MtskhetaMtskheta was the ancient capital of the Eastern Georgian Kingdom from the Third Century BCE to Fifth Century CE. It was also the location where Christianity was proclaimed as the kingdom’s official religion and continues to function as the headquarters of the Georgian Orthodox Church. The city is very small and is just a 20 minute drive from the capital of Tbilisi. Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (The Life Giving Pillar Cathedral). Svetitskhoveli is one of the most sacred places in Georgia in mtskheta and, along with Jvari Monastery, the clear highlight of a trip to Mtskheta. It was founded in 1010, built on the site of Georgia's first church, and contains the graves of the ancient Georgian kings, including Sidonia, who was said to have been buried holding Christ's robe. There are many (unaggressive) beggars at the entrance gate.
We can visit to Samtavro (Place of the Ruler) (to the north up the main road, within easy walking distance from the Svetitskhoveli complex). According to legend, St. Nino lived on this site and prayed within the smaller of its two extant churches. This small church dates from the 4th century. The larger church on this site was built in the 11th century and contains the graves of Mirian, the Georgian king who adopted Christianity, and his wife.
Here are some traders and a small shop in front of the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral where you can buy souvenirs .