Georgian historical monuments of Mtskheta – outstanding examples of medieval religious architecture in the Caucasus protected by UNESCO – AZERTAC

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Baku, April 23, AZERTAC

With four World Heritage Sites (three cultural and one natural), Georgia has the most UNESCO-protected properties in the region and the oldest UNESCO site.

Located in the cultural landscape at the confluence of the Aragvi and Mtkvari rivers in central-eastern Georgia, about 20 km northwest of Tbilisi in Mtskheta, the historical monuments of Mtskheta have been added to the World Heritage List of UNESCO in 1994.

The historic churches of Mtskheta, the former capital of Georgia, are outstanding examples of medieval religious architecture in the Caucasus. They testify to the high artistic and cultural level reached by this ancient kingdom.

The property includes Jvari Monastery, Svetitstkhoveli Cathedral and Samtavro Monastery.

Mtskheta was the ancient capital of Kartli, the kingdom of Eastern Georgia from the 3rd century BC to the 5th century AD, and was also the place where Christianity was proclaimed the official religion of Georgia in 337. The Orthodox and Apostolic Church Georgian.

The favorable natural conditions, its strategic location at the intersection of trade routes and its close relations with the Roman Empire, the Persian Empire, Syria, Palestine and Byzantium, generated and stimulated the development of Mtskheta and led to integrating different cultural influences with local cultural traditions. After the 6th century AD, when the capital was moved to Tbilisi, Mtskheta continued to retain its prominent role as one of the country’s important cultural and spiritual centers.

Jvari Holy Cross Monastery, Svetitskhoveli Cathedral and Samtavro Monastery are key landmarks of medieval Georgia.

Current churches include the remains of earlier buildings on the same sites, as well as the remains of ancient wall paintings. The Svetitskhoveli Cathedral complex in the center of the city includes the Cathedral Church, Palace and Gates of the Katolikos Melchizedek which date from the 11th century, built on the site of earlier churches dating from the 5th century. The cruciform cathedral is crowned with a high cupola above the crossing and there are remains of important wall paintings inside. The rich carved decoration of the elevations dates from different periods of its long history. The small domed church of Samtavro Monastery was originally built in the 4th century and has since undergone various restorations.

The main church of the monastery was built at the beginning of the 11th century. It contains the tomb of Mirian III, the king of Iberia who established Christianity as the official religion in Georgia.

The historical monuments of Mtskheta contain archaeological remains of great importance which testify to the high culture of the art of construction, the craftsmanship of masonry, pottery, as well as the casting and processing of metals, and the social, political and economic evolution of this mountain kingdom over some four millennia.

The whole territory around Mtskheta is rich in chapels, caves, archaeological sites, palaces, fortresses and more, making it a paradise for history lovers and the first choice for a day trip since the capital, Tbilisi, for anyone wishing to immerse themselves in Georgian culture.

AZERTAG.AZ :Georgian historical monuments of Mtskheta – outstanding examples of medieval religious architecture in the Caucasus protected by UNESCO

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