To a non-Georgian, Mtskheta’s near-mystical importance in Georgian culture is hard to describe. Containing some of the oldest and most important churches in the country, Mtskheta has been Georgia’s spiritual heart since Christianity was established here in about AD 327. It was capital of most of eastern Georgia from about the 3rd century BC to the 5th century AD, when King Vakhtang Gorgasali switched his base to Tbilisi. It remained a spiritual capital, however, and Mtskheta’s Svetitskhoveli Cathedral is still the setting for important ceremonies of the Georgian Orthodox Church. With an alluring setting where the Mtkvari and Aragvi Rivers meet, less than 25km from the centre of Tbilisi, Mtskheta makes a very easy and enjoyable day trip from the capital.