With the collapse of the empire of Alexander the Great the east Georgian kingdom of Kartli-Iberia came into being with its capital at Mtskheta, which at this time straddled both banks of the river and was divided into several quarters.
Christianity was brought to Mtskheta in the 4th century by St Nino, and became the official state religion in 334. The first wooden church was built in the palace garden, where the Svetitskhoveli church now stands. Although the capital of Kartli was transferred to Tbilisi by Prince Dachi in the 6th century, Mtskheta retained a prominent role as the religious center of the country and the seat of the Katolicos (later elevated to Patriarch).
The star attraction in Mtskheta is the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, an enormous church originally built in the 4th century and rebuilt in the 11th century. The throne of the patriarch of the Georgian Orthodox Church sits in the center of the church. Georgian kings are buried here, though the cathedral’s most incredible claim extends to Jesus Christ, whose robe, allegedly, brought to Mtskheta from Jerusalem following his crucifixion, is said to be buried underneath the cathedral.
It’s pretty easy to get to Mtskheta from Tbilisi. The town had really cool sites to see and you can witness them in the pics section on the right side tab.
But what impressed me most about the town was the planned development and renovation. This town is already picturesque but rapid steps were being taken to make it moreso. As we walked from the ruins of the Fortress, there was the usual architecture commonly found in Georgia. But once past a street block of no importance or distinction, we saw a patch of grass beside a townhouse. More accurately, a manicured lawn…. in Georgia!
Post modern Government buildings, townhouses, lawns, trash receptacles, newly paved streets. I have decided that I will live here after my time with TLG.
“Well we’re movin on up,
To the east side.
To a deluxe apartment in the sky.
Movin on up,
To the east side.
We finally got a piece of the pie.”
Movin’ On Up, Theme Song to The Jefferson’s