Excursion: Capitals of Georgia –
Tbilisi and Mtskheta

Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, is unique. It stands on several mountain hills, on which tiers “crawl” the ancient quarters of the city. Tbilisi is the beautiful Kura River with its picturesque rocky banks, flowing through the entire city.

“Old Town,” the historic center of Tbilisi, is located at the foot of Mount Mtatsminda (Holy Mountain). Almost all buildings of the Old City – historical or cultural monuments, here around the clock bustles with life, tourists walk alone or in groups, lovers meet at the clock tower – this funny Tower appeared recently, built by the director of the Puppet Theater Rezo Gabriadze, artists exhibit their paintings, artisans offer numerous souvenirs. These are mostly 2-3-story houses made of stone and brick, and have a special Tbilisi architecture, characterized by narrow streets, galleries and carved wooden balconies.

Tbilisi, one of the few places in the world where an Orthodox church, a Catholic cathedral, a synagogue and a mosque peacefully coexist side by side in the Old City. During the tour we will visit the Methehi Church (5th century), the Sioni Cathedral (4th-8th centuries), the Anchiskhat Basilica of the Nativity of the Virgin, the oldest preserved one, the Holy Trinity Cathedral, the Tsminda Sameba complex – the main cathedral of the Georgian Orthodox Church. You can take a cable car up to the Narikala Fortress (4th century).

The ancient temple-monastery Jvari (VI century). On the top of the mountain, where the temple is located, there is a fantastic view of the place where the two rivers – Kura and Aragvi merge. There as on the palm of your hand is a beautiful view of the ancient capital of Georgia – Mtskheta.

Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (1010-1029), in the base of which was buried the chiton of Jesus Christ, one of the most important sacred artifacts of the New Testament, which was brought to Mtskheta by Elioz – one of the witnesses of his death on the cross, as well as the burial place of many kings of Georgia. There is also a part of the life-giving pillar. Samtavro monastery, where year-round grows, blooms and bears fruit blackberry bushes, near which in the IV century lived and preached St. Nino – the enlightener, the first preacher of Christianity in Georgia. The official adoption of Christianity in Georgia in 324 is associated with the name of Saint Nino with the assistance and participation of King St. Mirian and Queen St. Nani. It was St. Nino who convinced the king and queen Mirian and Nani to adopt Christianity in Georgia. Inside are the miraculous icon of Our Lady of Iveron, the miraculous icon of St. Nino, the tomb of St. King Merian and Queen Nani, the relics of St. Abibos of Nekre, St. Shio of Mgvim.

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