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Mtskheta

town, Georgia, at the confluence of the Kura and Aragvi rivers, just northwest of Tbilisi. One of the oldest settlements of Transcaucasia, Mtskheta was the capital of Georgia from the 2nd to the 5th century AD. Of historical and architectural interest are the Cathedral of Sveti-Tskhoveli, the traditional burial place for the kings of Georgia, founded in the 4th century and reconstructed in the 15th and 18th centuries; the Samtavro convent; and the Dzhvari Church. Mtskheta's religious buildings were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1994. On a hilltop outside the town stand the ruins of the Armaz-Tsikhe Castle, the oldest in Georgia and the seat of the 2nd-5th-century Georgian kings. Pop. (2002) 7,718.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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