Pinsteps. Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in Mtskheta, one of the oldest cities in Georgia
Places to visit in Mtskheta. Languages: en, ru

Svetitskhoveli Cathedral is a Georgian Orthodox cathedral located in Mtskheta, one of the oldest cities in Georgia. The cathedral is an important religious and historical site included in the UNESCO World Heritage list, along with the nearby Jvari Monastery and the historical monuments of Mtskheta.

"Svetitskhoveli" translates to "the Living Pillar Cathedral" in English. The cathedral dates back to the 11th century, although earlier churches have existed since the 4th century. It was built by the Georgian architect Arsukisdze during the reign of King Giorgi I and Catholicos-Patriarch Melkisedek.

Svetitskhoveli Cathedral is known for its impressive architecture, featuring a cruciform design and a central dome. In addition, the interior and exterior walls of the cathedral are adorned with intricate stone carvings and frescoes, showcasing the rich heritage of Georgian religious art.

The cathedral holds immense religious importance for Georgian Orthodox Christians, as it is believed to house the robe of Jesus Christ. According to legend, a Georgian Jew named Elioz brought the robe to Mtskheta after witnessing the crucifixion. The robe was then buried at the site where the cathedral was later built, and a cedar tree grew on the spot. The tree was used to make the first wooden church, and later, when the current cathedral was constructed, a sacred pillar made from the tree was erected, giving the cathedral its name.

Svetitskhoveli Cathedral has been a prominent religious, cultural, and historical centre throughout Georgian history. It has served as a coronation and burial site for Georgian monarchs, and it continues to be an important pilgrimage destination for Orthodox Christians from Georgia and beyond.

Pictures uploaded by @Polo Polotsky
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Polo Polotsky
My trip in Mtskheta of Apr 24, 2023

My recent excursion to Mtskheta, Shio-Mgvime Monastery, and the Ornament Express Cafe was a delight! To begin your day, I suggest visiting the tranquil Shio-Mgvime Monastery in a narrow limestone canyon on the northern bank of the Mtkvari (Kura) River, just 9 kilometers (5.6 miles) from Mtskheta. The medieval monastic complex emanates a serene ambience, and the breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape are awe-inspiring. Next, head to Mtskheta, a historic city about 20 kilometres north of Tbilisi, to explore its ancient streets, including Davit Aghmashenebeli Street, where you'll find abundant local shops, cafes, and restaurants. After visiting the monastery, return to Mtskheta and treat yourself to a delicious meal or dessert at the Ornament Express Cafe, such as tiramisu, accompanied by an Americano. The cafe's cosy and relaxing atmosphere is perfect for admiring the stunning views of Svetitskhoveli Cathedral and the surrounding mountains. This itinerary immerses you in Mtskheta's rich historical and cultural heritage while enjoying a delightful day out.

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