According to the annals, in the 5th century, the king Vakhtang Gorgasali built here the first church and a fort, which also served as the royal residence. The first church symbolically resembled the church built on virgin Mary’s tomb in Gethsemane garden in Jerusalem. The church was burnt as a result of Mongol invasion in the 13th century. It was destroyed and restored many times since then. During the Soviet period, the authorities planned to destroy the church,but faced a great resistance of Georgian intellectuals led by the Georgian artist Dimitri Shevardnadze. The artist was executed, but the building was preserved. Later, it was used as a theater. In 1961, The equestrian statue of King Vakhtang Gorgasali by the sculptor Elguja Amashukeli was erected in front of Metekhi church. The church resumed functioning in 1988.