Manglisi is a small town nestled on the southern slope of the Trialeti Range in the Kvemo Kartli region of Georgia. Being part of the Tetritskaro municipality, it straddles the left bank of the Algeti River. This area is famous for its historical significance, marked by the abundance of ancient archaeological sites, including Bronze Age kurgans discovered in the Beden Plateau.

In its early days, Manglisi was an essential settlement in classical antiquity and was further developed due to its crucial role in linking Shida Kartli with the south of Georgia, Armenia, and Byzantium. Its significant contribution to the spread of Christianity in Georgia is marked by the establishment of the first church in the IV century. The historical records by Leonti Mroveli highlight Manglisi as one of the most prominent cities of Kartli during the first half of the IV century. Later, it became an episcopal center and administrative unit, further enhancing its importance.

However, the village lost its significance due to the incessant wars during the late feudal period, leading to depopulation and its use as a pasture by Turkmen tribes. The XIX century brought about a resurgence with the establishment of a Russian army unit and the creation of a new settlement by retired southern servants.

Today, Manglisi is home to a critical monument of Georgian architecture – the Manglisi Sioni, a beautiful cross-domed structure. This church was initially built in the 30s of the IV century, replaced in the second half of the V century, and had its architecture altered by Giorgi the First in the early XI century.

Manglisi is situated about 56 kilometres (approximately 35 miles) west of Tbilisi, Georgia's capital, and is about 1,200 metres (approximately 3,940 feet) above sea level. It has a subtropical climate, making it a preferred mountain spa and health resort. The town's name, Manglisi, is believed to have derived from the Old Georgian word "mangali," meaning "sickle." This etymology indicates the possible ancient Moon cult's influence, which endured in the Georgian religious belief system well into the Christian era.

The early Bronze Age saw Manglisi as a significant part of a broader region characterized by a kurgan culture. As per Georgian historical tradition, Manglisi was one of the earliest church establishments in Kartli, following King Mirian's conversion to Christianity in the 330s. It remained an important ecclesiastical center for centuries, although it faced periods of decline due to foreign invasions, notably during Timur's campaigns.

Despite its periods of decline, the legacy of Manglisi endures. The town continues to house the Manglisi Sioni Cathedral, a medieval gem that attracts tourists and historians alike. The rich tapestry of Manglisi's history serves as a poignant reminder of Georgia's past, its religious transitions, and its architectural heritage.

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