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One of the great values of culture and Orthodoxy of whole Christians is the temple of Mtskheta, which is located in the town of Mtskheta, close to Tbilisi (30 km).
If you visit Mtskheta it is impossible do not to visit Svetitskhoveli.
Take a tour bus or a shuttle bus to Mtskheta, there use a local transportation to the Temple. Book a car hire in Tbilisi and during 20-30 minutes, you'll be near the Temple. The parking near the Cathedral is free, there are several restaurants, as well as the restaurants on the way back to Tbilisi.
Svetitskhoveli Cathedral - Patriarchal church. Georgian Patriarch serves there. Temple carries a lot of cultural and historical loads, it is the center of Orthodoxy and the most holy and historic building. Visiting a temple, it is worth to remember that you are in a holy place. You should have proper clothing and behave with dignity, not to desecrate Orthodox shrine. Many people who came to Svetitskhoveli, come here not because of the historical value, as well as a holy place, a place of prayer and union with God.
Do not wear freak clothes. You should refrain from shorts or sportswear. Women should cover the head with a scarf during temple visiting.
The Georgian kings Vakhtang Gorgasali, Bakur and others are buried in the Temple. In the XV century was built a rectangular chapel inside the Temple, which is a type of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, you will find it on the right side of the temple. In the middle of the temple, usually located rectangular building, resembling a tower buried here St. Sidonius and saint Heaton of Jesus Christ, a great Christian shrine.
Mtskheta Elioz Jew, who was present at the crucifixion of Christ in Jerusalem, purchased from the Roman soldiers Heaton of a Christ. Elioz got back to Mtskheta and at the city gate, sister Sidonia was waiting for him. When she touched the Heaton she died of excitement. Sidonia was buried in the royal garden. In 326 AC, Christianity became the official religion of Georgia and the grave site of Sidonia in the IV century AC first wooden church was built by order of King Mirian. The cedar wood was used for the foundation of the church, which grew on the grave of Sidonia. A miracle happened during the Temple construction. One of the pillars hung in the air. St. Nino spent the whole night in prayer, after which the column came down to earth in the form of fire and established itself on the spot. This column exuded myrrh, which treated many patients and they were healed of various diseases. That’s why came the name of the church Svetitskhoveli (life-giving pillar).
Beginning of V century – was destroyed the wooden church and stone basilica was built in its place. X century - Svetitskhoveli destruction as a result of the Arab invasion, than soon restored.
In the XI century Catholicos of Kartli, Melchizedek I, decided to build a new church, which was built on top of the Basilica of the V century. Today we can observe the remains of the Basilica of the V century, fragments of which are hidden under glass in the building of the Temple.
XIV century - Temple badly damaged after the invasion of Tamerlane, the beginning of the XV century - Temple rebuilt, XVII century - once again restored the temple dome. Temple painting just belongs to the XVII century, but in the XIX century, before the arrival of Nicholas I, many of the frescoes were whitewashed because of which lost forever, just wiped out, and there were only small fragments from the ramparts of the XVIII century and the remains of the old palace of the XI century.
Svetitskhoveli Cathedral is a monument and is related to the cultural heritage of the peoples of the world by Unesco program.
If you want to visit Svetitskhoveli and book rent a car in Georgia and Tbilisi, we will help you.
Temple Location on Google maps or navigation - 41.842241, 44.720955
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