Historians date Mtskheta back to the 2nd millennium B.C. Mtskheta was the capital of the Georgian Kingdom of Iberia between 500 BC and 500 AD. Georgians adopted Christianity in the 4th c. and thereafter Georgians, Byzantines, Persians, Arabs and Mongols traded control of the territory until the Russian annexation in the 19th century. Important ancient architectural monuments include Jvari Monastery 6th c and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral 11th c. and Samtavro Monastery, 11th c. Shiomgvime Monastery, 6th c, is located near Mtskheta, hidden in the rocky mountains.