Visit Guide to Svetitskhoveli Cathedral

Georgia offers many ancient monasteries, churches; however, Svetitskhoveli is one of the most important monuments of the Georgian culture, art, and architecture; It’s listed in UNESCO heritage sites and is distinguished by the role that once played for the Georgian nation.

Getting There

You can use public transport, hire a taxi, or private car.

It takes about 40 minutes of driving from Tbilisi to Mtskheta.

What to Expect

The Svetitskhoveli Cathedral has the shape of a very elongated rectangle from east to west. The face of the cross is created in space with four arms outstretched on all four sides of the dome. The arms are rectangular, except for the east arm, which ends in an apse of the altar. To the south and north of the sanctuary are two storeys. The dome rests on four robust poles, with 16 windows in the dome.


The original church was built in the 4th century AD during the reign of Mirian III of Kartli (Iberia). Saint Nino is said to have chosen the confluence of the Mtkvari (Kura) and Aragvi rivers as the first Georgian church.