Georgia – a country in the Middle East, located on the east coast of the Black Sea. Capital – Tbilisi; other major cities – Batumi, Kutaisi, Gori. If the western borders of the country are on the Black Sea, in the north lies the Big Caucasian Ridge. Countries with which borders Georgia – Russia, Armenia, Turkey and Azerbaijan. Currency – GEL.
All the rivers belong to the Black Sea or the Caspian basin. Chief among them are the Rioni and Kura. The highest peak – of Shkhara (5193.2 m). Rich in flora and fauna of the country. According to the calculations of botanists in Georgia more than 4,000 species of flowering plants. The climate is transitional: in the west – subtropical, on the east – moderate. Summer is hot and long.
In Georgia, many balneological and ski resorts. Here are some of them – Borjomi, Akhtala, Gudauri. The population, according to recent data, about 3.7 million people. The vast majority, of course, the Georgians (over 83%), but live in the country and the Russian and Abkhaz, Ossetians and other peoples of Transcaucasia. According to the state system, Georgia – parliamentary republic.
In terms of religion, most of the Orthodox population (over 84%); religious minorities are Muslims, Jews, Yazidis, Christians and Catholics of the Armenian Gregorian Church. The state language – Georgian; also widespread are Russian and English.
Vardzia Monastery – cave monastery complex in Georgia, dating back to the 12-13th centuries. It located in the valley of the Kura River, 60 km from the town of Akhaltsikhe. In addition to the monastery in the cave there are fortifications and churches. Presumably complex was built during the reign of Queen Tamara, although there is evidence that the first cave appeared during the reign of her father George III. Today Vardzia is one of Georgia’s most visited sites.
In order to get into the fortress Vardzia need to cross the bridge on the Kura. By the way, this fortress – paid object. Although far from the location of the other settlements, surrounded Vardzija useful infrastructure. Nearby you can find hotels, and catering places, and springs of drinking water, and the point of sale of local khachapuri, and souvenir stalls. Aside caves sent frequent bus from Akhaltsikhe and Akhalkalaki towns. Some tourists choose hiking route from Khertvisi that takes about three hours on a very scenic road.
The history of the monastery goes deep into the early Middle Ages. According to legend, the name appeared due shouts Tamara “Ak-Var, dziya!” (In the lane. “I’m here, Uncle”) during a game of hide and seek with the uncle. But this is just speculation. During the construction of this cave fortress had many problems at first hostile to the Mongols, then Turkish conquerors. In any case, at the end of the construction of Vardzia is a whole underground city and can accommodate up to 20 thousand people.
In the heart of the complex is the famous Temple of the Assumption, which stores some valuable frescoes. These are scenes of the Ascension, Assumption of the Virgin, as well as images themselves Georgian leaders – George III of, Queen Tamar. Today Vardzija considered the outskirts of the country, and once it was the center of a prosperous state through which the main traffic artery. The monastery, by the way, quite a bloody history. In the 16th century the Turks in it were burned alive all the monks.
The monastery once again became applicable at the beginning of the 18th century, after the Russian army was able to win it. Inside the caves is sometimes scary and cold. Therefore, tourists are advised to stock up on warm clothes and a thermos of hot tea. Tickets can be purchased at the foot of the reception.
Jvari Monastery – a working monastery on top of a cliff at the confluence of the Aragvi and Kura rivers; Georgia is one of the most interesting sights. Located near Mtskheta, which mountain slopes with superb views. Translated from the Georgian name of the monastery means “cross”. The story had a bit confusing, but it does not prevent tourists to enjoy the architectural beauty of the building.
In order to get to it is best to use the services of Mtskheta taxi drivers, because most of the passing buses and minibuses stop away from most attractions. On perfection of architectural forms of this monastery is one of the best in the country. In its construction tetraconch experimental architecture it has been used widely held in the territory of Armenia and Georgia. Presumably, the monastery was built in the VII century on the site where the Equal to the Apostles Nina put a cross.
By the middle of the VI century a small church stood on the mountain, from which there were only ruins. But in the beginning of VII century it was built a larger church became the center of the surrounding landscape.
Of course, over the centuries, the church has repeatedly deposited and there were destroyed. For example, in one of his invasions of Muslim invaders burned the temple and taken to a wooden cross. It was during the second half of the X century. Later, in his poem “Mtsyri” Lermontov mentioned some monastery in the confluence of the Aragvi and Kura. There is a version that it was about Jvari.
To date, all of the monastery complex remained only basic basil and dilapidated tower. In the center of the temple you can see the base, which was assigned to Holy Cross Equal to the Apostles Nina. Exterior facade of the temple is decorated with sculptural reliefs.
The interior space is decorated with mosaics, which is preserved to this day only partially. The monastery stands proudly right at the edge of the harsh rock. Panorama of the tumultuous river below and a spectacular Mtskheta. This is one of the most recognizable frames of Georgia.
Narikala Fortress – the most famous and ancient monument of Tbilisi; one of the most visited historical sites of Georgia. Castle complex on the slopes of Mount Mtatsminda existed in the IV century BC, although the exact time is contested ground. We only know that in those days it was called Shuris-Ciche.
This name came about because the Mongols. Geographically, the fortress is located in the old part of the Georgian capital, adjacent to the Botanic Gardens. You can reach it by bus 124 from the Rustaveli metro or funicular from the Rica Park. Its present appearance of the fortress acquired in the XIX century. Before that it was a lot of destruction.
It is believed that the fortress was originally an Arab, but with the advent of King David IV the Builder of the genus Bagration, it has been greatly expanded. In XVII-XVIII centuries. We carried out extensive restoration work, but followed in 1827 an earthquake destroyed everything. Therefore, the fact that today opens eyes of tourists, the result of hard work of the 1990s.
From the top of Mount Mtatsminda, you can spend hours admiring the Old Tbilisi. Many here just for this and come. Also, in the territory of Narikala archaeologists discovered the foundations of an ancient temple, which existed from the XII century. This is the church of St. Nicholas, which is rebuilt. Today, its interior walls are decorated with frescoes that display biblical scenes and the history of Georgia.
Rustaveli Avenue – Tbilisi central artery; the longest avenue in Georgia. On both sides of the street is buried in slender plane trees and numerous institutions. The total length of the avenue – almost 1.5 km. It got its name after the famous Georgian poet Shota Rustaveli, even before the beginning of the XX century the street was called Golovinsky prospectus.
Every tourist, who arrived in Tbilisi to visit his aims. The reasons for this are many. Firstly, on Rustaveli Avenue are a number of brand stores and outlets. Here are the flagship stores of the famous Borjomi mineral water, Georgian wines and other national products. Second Avenue, just teeming attractions. It is necessary to pass the bust of Pushkin in the park by the fountain, or the building of the National Museum of Georgia.
Not far from the Liberty Square, from which originates Avenue, located art gallery, which regularly hosts very interesting exhibitions. In addition to the attractions of the prospectus has sheltered many government and public buildings. Here and in the Parliament, and the Ministry of Justice, and city theaters. One of the main avenue of jewelry is undoubtedly the building of the theater Rustaveli.
Ends Avenue in the eponymous square with a monument to Rustaveli. The most convenient metro station – Freedom Square and Rustaveli. How to start a walk along the avenue does not really matter. The main thing is not to miss the whole of the historical and architectural value of the country’s most important streets.