“The Ancient capital of Georgia”.
Where is Mtskheta?
The city of Mtskheta is located about 20 km north of Tbilisi in the Mtskheta-Mtianeti province of Georgia. One of the country’s oldest cities and its former ancient capital. It sits at the convergence of the Mtkvari and Aragvi Rivers.
The journey from Borjomi to Mtskheta was in a marshrutka.
Whilst in Mtskheta, we chose to stay at Hotel Magdalena, booked through Booking.com.
A charming clean, and comfortable hotel in the heart of the city.
We wanted to eat at Cafe Tatin. Closed, unfortunately for a private function. Instead, we ate at Ornament Express. Good food in a relaxed and pleasant atmosphere.
Places of interest
The city of Mtskheta is beautiful. Charming with lots of character.
Dominating the city, the cathedral is one of the most sacred places in Georgia. Founded in 1010 built on the site of Georgia’s first church. The site of the coronation of Georgian kings, and also their burial place. Known as the burial site of the seamless robe of Jesus.
According to Georgian legend. A Georgian Jew from Mtskheta was in Jerusalem when Jesus was crucified. He purchased Jesus’ robe from a Roman soldier. Returning home, he was greeted by his sister Sidonia. On touching the robe she died immediately from the emotions generated by it. The robe could not be removed from her grasp and she was buried with it.
Recent reports claim that structural issues threaten the overall stability of the cathedral.
Samtavro Monastery is an Orthodox Christian monastery complex. Comprises of Samtavro Transfiguration Church and the Convent of St. Nino.
Located in the northwest part of the Old City. It is a 7 min walk from Svetitskhoveli Cathedral. Built-in the 4th century by King Mirian III, and reconstructed in the 11th century by King George I. It is an important historical and architectural monument, protected by UNESCO. The famous Georgian Saint monk Gabriel is buried on the grounds of the Church.
Jvari Monastery is situated on a rocky mountain top overlooking the city of Mtskheta. The 6th-century monastery is an example of early Christian Georgian architecture. The view from the mountain top is amazing. Visit on a clear day and before dusk.
A taxi from Mtskheta will cost around 20 GEL for the round trip and about half an hour waiting time. The tourist information centre in front of the cathedral can arrange it. It is possible to walk up there, taking about 90 mins. A map containing the trail is available from the tourist office.
A tiny Orthodox Church. Antioch Church is little known and does not have many visitors. It is located off the usual tourist routes. A gem of a find and well worth a visit to see the stunning interior.