Georgia / Manzara Tourism - Various Tours in Uzbekistan, Central Asia and along the Great Silk Road
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Georgia

Map of Georgia

Georgia is called a sunny land. And though there are other republics, lavish with sun, it is generally agreed that this colloquialism is attributive of Georgia. And it is natural enough since a resident of temperate zones perceives Georgia as the place of rest and fun, the land where the blue sea comes close to the boulevard, where golden grape grows and where roses blossom. In a word, Georgia is associated with south. This is no surprise because sunny Georgia is situated at the latitude of Southern Italy. It occupies the central and western parts of the Southern Caucuses. In the north it borders on Russia, in the east on Azerbaijan, in the south on Armenia and Turkey, in the west it is washed by the Black Sea. Georgian history was not placid at all. The country alternately either gained its sovereignty, or found itself under the domination of more powerful states. In the 6th century B.C. on the territory of modern Georgia there appeared Kolchida kingdom. At the same time Greek colonies Dioscurium (Sukhumi) and Phasis (Poti) were founded here. In the 4th century B.C. there was formed Iberia (Kartlia) Kingdom with its capital in Mtskheta. In 523 the Persians conquered Kartlia and shifted the ruler's residence to Tbilisi. In the 7th century most of Georgia was conquered by the Arabs.

The advancement of the country started after the invaders were driven out. In the 9th century there appeared large independent principalities and two centuries later they merged into one kingdom. In the 11th - 12th centuries during the reign of Tsar David Constructor and Tsarina Tamara the country became a powerful state. Then again came the time when Georgia had to endure wars and invasions. In the 13th century the country was captured by Mongols; a century later the troops of Temur invaded the country; in the 17th century the long-suffering Georgian population was conquered by shah Abbas from Iran. In the middle of the 18th century sovereign Georgian kingdom was proclaimed again, and in 1801, it became part of Russian empire.

In 1922, after the civil war, Georgia together with Armenia and Azerbaijan was included into Caucasian Federation, and in 1936 became one of the union republics of USSR. In 1991 Georgia proclaimed its independence.

  Georgia  Georgia

Presumably there are not many countries in the world which are as rich in architectural monuments as Georgia. Here on a comparatively small territory there are more than ten thousand monuments of archeology, history, architecture and art, along with multiple nature attractions. And all of them as a rule are situated in populated accessible places, and do not demand from the tourists much experience. Besides, there are about three hundred health resorts in the country: seaside resorts, mountain resorts, climatic and balneotherapeutic resorts, mud cure resorts.

Georgia

Georgia is a mountainous country. Mountains start directly from the seaside and rise up higher than the clouds. The Great Caucasus! The empire of rocks and canyons, mountain forests and pastures, crowned with eternal snows. The world of wholesome beauty and abundance of nature wealth. It is a mighty barrier not only for winds and cold. In bygone days its steep slopes served as reliable fortress protecting the country from enemy's invasions. Majestic Elbrus Mount and Kazbek Mount, poetized in different languages, flank the mountain chain on both sides. In the upper reaches of the Inguri river the Svaneti mountain range fences Svanetia - the country of aeries and stone towers. A highway has been laid here above the breath taking precipices. In the west the Kolkhid lowland approaches the sea. Ancient Argonauts from Greece sailed up to legendary Kolkhida in search of "golden fleece". This area is a kind of "green house" in the open, the richest from among the subtropical regions of the country.

The northern outline of Southcaucasian upland is occupied by Lesser Caucasus. Its sumptuous ivy slopes rise above Batumi coastline of the Black Sea, whereas its mountain forests landscapes decorate regions of popular health resort Borjomi and Georgian mountain ski capital - Bakuriani.

Southern Caucasia lowlands occupy the territory between Great and Lesser Caucasus. Apricot, quince and citrus gardens, rows of eucalyptus trees, bamboo groves, mounds covered by tea plantations, and vineyards - these are the dominating features of the country's modern subtropical landscape.

All around Georgia there are nature and historical places of interest, including those of the world importance. Getting acquainted with ancient monuments it should be remembered that Georgia is the Christian country, which adopted Orthodoxy already at the beginning of the 4th century. That's why the majority of temples and monasteries practice Christianity.

Georgia

The capital of Georgia is Tbilisi - one of the ancient cities of the world which is one and half thousand years old. Traditionally the old part of the city attracts the guests of the capital; it is situated at the foothills of the mountain Mtatsminda. Being built up with two- or three-story houses of distinctive "Tbilisi architecture", with galleries and carved wooden balconies, hanging above narrow streets, with rock slopes above the Kura river, with cable railway and famous sulphury bath houses, the whole old city is a historical-cultural monument. Here in the center of the city one can see the ruins of Naricala fortress founded in the 4th century, the majestic Sion cathedral of the 5th century - the residence of the Georgian Catholicos, the church of Holly Mary built in the 6th century, Metehi temple (the 13th century), Betlemi temple (the 16th century), and other magnificent structures. The city has always been noted for its high level of science education and culture. There are 11 higher educational establishments here, including one university. Today the city has 14 theatres and 18 museums. The Georgians boast of the "golden fund" exhibited in Tbilisi art museum: unique articles of Georgian medieval applied art. The collection represents articles made of precious metals and stones and decorated with enamel. Among them one can see the national relic - the cross of Tsarina Tamara.

In old times Tbilisi was one of the centers on the Great Silk Road that reached shores of the Black Sea. And now the Georgians actively participate in the revival of ancient arterial road.

Georgia

Not far from Tbilisi there is a place of worship for any Georgian - the ancient capital of the country Mtsheta with its famous monastery and temple Djvari ("Cross"), built in the 6th century. Another center of attraction in this town is the cathedral Svetitskhoveli ("Life giving Pillar") - the construction of the 11th century.

The ancient capital of Kolkhida and Imereti kingdoms - Kutaisi is one of the most peculiar towns in the country. Of great interest to the visitors are the colorful embankment Riony with "hanging verandas", art gallery, and the famous ruins of the cathedral of the Blessed Virgin. Not far away there is Dinosaur plateau, Sataplia caves, three-step waterfall the height of which is more than two hundred meters. Near Kutaisi, in the foothills of the Samargul mountain range there is located the famous spa Tshaltubo.

Temples and monasteries are the most distinctive and interesting historical and architectural monuments. At the same time cult structures have unique features. For many centuries they were used not only as religious centers, but as fortresses as well, to protect local population from enemy's attacks. That is why the architecture of these construction combines the features of a church and those of a fortification structure. Simple and strict in their forms with typical for the Southern Caucasus conical domes, Georgian churches harmoniously blend with the surrounding landscapes.

Georgia

Georgian climate is favorable for visiting country all year round and the nature provides abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables. At the same time the country extracts coal and manganese, produces steel and cast iron; it has an advanced machine-building industry, produces chemical fibers and fertilizers, and develops light and food industries. Georgia today is a secular sovereign social and legal state. The republic has undergone many ordeals. But there are no doubts that it will overcome all difficulties on its way to democracy.