Mtskheta (Georgian: მცხეთა, translit.: mtskheta [mtsʰxɛtʰɑ]) is a city in Mtskheta-Mtianeti province of Georgia. One of the oldest cities of Georgia and its former capital, it is located approximately 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of Tbilisi, at the confluence of the Mtkvari and Aragvi rivers. Currently a small provincial capital, for nearly a millennium until the 5th century AD, Mtskheta was large fortified city, a significant economical and political centre of the Kingdom of Iberia.
Due to its historical significance and several cultural monuments, the “Historical Monuments of Mtskheta” became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. As the birthplace and one of the most vibrant centers of Christianity in Georgia, Mtskheta was declared as the “Holy City” by the Georgian Orthodox Church in 2014.
In 2016 the Historical Monuments of Mtskheta were placed by UNESCO under Enhanced Protection, a mechanism established by the 1999 Second Protocol to the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict.