UNESCO Heritage
Svetitskhoveli ("The Life-giving pillar") is situated in the centre of city-museum Mtskheta. Present building of Svetitskhoveli dates back to the XI century. It is the main church of Mtskheta and a sacred place where the robe of Christ is being kept. The construction of the temple was begun during the reign of the first king of unified Georgia Bagrat the III (1001-1029) and continued for 19 years (1010-1029). This magnificent building has been used for centuries for the coronation and burial of Georgian monarchs. Svetitskhoveli has long been the principal Georgian church and remains one of the most venerated places of worship to this day. It was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1994.
Jvari Monastery
Jvari Monastery is a Georgian Orthodox monastery of the 6th century near Mtskheta and is a masterpiece of the early Medieval Period. Unusual and varied relief sculptures decorate its facades.The name is translated as the Monastery of the Cross. According to traditional accounts, it was here in the early 4th century that Saint Nino, a female evangelist credited with converting the country to Christianity, stayed here to pray and erected a cross on Mtskheta's highest hill. A minor church of the Holy Cross was built in the second half of the 6th century, and a bigger church was erected over the wooden cross between 586 and 605 by Erismtavari Stepanoz I.
Bagrati Cathedral, is the 11th-century cathedral church. The cathedral, now in ruins, has gone down as a masterpiece in the history of medieval Georgian architecture. The cathedral that was built during the reign of King Bagrat III due to which it was called Bagrat's Cathedral is now distinguished for its elegant proportions, grand size, facade composition, ornaments and relief carvings. It is ranked to be more spacious than Svetitskhoveli and Alaverdi cathedrals in Georgia. Bagrati Cathedral - being the ancient citadel, a royal palace and one of the most important castles from 6th century, was devastated in an explosion by the Ottoman troops, which had invaded the Kingdom of Imereti at the end of 17th century.
The Monastery of the Virgin - Gelati is situated in the vicinity of Kutaisi. The construction of Monastery Complex was started by David the Builder 1106 (he himself is buried here) and it was completed by his heir Demetre (1125 - 1156), it represents the flourishing medieval architecture in Georgia. The Gelati Monastery for a long time remained one of the main cultural and enlightening centers in old Georgia. It had an Academy which employed the most celebrated Georgian scientists - theologians and philosophers, many of whom had previously been active at various orthodox monasteries abroad or at the Mangan Academy in Constantinople.
Village Ushguli in Svaneti, is protected by UNESCO because of the buildings unique defensive towers. At 2200m this is referred to as the highest village in Europe. It is located at the feet of Shkhara, one of the highest Caucasian summits. Typical Svanetian protective towers are found throughout the village. It is a unique architectural ensemble and is one of the most spectacular villages in Georgia. The superb location of Ushguli and the unique lifestyle of the people in the village make this a popular destination to visit.
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