Reasons to visit Mtskheta – Ancient capital of Kingdom of Iberia

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Mtskheta Svetitskhoveli sunset Georgia
Amazing sunset view of Svetitskhoveli Cathedral and mountains in sunset, Mtskheta, Georgia

Reasons to visit Mtskheta, Georgia’s ancient capital

At just 20 km away from Tbilisi, lies the city of Mtskheta, a very important place for every Georgian since ancient times. The city is not only a sacred place, but it was also the capital of the country back in the days. If you ask about Mtskheta, you will hear many people in Georgia referring to it as the “Second Jerusalem”. This name came from the fact that Jesus’ tunic is kept here, which is probably one of the most important relics in the history of Christianity. Also, St. Nino of Cappadocia first brought the good news here, in the location of the ancient city, transforming it into a veritable pilgrimage site for thousands of Christian believers.

Mtskheta Georgia
Panoramic view of Mtskheta

One of the biggest reasons to visit Mtskheta is the numerous UNESCO World Heritage monuments that can be found here. With other words, what you are going to see here can’t be found anywhere else. And as an inside tip, if you end up visiting the city, don’t hesitate to try the local red beans dish (“Lobio”), as it is world famous. So, when the views are stunning, the city appears like emerging from a fairytale, there is so much history at every step, and you have delicious food to enjoy, what else do you need? If you are seriously considering traveling to Georgia, it is a must to visit Mtskheta as well.

What can you see here? Do not hesitate to visit the Jvari Monastery. A stunning monastery that dates back from the 6th century, still in an amazing state of conservation, it has the surprising shape of a cross and is located on top of a hill, watching over the entire city. Walking into the monastery would be like walking back in time, during the Middle Ages, due to the architectural details that are representative for that period. Everything appears like frozen in time inside the monastery, which give you an experience you will never forget. Another objective that must be visited while in Mtskheta is a 10-century old cathedral. The Svetitskhoveli Cathedral is, in spite of its age, the second largest cathedral in Georgia. Once you arrive at its location, you will be amazed of how well the building looks, even if many centuries and harsh weather conditions tried its resistance in time. You will certainly be impressed by the presence of this ancient structure.

Mtskheta Georgia Jvari Monastery
Scenic view of Jvari Monastery

If you appreciate a good wine and would like to do all sorts of interesting activities and learn more about the history of the city, you need to visit Gvinis Palata or the Wine Chamber. It is a beautiful building that has four floors, each floor providing visitors a unique experience. You will hear stories about rare Georgian wines and grapes, taste various assortments of wine, and learn interesting details about old baking methods. So, you have every reason to visit each floor of this building, especially since the last floor offers, besides a glass of wine, breathtaking views over the city. These are only a few reasons that makes Mtskheta a must-see city in Georgia, plenty of other reasons waiting to be discovered in the city.

Mtskheta monastery shio mghvime
Interior of Shio Mghvime Monastery near Mtshketa