Jvari Monastery UNESCO Heritage Site

Jvari Monastery of Mtskheta, a UNESCO Heritage Site

Georgia is one of the unique countries that has plenty of UNESCO Heritage Sites. In fact, the country’s language, script and the dance forms are all recognised by UNESCO. And it is also home to many medieval churches and historical monuments, including the Sion Cathedral of Tbilisi and Jvari Monastery of Mtskheta.

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About Jvari Monastery

Being one of the Early Medieval Georgian churches, Jvari Monastery of Mtskheta is a sixth century Orthodox monastery. The church was listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. Located on top of Jvari Mount, Jvari Monastery’s name translates from Georgian language as the cross.

Jvari Monastery UNESCO Heritage Site

Jvari Monastery is a fine example of Tetraconch style and harmonic relationship between architecture and nature. With a shape of a cross, the church is an early adaptor of four-apsed church with four niches. The building has two entrances, one from the north and the other from the south.

Tetraconch meaning four shells is a building with four apses, one in each direction of equal size.

History of Jvari Monastery

According to history, in the early 4th century, Saint Nino erected a large wooden cross on the site of a pagan temple. Supposedly, the cross worked like a miracle and it drew a lot of pilgrims from all over the country and beyond. A small church was erected in circa 545 and was named the Small Church of Jvari.

Saint Nino, belonging to Greek speaking Roman family, was a woman credited to introducing Christianity in the region of Georgia.

Because the small church was not sufficient for all the pilgrim needs, the present Great Church of Jvari was built between 590 and 605. In 914, the church was burned by Arabs but it still managed to survive.

Beautiful bells at Jvari Monastery UNESCO Heritage Site

Visitor Information

Do not miss the views of the river confluence of Mtkvari and Aragvi as the views are spectacular.

  • You need to cover your head before entering the monastery. And you cannot enter the church wearing shorts.
  • There is no entrance fee to enter the monastery.
  • The monastery is open everyday between 9:30 AM and 5:30 PM.
  • Best time to visit the monastery is in the morning as there is less crowd.

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Behind the church - Jvari Monastery UNESCO Heritage Site

How to get to Jvari Monastery?

By Air

The closest airport (international and domestic) is at Tbilisi. Tbilisi has three major airports and the Shota Rustaveli Tbilisi International Airport is the busiest airport and is around 20 kilometres from the city centre. Many airlines, including Gulf Air, Emirates and Lufthansa operate from Tbilisi International airport.

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Jvari Monastery is around 40 kilometres from the Tbilisi International airport. The best way to reach the monastery from the airport is to hire a taxi.

By Road

The only way to get to Jvari Monastery is by road. You can either drive or hire a cab. The monastery is just around 25 kilometres from Tbilisi city and by road, the journey takes about 30 minutes.

By Public Transportation

There is no public transport from Tbilisi to Jvari Monastery. But you can take mini buses from Tbilisi city and the cost of one way on a mini bus is around $100.

One day trip to Jvari Monastery

I took a one day trip with Gamarjoba Georgia Tours, which was the tour from Tbilisi to the ancient city of Mtskheta. The one day tour included the visit to the important landmarks of Mtskheta: Uplistsikhe, Gori and Jvari Monastery. It was a 10 hours tour with pick-up/drop at their office in Tbilisi and the tour cost around USD 34. I booked the tour through Viator website.

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Stay near Jvari Monastery (Mtskheta)

Hotel Late

Location: 0.8 kilometres from city centre | Guest rating of 7.7/10 on Booking.com

Being the 4 star hotel in the area, Hotel Late is a beautiful stay with a garden, and a terrace. The accommodation also provides a tasty breakfast and has an in-house restaurant.

  • Internet: No Wi-Fi access.
  • Suitable for families, couples.
  • Nearest train station: Karsani – Around 3 kilometres.

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Golden Fleece

Location: 2.8 kilometres from city centre | Guest rating of 8.9/10 on Booking.com

With 24 hours front desk, Golden Fleece has variety of rooms, including the Presidential Suite. The rooms have flat screen television, air-conditioning and a balcony.

  • Internet: Free Wi-Fi.
  • Suitable for families, couples.
  • Nearest train station: Karsani – Around 5 kilometres.

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Oasis Mtskheta

Location: 250 metres from city centre | Guest rating of 9.4/10 on Booking.com

Oasis Mtskheta is a 3 star hotel with access to their garden and terrace. Some of their units have a full equipped kitchen, flat screen television, and a private bathroom.

  • Internet: Free Wi-Fi.
  • Suitable for families, couples.
  • Nearest train station: Karsani – Around 2 kilometres.

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Safety for Solo Female Travelers

Absolutely Yes! Georgia is one of the safest countries that I have traveled solo in. The people are very friendly and nice, and during my travels, I did not have any issues whatsoever. However, like any other place in the world, be cautious and know your surroundings, especially at night.

Are you new to solo female traveling? Read Frequently asked questions (FAQ) about solo female traveling.
View from Jvari Monastery UNESCO Heritage Site

Closing Notes

My travel in Georgia and Armenia was all about visiting various UNESCO Heritage sites and learning about the history and culture. During my stay in the two countries, I happened to visit more than 10 such historical monuments. It was an awakening and enlightening experience learning about the locals, history and their traditions.

If you love history or heritage, then visiting Jvari Monastery of Mtskheta must surely be on your list. It is a very beautiful place with so much history and story. I highly recommend visiting it during your travel.

Dogs in Georgia

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