Georgia celebrates day of legendary Svetitskhoveli cathedral in former capital Mtskheta

Svetitskhoveli cathedral is known as the burial site of the Christ’s mantle. Photo: 1TV., 14 Oct 2019 - 09:25, Tbilisi,Georgia

Today Georgia is celebrating the day of Georgia’s ancient capital city Mtskheta and its legendary cathedral, Svetitskhoveli. 

The cathedral, which allegedly houses the burial site of Christ's mantle, is a Georgian Orthodox cathedral located in the historical town of Mtskheta, 20 km northwest of Tbilisi.

Each year on this day hundreds of believers and guests traditionally visit Mtskheta and the cathedral located there. 

In Georgian "sveti" means "pillar" and "tskhoveli" means "life-giving" or "living", hence the name of the cathedral.

The original church at the side of the cathedral was built in the 4th century A.D. Photo: Tbilisi City Hall press office. 

The Svetitskhoveli Cathedral is the second largest church in the country [after the Holy Trinity Cathedral] and was built in the 11th century by Georgian architect Arsukisdze, although the site itself is older and dates back to the early 4th century [the original church was built in the 4th century A.D.]. 

It is surrounded by a number of legends associated primarily with early Christian traditions.

Svetitskhoveli is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site along with other historical monuments of Mtskheta.