One of the highlights of Tbilisi is to pay a visit to the remarkable Sameba Holy Trinity Cathedral. Although the Sameba Cathedral is relatively new, the impressive structure with the prominent golden dome is already iconic for Tbilisi. It is the tallest cathedral in Georgia and to show you how big it exactly is, I’m taking you there!
In Georgia roughly 80% of the country is Orthodox Christian. It isn’t the first time we heard of new churches being built in Georgia, however a cathedral this large shows how important religion still is. On a sunny day we wandered the Sameba complex, on a mission to take the photograph I’ve had in mind since I heard of the Sameba cathedral.
A few facts
The Sameba complex was constructed between 1995 and 2004. It consists of a main cathedral, a monastery, the residence of the Patriarch, a free-standing bell tower, a theological academy and 9 chapels within the cathedral, 5 of them being located under the ground. Surrounding the cathedral you’ll find rose gardens to peacefully wander through.
The square of the Sameba cathedral is about 5000 m2 and hold up to 15,000 people. The majestic stairs takes you up to the cathedral, from where you an amazing view over the premises and Tbilisi.
Financed by the richest of Georgia, the Sameba cathedral was constructed to celebrate the 2000th year of Christianity and the 1500th anniversary of the independence of the Georgian church.
You need a good 2 hours to explore everything there is to see. The cathedral is free to enter, although you should cover your hair and shoulders and wear a long skirt when you’re a woman. Other than that no shorts are allowed for men and women.
Sameba is located on the Elia hill, in the cute neighborhood of Avlabari. Combining your visit to the Sameba cathedral with this neighborhood would make a great half day trip within the city of Tbilisi. Shop in one of the small local stores or pay a visit to the presidential palace, which is located within minutes of the cathedral.
How to get there
The Sameba cathedral is located on the left bank of the Mtkvari river (or Kura river). When you decide to go on foot, take the stairs at Rike park to get to the road. From there it’s a curvy and steep path up to the cathedral. From Rike park you’ll reach it within 15- 25 minutes.
We took a taxi from Rike park to the Sameba cathedral because of the incredibly hot weather (and the fact that we decided to walk up there during the middle of the day, which is idiotic to begin with). Taking a taxi shouldn’t cost you much more than 7 GEL. We walked down on the way back, which was much easier.
Visiting the Sameba cathedral and Avlabari made a relaxing half day trip for us. Make sure you take enough time to take photos of this iconic landmark, as it is just asking for it! As always, when you did, make sure to tag me on social media or leave a comment below!
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