Mtskheta - the first capital of the first Georgian state

Mtskheta - the place where Christianity was declared as the state religion

Mtskheta - the place where the Georgian alphabet was created

Mtskheta - the abode of the Lord's garment

Mtskheta - the holy city


Mtskheta is one of the oldest settlements on the territory of Eastern Georgia and is located in its central part. The first Georgian state, Iberia, was formed in the 1st millennium BC, its capital for 800 years was Mtskheta. The Georgian alphabet was created in Mtskheta, and Christianity was declared the state religion in Mtskheta (326). Mtskheta and Svetitskhoveli, the place where Christ was dressed, are sacred places for the Christian world.

Territory - 805.5 sq.m. Population 56.9 thousand inhabitants. Average temperature in summer: + 25, + 35 °, in winter: -1, -10 °.

District and regional center - Mtskheta (9.7 thousand inhabitants)

Protected areas:

Saguramo Nature Reserve (Tbilisi National Park) - 5300 hectares. Most of the reserve is covered with forest. Trees are widespread: beech, hornbeam, oak, elm, maple, etc. The Saguramo Ridge is the "forest island of Colchis" in Eastern Georgia, where tertiary reliefs of flora, lianas, Colchis ivy, boxwood, yew, clematis, and others are found. Among mammals, animals are widespread: deer, roe deer, bear, foxes, wolves, and many others. There are many types of birds.

Endemic varieties:

Armazis shvidantsla is endemic to eastern Georgia, endemic low-growing trees or shrubs are found only in the Armazi gorge.

An endemic plant of Georgian nuts and endemic species of the Caucasus - a rare relic found in Mtskheta in the Martazi gorge.


Forestry Mtskheta, with an area of ​​2800 hectares

Main rivers: Mtkvari, Aragvi, Ksani.

Mountain ranges: Skaltba, Saguramo, Trialeti, Satskepeli, Mskhaldidi, Kartli.

Animal world:

Mammals: roe deer, wild boar, Caucasian brown bear, wolf, fox, jackal, lynx, rabbit, badger, marten, queen, hamster, otter.

Birds: Rock partridge, quail, pigeon, blackbird, mussels, magpie, crow, sparrows.

Fish: Squalius cephalus, chondrostoma, varicorhinus, barbel, mursa, alburnoides, Cobitis, carp.

Cultural Monuments:

City Mtskheta. Old quarters of the city

Armazi Fortress - XIII-XIV centuries.

Bebris Fortress - Early Middle Ages

Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, Built-in 1010-1029

Samtavro-domed church of the XI centuries

St. Nino domed church of IV-V centuries

Church of St. Nino (Basilica) - formerly the Middle Ages

Church of Antioch - IV-V centuries

Jvari Temple in Mtskheta - VI-VII centuries

Shio-Mgvim monastery ensemble of the 6th-12th centuries

Zedazeni monastery ensemble: church of the VIII century

Tsilkani Church of the Virgin Mary is a three-aisled basilica of the IV-VII centuries. The domed church of the Middle Ages.

Mukhrani fortress of the XIII century with two churches. XIX century palace

Church of St. George in Kaloubani - XII century

Ksani Fortress - XVI century

Ancient bridge - BC III-I



Mtskheta State Archaeological Museum-Reserve (Mtskheta)

Ilia Chavchavadze House-Museum in Saguramo (Saguramo)


Archaeological Sites:

Armaztsikhe-Bagineti - Royal residence of Kartli B.C. IV – A.D. V centuries

Residence of Pitiakhshi in Armaziskhevi - the highest government officials - A.D. I-V centuries - baths B.C. IV - A.D V.

Tombs of Samtavro B.C. II millennium - A.D. VII centuries

Mtskheta burial mounds - I-II centuries.

