Mtskheta is one of the oldest cities in Georgia. This small city is located around 20 km from Tbilisi and it is the most visited place in Georgia. Mtskheta was the capital of Georgian during 800 years, until the 5th century and after it was moved to Tbilisi. The main reason to move capital was the strategic location; however, there was another reason which was hidden from people. Since Mtskheta was very important for Georgians, but it was difficult to protect it from the enemies as it is located in an open area. Therefore, our king decided to move the capital to Tbilisi. This was a strategic decision, as he wanted that our enemies pay the attention to another place, which was much easier to protect thanks to the strong walls around the new capital.
Before the 5th century Georgians were praying to the idols and the history of Christianity starts from Mtskheta City as well. When Saint Nino came to Georgia, she arrived to Mtskheta. It was the day of the main holiday and people were celebrating their idols. There were three main statues standing on the huge mountain, which can be seen from Jvari Monastery also located on the Mtskheta territory. St. Nino became very angry and she started to pray to God and suddenly all these idols were destroyed. After that, she cured King Mirian’s ill wife Nana and helped many other people.
Despite her attempts to spread the Christianity in the country, King Mirian was very angry on her. He planned to go hunting and then kill St. Nino, all believers, and even his wife because she became Christian. During hunting everything became dark. He was terrified when the sun suddenly disappeared and he even could not see his fingers. King started to pray to his idols, but nothing changed. Then he said: “Please, Saint Nino’s God, help me”. Sun rose again and everything lightened up. After this miracle, he became a believer as well, and he spread Christianity in the whole Georgia.
Nowadays, you can visit the church from the 6th century and you can enjoy the amazing views of two rivers Mtkvari and Aragvi. From Jvari Monastery, it is possible to see their meeting points, where they look like hugging each other. Also, in front of this amazing view, you will see the mountain where the remains of destroyed idols are still standing. In the Mtskheta City, there is one more church, from the 11th century, called Svetitskhoveli, also very important place for all Georgians. You will love this city with its architecture and history. You can buy the wonderful souvenirs there, but you should also taste all kinds of Georgian sweets and alcoholic drinks.
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