Mtskheta is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has been inhabited since before 1,000 BC and was once the capital of the early Kingdom of Iberia (today’s Eastern Georgia). Just 20 km from Tbilisi, at the confluence of the Mtkvari and Aragvi rivers, the city is located on an ancient trade route. Mtskheta was also the religious centre of the country, with a number of major shrines to Georgia’s pagan pantheon. Today, the lovely old town has a laid back, village feel, especially compared to the more hectic pace of Tbilisi.
Sights in Mtskheta:
• Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, included on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.
• Mtskheta State Archaeological Museum.
• Bebristsikhe castle was built in the antique period; its total area equates to approximately 1500 m2
• Jvari Monastery dated 585-604 cc AD, listed in UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 1994. The name is translated as the Monastery of the Cross.
• Armaztsikhe (Bagineti), historic archaeological monument.
• Monastery of Shio-Mgvime constructed in the beginning of the second half of the VI century by one of the Assyrian fathers named Shio.
• Zedazeni complex, includes the Church of St. John the Baptist, a fortress, and monastic cave cells.