Samtavisi Cathedral is a good example of classical Georgian architecture.
The name Samtavisi can be translated as three-headed (three themselves, tavi – head). The construction of the cathedral dates back to the 5th century AD under the rule of Vakhtang Gorgasali.
In the middle of the 6th century, Father Isidor Samtavisi founded a diocese here. You can find frescoes depicting the father of Isidore. After his death, he was buried in Samtavisi Monastery.
Throughout its existence, the cathedral was repaired several times. In the 16th century a large reconstruction was carried out due to the collapse of the dome.
Today Samtavisi is first of all a cathedral. Around the cathedral you can see the remains of the buildings of the monastery. Only one small church has reached our days.
Inside the cathedral you can find the tomb of Isidore of Samtavis. Also, gravestones of members of the princely family are embedded in the floor of the cathedral.
It is worth noting that the Samtavisi Cathedral is considered the benchmark of Georgian medieval architecture.