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Georgia: Sveti-Tshkoveli Cathedral

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Sveti-Tshkoveli Cathedral | Georgia | Asia

[Visited: May 2005, November 2005]

When I approached Mtskheta by marschrutka, or van, from Tbilisi, and we still had to cross the river to reach the former capital of Georgia, the enormous silhouet of Sveti-Tshkoveli cathedral presented itself, sticking out of the landscape in front of me. Once walking in the streets of this Unesco World Heritage town, it was very easy to locate Sveti-Tshkoveli, and it was my first point of call. In front of the cathedral, there were quite a few little stalls selling tourist products, but I was the only visitor. And not interested in buying anything.

Picture of Sveti-Tshkoveli Cathedral (Georgia): Sveti-Tshkoveli cathedral with lantern and Jvari church in the background

I decided to first walk around the walls of Sveti-Tshkoveli cathedral, and then move in. It gave me a good opportunity to see the walls, and to see the cathedral from various angles. I came across a side entrance and decided to go in. I found myself in some lovely gardens with flowers, and in some cases even a vegetable garden. Moreover, there were several doors in the wall, all decorated with a typical Georgian cross. The grounds of the cathedral create a pleasant space that allows a great view of Sveti-Tshkoveli from all sides. The cathedral as it is was built in the 11th century, but you can see remains of much older churches on the cathedral grounds. The first church dates from the 4th century.

Picture of Sveti-Tshkoveli Cathedral (Georgia): Sveti-Tshkoveli: view from outside the wallsd

Several times, I saw one of the wooden doors in the walls open, and monks coming out of them. Once near the entrance of Sveti-Tshkoveli cathedral, it was hard to miss the enormous bell on the ground, with intricate carvings a true piece of art. After that, it was time to visit the inside of Sveti-Tshkoveli cathedral. Typical of orthodox churches, the walls were decorated with frescoes, while there were also several icons. The most remarkable sight inside the cathedral is probably the huge face of Christ on a fresco in the nave. Moreover, Christ's robe is supposed to be buried in this cathedral, with various legendary stories to support it. While on my way out, I greeted the old ladies sitting idly in the entrance of the cathedral grounds.

Picture of Sveti-Tshkoveli Cathedral (Georgia): Sveti-Tshkoveli cathedral and in the background Jvari church on the hill
Picture of Sveti-Tshkoveli Cathedral (Georgia): Sveti-Tshkoveli: view of entrance from the outside
Picture of Sveti-Tshkoveli Cathedral (Georgia): Sveti-Tshkoveli cathedral: detail of the interior
Picture of Sveti-Tshkoveli Cathedral (Georgia): Sveti-Tshkoveli from outside itw own walls
Picture of Sveti-Tshkoveli Cathedral (Georgia): Sveti-Tshkoveli: inside impression during mass
Picture of Sveti-Tshkoveli Cathedral (Georgia): Sveti-Tshkoveli: detail of bell lying outside the cathedral with St George and the dragon
Picture of Sveti-Tshkoveli Cathedral (Georgia): Sveti-Tshkoveli: mass in this beautiful Mtshketa cathedral
Picture of Sveti-Tshkoveli Cathedral (Georgia): Sveti-Tshkoveli: view from outside the walls of the cathedral
Picture of Sveti-Tshkoveli Cathedral (Georgia): Sveti-Tshkoveli cathedral with grey sky in the background
Picture of Sveti-Tshkoveli Cathedral (Georgia): Sveti-Tshkoveli cathedral, its walls, and Jvari church in the background
Picture of Sveti-Tshkoveli Cathedral (Georgia): Sveti-Tshkoveli: main building of the cathedral

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