Town ruins of Dzalisi City - BC. II - AD. VII centuries



The main patriarchal cathedral of the Georgian Orthodox Church, the Cathedral of Georgia, the place of the enthronement of the Georgian Catholicos-patriarchs, the sanctuary of many medieval Georgian kings, their families, and patriarchs, a monument of Georgian architecture of the XI century.

Svetitskhoveli is located in the city Mtskheta, 20 kilometers from Tbilisi.

Svetitskhoveli is the largest historical church building in Georgia among the survivors. For centuries it has been the religious center of Christian Georgia. On the advice of Saint Nino, who converted to Christianity in the IV century AD, the first church was built here by Kind Mirian, which has not reached us. In the XI century, Catholicos of Kartli Melkisedek built a new church on the site of the destroyed basilica. He invited Arsukisdze as an architect. Construction began in 1010 and was completed in 1029. Svetitskhoveli has been rebuilt many times during its existence. In 1283 the temple was damaged by an earthquake. In the XIV century, George the Magnificent restored the dome of the temple. At the end of the same century, during the invasion of Temur-Leng, the towers of the western arm were demolished, the dome was turned upside down, but they still could not demolish the whole building. At the beginning of the XV century, King Aleksander the Great renovated the temple. In 1656, under the leadership of King Rostom and Queen Mariam, the temple of the dome was completely restored. At the beginning of the XX century, a congregation was formed, where it was decided to cover the temple with hewn stone.



Shiomgvime is located in the Mtskheta municipality, 40 km from Tbilisi, on the left side of the river Mtkvari. This is one of the most famous monasteries of early feudal Georgia.

It was founded in the VI century by one of the Assyrian fathers - Shio. According to sources, Shio spent the last years of his life in a dark and deep cave, after death, according to his will, he was buried there.

Shiomgvime was also an old Georgian cultural and literary center. Shio Mgvimeli, the son of Vasil Karichi, Arsen Ikaltoeli, Arsen Beri, George Khutsesmonazoni, Theodosius and others worked here. Many manuscripts have been preserved from the largest library of Shiomghvime. According to 1804 data, a rich collection of manuscripts was kept in the Shiomgvime library (more than 10 carts were loaded).

In the XI century, a cave church was built, which was later attached to the church of John the Baptist. The Shiomghvime monastery complex includes the domed church of John the Baptist, the upper church, the refectory, and the chapel near the monastery.

Despite the additions of the XI and XVIII centuries, the church still retains its original appearance. The brick bell tower dates back to the XVIII century. In the center of the monastery is the Church of the Mother of God, the so-called Upper Church, built at the turn of the XI-XII centuries by order of David the Builder. There is a refectory from the agricultural buildings (from here you can enter the Shio cave). The small painted chapel on the mountain dates back to the XII century. The monastery was supplied with water from the village of Skhaltba (Shiomgvime water pipeline).

Near the monastery, there are caves in the rock, which were the abode and refuge of monks.


Jvari monastery (Jvari - cross)

Jvari Monastery, Temple and monastery of the VI century, located east of Mtskheta, at the confluence of the Mtkvari and Aragvi rivers, on the top of a rocky mountain. It is in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Having adopted Christianity, King Mirian erected a tall wooden cross on this place, which was worshiped by other Christian peoples of the Caucasus. Guaram, the head of Kartli, built a small church next to the cross, which is now called "Small Jvari". At the end of the VI century and the beginning of the VII century, Stefamoz I, the son of Guaram, the leader of the nation, built a large temple next to the small temple, the present cross, which was covered with a wooden cross. The Mtskheta cross is the first example of cross churches. The rest of the existing buildings around the monastery (tower, fence) were built later. Both religious and historical figures are depicted on the facades of the temple. One of the oldest epigraphic samples of Georgian writing "Asomtavruli" is carved on the reliefs of the eastern and southern facades of the Jvari temple.

From the south of the main church of the monastery in the fence, there is the entrance to the spring of St. Nino.



