Tsilkani
In the 4th century King Bakar, the son of Mirian III founded Tsilkani Cathedral located in the village of Tsilkani, 15km away from Mtskheta. The complex consists of the Holy Virgin‘s church and the wall dating back to the 8th century. During the reign of Vakhtang Gorgasali (5th century) on the place of the church, another three-nave basilica was built that was converted into a dome church in the 7th century. Later on it was renovated a couple of times. The church consists of three structures: a hall type church (the end of the 4th century) three-nave basilica (5th -8th centuries), and a domed church. At the end of the 19th century, the church was rendered. There are some fragments of paintings and lapidary writings on the inner walls that survived over the centuries. One of the Assyrian Fathers, Ise Tsilkneli lived in Tsilkani in the 6th century. He is said to have initiated the construction of Tsilkani irrigation canal called “Irrigation stream”. Through the centuries the following calligraphists, scholars and poets were engaged in scholarly activities: Eprem Tsilkneli, mentioned in the 11th century manuscript of Jacob’s prayer, the calligraphist Bassil (16th century), Joseph Samebeli working for the Georgian printing house, the bibliophile Christopher Tsilkneli (18th century) as well as Arsen Manglel-Tsilknel-Tbileli. (18th century). It is also important to recognize the activities of Ambrosi Mikadze (known as Tsilkneli), who wrote a book entitled the “Confession Book” (1789 ). Bishop and scholar John Karumidze (18-19 centuries) also was involved in many intellectual and scholarly pursuits here at Tsilkani.