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Svetitskhoveli Cathedral is a Georgian Orthodox cathedral located in the historical city of Mtskheta, Kartli region, 20 km northwest of the nation's capital of Tbilisi. 

The original Church was constructed in 4th century A.D. during the reign of Mirian II. St. Nino is said to have chosen the fusion of the Mtkvari and Aragvi rivers as the place of the first Georgian Church. In the 1st century AD, a Georgian Jew from Mtskheta named Elias was in Jerusalem when Jesus was crucified. Elias bought Jesus’s robe from a Roman soldier at Golgotha and brought it back to Georgia. Returning to his homeland, he was met by his sister Sidonia who upon touching the robe suddenly died from the emotions engendered by the holy object. The robe could not be moved away from her grasp, so she was buried with it. The place where Sidonia is buried with Christ’s robe is kept in the Cathedral. Later, from her grave grew a huge cedar tree. Ordering the cedar chopped down to construct the church, St. Nino had seven columns made from it for the church’s foundation. The seventh column, however, had magical power and rose by itself into the air. It returned to earth after St. Nino prayed all night long. It was further said that from the magical seventh column a holy liquid flowed that cured people of all diseases. In Georgian “sveti” means "pillar" and tskhoveli means "life-giving" or "living", therefore the name of the cathedral.

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