Zedazeni Monastery is one of the oldest monastic complexes. An architectural monument northeast of Mtskheta, on the Saguramo ridge, 1170 meters from sea level.

It is said to have been erected on the site of a pagan sanctuary. On the territory of the monastery, there is an old basilica with outbuildings.

The complex includes the Church of St. John the Baptist, a fortress fence, and rocky outcrops. Mount Zedazeni is named after an idol that once stood here - Zaden.

Currently, the Zedazeni and Saguramo forests are declared protected.

Severely damaged fragments of paintings have survived in the church. The altar painting is divided into two registers. In the upper register, the composition is almost completely washed down. It is difficult to discern John himself, the richly decorated throne of the Savior. The arch depicts an imploration. In the second register, the reddish-brick outlines of the Church Fathers. The saints are depicted in the front, with the whole body.

According to legend, this mountain is named after the idol of Zaden (the pagan deity of harvest and fertility), who was a hero-worshiped by people and who died in battle. The idol of Zaden was erected by King Parnajom in BC. in the first half of the II century under Zedazeni, near the present village Tsitsamuri, where the Zaden Castle stood. The idol stood on this mountain until the first half of the IV century when Georgia adopted Christianity.

The three-aisled basilica of the Baptist, a gate bell tower, a fence, and other remains of the castle have survived from the monastery buildings.

From the south, the church is surrounded by square gates from the XVIII century, covered with cut stone. The entrance is from the south.

The fortress fence dates back to the XVII century (some parts belong to the developed feudal era). It is built from cobblestone. Bricks are also used. It is now badly damaged. The fortress surrounds the church on three sides (a cliff from the south).

Semicircular bridges are attached to the fence, located almost at an equal distance from each other. To the east of the fence are the ruins of the citadel. The entrance to the citadel is from the west. The courtyard is rather high compared to the churchyard; traces of buildings are visible in its northeastern part.

The monastery of the monks is located on a steep slope of the mountain, southeast of the Church of the Baptist, built in feudal times. You can get to the cave of the monks by narrow paths.


Samtavro monastery

Samtavro Monastery is located in the city Mtskheta. This is one of the most important cultural monuments. Saint Nino lived here, King Mirian and Queen Nana, Abibo Nekreseli, one of the Assyrian fathers are buried here. The complex includes several buildings: the main cathedral, the Church of St. Nino, a bell tower, and a fence with a tower. the main temple dates back to the XI century. The small church of St. Nino also dates back to the XI century, but it is known that the first church here was built by King Mirian in the IV century.

In the 20s and 30s of the V century, during the reign of King Archil, the Svetitskhoveli Church, built by Mirian, was demolished, and Archbishop Jonah moved the cathedral to the Upper Church. It was from this time that the "Upper Church" was renamed "Samtavro" as the residence of the archbishop.

The main temple of Samtavro is a rectangular building. Unlike the buildings of the previous period, the plan is shortened here, the dome is held not on 4 free-standing pillars, as it was before, but on 2 pillars and the slopes of the altar. On both sides of the altar, the apse is two-story side storerooms. The temple has a large gate, covered with arches from the south. The second outbuilding is on the north side. The decoration of the temple deserves special attention. A five-arch composition is used on the eastern facade. The southern and northern facades were more intensively and brilliantly processed. The dome was completely restored in the XIII-XIV centuries.

In the southwest corner of the temple are the tombs of the first Georgian Christian king Mirian and Queen Nana. The hieromartyr St. Abibo Nekreseli. And on the northern wall rests the holy monk Gabriel.

