The big Svetitskhoveli Cathedral

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Mtskheta might be the most historic city in Georgia. It was a center for learning and religion for centuries and the big building from this period still dominate the little city which is now relegated to sort of a distant suburb of Tbilisi. In the center of the city you find the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral which dominates the central part of the old town. It is right at the main square in front of the tourism information which is in a big Greek looking building.

The historic Svetitskhoveli Cathedral

The sight of the cathedral is one of the old Christian sights in Georgia dating back to the 4th century. The current building dates back to the beginning of the 11th century and despite this age it is still the second largest church in all of Georgia only second to the new main church of Tbilisi. The church has been an important center Christianity in Georgia and it has important relics like Christ Mantle – though other churches claim to have it as well so you never know which church might be right.

Building next to the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral

In addition to the important place the church has in the religious history of Georgia several Georgian kings has been buried inside the church as well. Hence it is truly one of the most historic places to go and visit in the country.

The church is surrounded by a large defensive wall which means the religious complex take up a large part of the center of the city. It is free to go and visit the church and look inside – you will not be alone since there is a number of locals as well as foreign visitors at most times of the day.

After dark there is light on the wall around the wall of the city which is a nice time of the day to see the building complex. The restaurants of the city are located in front of the church anyway so if you are in the city after dark you will probably head down to the church and see it after dark anyways.

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