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As tells legend, town was founded by ethnarch Mtskhetos. There are hypothesis that the appellation derives from the denomination of tribe Methkhs. These tribes appeared in the these territories after the VIII century BC.
Mtskheta with its neighborhood is an antique settlement in Georgia. In the first millennium BC formed two kingdoms, Iberia and Colchis in the West Georgia. For o’er 800 years Mtskheta was the center of political, and religious life of the Iberian reign.
Prior to the admission of Christianity and after Mtskheta played the role of spiritual core of the Nation.
So, naturally, that to travel to Mtskheta promises to tourists visiting rich architectural heritage, monuments of Christianity and archaeological materials. In this area, more than 200 cultural monuments. Here are found the reliquaries of colony and burials of Early Bronze Age, various defensive and residential buildings in Armazi, Bagineti, Dzalisi and others.
At the III century BC Mtskheta had a significant importance for Iberia. This was predetermined by its favorable geographical position. There are converged such international trade routes as the Silk Road and the others, which directed along with Mtkvari and Aragvi rivers.
Mtskheta, and in particular the Cathedral of Svetitskhoveli, a sacrosanct place for the Christian world, as approved by Chronicle here was buried the robe of Christ.
In IV century, St. Nino of Cappadocia brought here her faith. As a result, King Mirian III and his family converted to Christianity, which became the official state religion.
Since 1994, Mtskheta and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral are a UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
In the I century in Mtskheta lived exiled from the Israel Jewish refugees in quite numerous communities. According to scientists, they were one of the 4 oldest communities of Georgia.
Mystical story of the Christ’s mantle emersion in Georgia, known from many Georgian and foreign chronicles.
And the protagonists of the story are Jews from Mtskheta, who often traveled homeland left centuries ago.
According to many foreign and Georgian scientists, Mtskheta was among the first cities, where originally appeared ardent supporters of the new religion, soon after Christ’s crucifixion and burial of his mantle on Georgian land. This occured when the incarnated Word of God in the form of the Gospel not existed yet.
It was in first century when by calling of King Herod; many Jews straggling around the world went back to Jerusalem to testify the “false prophet” who declared himself the Son of God and Savior.
Herod wanted to this man been condemned not only by the men of Judah, but also by the descendants of of another tribes of Israel. That’s according to this vocation Jews from other countries went up to Jerusalem.
Among them were Georgian Jews Elioz Mtskheteli and Longinoz Karsneli, which brought precious object to the Georgian land. Later they became significant characters in Georgian historiography and fresco painting. Their images also appear in the scenes of Svetitskhoveli frescoes .
In the place where it was anciently Jewish cemetery, three centuries later disposes the royal court and the Garden of Eden. This place was chosen by King Mirian to build the first Christian temple.
Built on the burial site of Christ’s mantle, the cardinal and Holy Temple Svetitskhoveli became a symbol of the chapel, built on the tomb of the Savior, and the capital of Kartli Mtskheta named as the second Jerusalem.