making, art, sewing and other workshops. Samtavro is one of the most important and noteworthy monuments in Mtskheta from the historical and cultural point of view.

 

 

1 - 2 Person

Sedan
$65

Full price

3 - 4 Person

Minivan
$70

Full price

5 - 7 Person

Minivan
$75

Full price

8 - 10 Person

Sprinter
$130

Full price

11 - 20 Person

Sprinter
$150

Full price

21 - 32 Person

Small Bus

Full price 

33 - 42 Person

Bus

Full price 

43 - 52 Person

Bus

Full price 

Tour Guide  prices :

Tour guide service is optional

Group prices
Group of 1 - 10 people
55$
Group of 11 - 20 people
70$
Group of 21 - 32 people
100$
Group of 32 - 42 people
120$
Group of 43 - 52 people
130$

Additional information :

  • Distance from Tbilisi km
  • Duration hours
  • Entrance tickets - Free

Shio Mgvime - Cave of Shio

About 13 kilometers (8 miles) from the city of Mtskheta is a limestone canyon in which you will find a beautiful medieval monastic complex. The history of Shio-Mgvime began in the 6th century when Shio, one of the 13 Assyrian fathers who traveled to the region to spread their faith, settled near Mtskheta to practice a monastic life. Shio lived out his final years as a hermit in a cave, which is why the site is now called Shio-Mgvime (Cave of Shio). As the Assyrian fathers’ contribution to the Christianization of Georgia was colossal, the places where they settled are held in high honor and preserved with great care up to this day.

The drive itself to Shio Mgvime is beautiful and filled with curves which run deep into the canyon. Evening views from the road are so mesmerizing that many wedding photos are taken here.

 
 

Mtskheta  + Shio Mgvime tour prices:

Group prices
Group of 1 - 2 people
70$
Group of 3 - 4 people
75$
Group of 5 - 7 people
80$
Group of 8 - 10 people
135$
Group of 11 - 20 people
155$
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