Georgia

History

History of Georgia is the history of struggling for freedom. Nearly all the largest empires in the world attempted to possess this land. But after all, we amazingly managed to survive and preserve our independence. There were times when several huge invaders at the same time struggled for having influence over Georgia. The reason of all these wars was strategic location of Georgia between Europe and Asia on the major trade artery – Silk Road.

Dmanisi Hominid
Dmanisi archaeological excavations prove the fact of ancient humans (hominids) living on the territory of Georgia. Human skull recently discovered here is 1.8 million years old and the most ancient on the territory of Europe. It means that Georgia is the homeland of the first European.

Greek era
The first signs of the state of Georgia emerged in II BC at the Black Sea coast. Wealthy Kingdom of Kolkheti ruled by legendary king Aieti was situated here. Heroes of the famous Greek myth “Argonauts” visited Georgia in this very period to grab the Golden Fleece. This story is connected to the method of gold mining in Georgia. In Mountain Rivers Georgians used sheep fleece to clean water from sludge and obtain gold.

The Romans

After the Romans pushed into Persia, they set their eyes on Georgia sending their famed general Pompey in 66 BC to conquer the country. Remains of the stone bridge built by Pompey still exist in Georgia. Soon all of Caucasia fell under Roman rule, but it did not last long, and by the I century BC Georgia was considered as an ally not a subject state.

Wine

Hectares of vineyards, Rtveli (Georgian harvesting) accompanied with polyphonic singing and clay vessels (Kvevri) full of wine – this is Georgia. Wine is everything here – everyone loves it. Every family will treat you with their own wine with great pleasure and pride. Vineyard is a sacred place for Georgians and winemaking – our beloved tradition. Country with population around 3.5 million, yearly produces approximately 150 million liters of wine.
Georgia has 8000 years of unbroken tradition of winemaking, which is proved by multiple archeological excavations and historical facts. The modern world recognized Georgia as the homeland of wine. According to one version, English word – wine derived from Georgian “ghvino”.
It is worth mentioning that Qvevri wine making method was included in UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage list in 2013. In Georgia, there are more than 500 different endemic species of grape, from which the best quality wine is made. Special and unique Georgian wines are: Saperavi, Rkatsiteli, Kindzmarauli, Tsitska-Tsolikauri, Khvanchkara, Tvishi, Usakhelauri, Ojaleshi, etc.

Geography

Georgia is a small country situated on the crossroad of Europe and Asia. From the south-east it has a border with Azerbaijan, from the south – with Armenia and Turkey, from the north – with Russia. The western part of Georgia is washed by the Black Sea. Tbilisi is a capital of Georgia founded in the fifth century.

Population of the country with total area of 69 700 square kilometers is 3 720 000 people. It is amazing but on this small land there are 26060 rivers and over 40 protected areas. That is why the vast part of the country is occupied by untouched nature.

Amazing nature and the diversity of this country was the source of inspiration for a lot of writers and poets. Here we have everything that the traveler can only dream about: mountains of eternal snow, mountain lakes, alpine meadows, canyon rivers full of flowers and fruit, palm coasts, natural canyons, ancient caves, mineral waters and sulfur water pools – thus this place is indeed a heaven on Earth!

Culture

You are about to discover a country of diverse culture, rich history and unique artifacts. Georgia is home to the first human outside of Africa who settled down here about 2 million years ago. Georgia is an ancient country at the crossroads of the Eastern and Western civilizations, where the European and Asian way of life and traditions merge for thousands of years. Indeed this country has a lot of amazing things to show you and tell you!

It is impossible to visit Georgia and not get charmed by its traditional architecture, that counts more than 1300 years. On the streets of the city, river canyons and mountain peaks you will see ancient unique domed temples painted with frescoes created based on Bible.

If you are looking for something very special and mystical, you should definitely visit the monastery complexes carved into the rocks:

Vardzia is a monastery complex built in the 12th century, which consists of churches carved into the rock, cells, secret tunnels and halls. This is one of the most eye-catching tourist attractions of the country.

Davit Gareja is a complex of monastery caves of the feudal era carved into the rock. Its walls are painted with ancient frescoes.

Uplistsikhe is a cave town. Yes, exactly the cave town and one of the most ancient settlements of the Caucasus. Caves, carved into a massive rock are firmly standing for thousands of years and even today keep their old appearance.

Religion

As one of the first countries in the world to convert to Christianity in just the 4th century AD today Georgia is distinguished for full religious freedom and tolerance. Here for centuries people of different faith and religion have coexisted peacefully.

Majority of the population is Christian orthodox. Georgia is one of the few countries where orthodox and catholic churches, synagogoues and mosques are built side by side.

In all regions of Georgia you will see ancient Christian churches stretched high in the sky that count thousands of years and some of that are in a list of UNESCO world heritage sites. Below are the most significant cultural monuments:

Svetitskhoveli Cathedral is Georgian architechtoral monument of XI century, located in 20 km from Tbilisi in a historical town Mtskheta. This place is especially mystical and holy, as according to the legend the Shroud of Christ is buried under the cathedral.

Jvari Monastery is both the church and the monastery of VI century that is situated on the East of Mtskheta. View of Mtkvari and Aragvi confluence stretched from here is one of the most beautiful and astonishing views in Georgia.

Gastronomy

Nothing tells you more about the spirit and culture of a country than its cuisine. Georgian national dishes are amongst the best in the world for their diversity and taste. Each historical province of the country has its own distinct culinary tradition that was refining for centuries. Especially distinguished and unique are Imeretian, Megrelian and Kakhetian cuisines.

While meat plays an important part in Georgian cuisine, very close attention is also paid to the locally produced vegetables, fruit and greens. Traditional dishes made of their accurate combination first attract you, then astonish you and eventually it all ends with gastronomic shock.

The secret of this taste is Georgian soil: natural extension of a fertile, mineral-rich landscape fed by the pure waters of the Caucasus Mountains. It seems that the nature harmoniously lives in products, that are being used to create unique, delicious, and organic Georgian dishes.

Traditional Georgian feast is called “Supra”. The list of dishes that will charm you at the “Supra” is endless, yet some of them should be distingished.

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