Information will be added soon

Panoramic places:

The area around Jvari Monastery

The territory of Zedazeni

The territory of Armaztsikhe (Bagineti)

Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (Shiomgvime)


Picnic spots:

In the alley of Jvari lane (near Zahes)

Surroundings of the St. Demetrius church (Mtskheta)

The adjacent territory of the theatron (Mtskheta)

Near the Zedazani monastery - "Nadarbazevi"


Tourist bus stops:

The main parking of Mtskheta

The adjacent territory of Samtavro

Near the Jvari monastery


Adventure - Hiking trails

Tbilisi National Park - Martkopi Monastery (Cycling)

Karsani - Armazi gorge, Armazi fortress (Hiking)

Mukhattskaro - Bevreti (Cycling)

Saguramo-Zedazeni (Cycling)

Didgori-Nichbisi (Cycling)

Mokhisi Didgori – Chili Lake


There are lakes in the Mtskheta Municipality: Lake Chili and Lake Tsodoreti. Both lakes are located near Mtskheta and the capital and are places of entertainment and recreation in different directions.

Lake Chili is located in the village Telovani, at an altitude of 1130 meters above sea level. Several kilometers from the Mukhatgverdi cemetery. For those looking for a place to relax and hike close to the capital, Lake Chili is suitable for any time of the year.

Lake Tsodoreti is located near the village Tsodoreti, on the side of the Tsodoretistskali River (the right tributary of the Digmistskali), at an altitude of 900 meters above sea level, 7 km from Tbilisi. The lake is very small and most of it is covered with aquatic plants, however, forest ridges and open spaces create a very beautiful environment.


Natakhtari Airport is a local airport in Georgia, in the Natakhtari village of the Mtskheta municipality. The runway is 948 meters long and 18 meters wide. The airport is located 32 km from Tbilisi and 13 km from Mtskheta.

The airfield serves 30-50 passenger aircraft. There are flights from Natakhtari airport to Batumi, Kutaisi, Mestia, and Ambrolauri.



House-Museum of Ilya Chavchavadze

The house-museum of Ilya Chavchavadze is located in the village Saguramo, Mtskheta municipality. It is located in the estate of the Georgian public figure, publicist, and writer Ilya Chavchavadze. The museum was founded in 1961 by Giorgi Leonidze. The museum displays memorabilia of the writer, manuscripts of the writer, works of Georgian and foreign fine art, including: "The acceptance of Jacques de Molay into the Order of the Templar" by the French artist Garnier, Lado Gudiashvili, Jacob Nikoladze, Ucha Japaridze arts, dishes, furniture and more. After the death of Ilya Chavchavadze, his wife Olga Guramishvili donated her house in Saguramo to the literate community, where first a primary school and then an agricultural school were opened. The house itself is built of cobblestone and brick. To the east, there is a gate and a stone staircase. The building is surrounded by wide balconies on all floors. The first floor is occupied by internal rooms intended for family members, the second floor is the living room, dining room, games rooms, and a corridor, and the third floor is the bedroom. In addition to the house, there are outbuildings in the yard.



Saguramo Nature Reserve

The Saguramo Nature Reserve is located in the Mtskheta municipality, on the Saguramo ridge. It is currently part of the Tbilisi National Park. Most of the reserve is covered with forest. With its diversity of flora and fauna, it attracts many nature lovers and hikers. English yew, Buxus colchica, beech, hornbeam, oak, elm, maple, wild pear, and others grow on the territory of the reserve. In the forests, you will find Caucasian deer, roe deer, bear, fox, lynx, forest cat, wolf, etc. Beautiful forests, landscapes, fabulous trails, endemic and relict species of flora and fauna are very interesting and attractive for nature and adventure lovers.

Information will be added soon

Salobie is one of the most popular restaurants in Mtskheta, both for tourists and locals. The name Salobie translates as "Bean House", but here you can also enjoy traditional Georgian dishes such as khachapuri, mtsvadi (barbecue) and khinkali.

Be sure to try the main dish of beans (bean soup in a clay jar) served with mchadi (traditional cornbread).

You should also try a very famous Georgian dish called Mtskheturi Gvezeli - a pie (Georgian: მცხეთური ღვეზელი). It can be filled with meat (beef or a pork/beef mix), potato, mushrooms, or cheese. 


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