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Mtskheta_2019

Mtskheta is one of the oldest cities of Georgia and its former capital, it is located approximately 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of Tbilisi, at the confluence of the Mtkvari and Aragvi rivers. According to The Georgian Chronicles, Mtskheta was founded by Mtskhetos, the son of Kartlos, eponymous ancestor of the Georgians. It was capital of the early Georgian Kingdom of Iberia from the 3rd century BC to the 5th century AD. Mtskheta was a site of early Christian activity resulting in Christianization of Iberia, where Christianity was proclaimed the state religion in 337. It remains the headquarters of the Georgian Orthodox Church. In the 5th century AD, during the reign of Vakhtand Gorgasali, Svetitskhoveli Cathedral  was built in Mtskheta. Svetitskhoveli is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. It is currently the second largest church building in Georgia.