Georgia has the distinction of being the first country to declare Christianity as a state religion. The breaking up of the Soviet Union did bring lots of hard time on Georgia, but it also brought religious freedom. Something the religious leaders of Orthodox Christianity made the most of by declaring a competition to design a cathedral. The winner designed the Tsminda Sameba Cathedral, overlooking the entire city of Tbilisi. Sameba means The Holy Trinity in Georgian.
Deserving a mention on any tour itinerary to Tbilisi, Tsminda Sameba cathedral was our destination one evening after work. Made entirely from natural building materials, it was a splendid sight indeed.
Tsminda Sameba Cathedral is located at the top of the Elia Hill, on the left bank of the Mtkvari in the historic Avlabari district. Here is the gorgeous Tsminda Sameba cathedral pictured from its entrance.
The Tsminda Sameba cathedral overlooks the entire city of Tbilisi. Here is a picture of the city from its ramparts.
The Tsminda Sameba cathedral has a separate and rather large bell tower, apart from other buildings such as a residence of the Patriarch, a seminary, a monastery and also a theological academy.
After we left the Tsminda Sameba cathedral, I was still clicking photographs of the route down from the Sameba cathedral. Suddenly we were stopped by gun toting young Georgian soldiers. They called one of their colleagues who courteously asked for my camera in English, deleted some of the photographs and let us go.
Later I came to know that the residence of the President of Georgia, who happened to be Mikhail Sakaashvili back then, built as a replica of The Whitehouse is also located just below the Sameba cathedral.