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Tbilisi

Tbilisi formerly known as Tiflis, is the capital and the largest city of Georgia, lying on the banks of the Mtkvari River with a population of roughly 1.152 million inhabitants. Founded in the 5th century by the monarch of Georgia's ancient precursor Kingdom of Iberia, Tbilisi has since served, with intermissions, as the Georgian capital. Formerly, the city had also served as the seat of the Imperial administration of the Caucasus during the Russian rule from 1801 to 1917, the capital of the short-lived Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic in 1918. Located on the southeastern edge of Europe, Tbilisi's proximity to lucrative east-west trade routes often made the city a point of contention between various rival empires throughout history and the city's location to this day ensures its position as an important transit route for global energy and trade projects. Tbilisi's varied history is reflected in its architecture, which is a mix of medieval,classical, and Soviet structures. xx Historically, Tbilisi has been home to people of diverse cultural, ethnic, and religious backgrounds, though it is overwhelmingly Eastern Orthodox Christian. Notable tourist destinations include cathedrals like Sameba and Sioni, classical Freedom Square andRustaveli Avenue, medieval Narikala Fortress,  and the Georgian National Museum and etc. According to an old legend, the present-day territory of Tbilisi was covered by forests as late as 458. One widely accepted variant of the legend of Tbilisi's founding states that King Vakhtang I Gorgasali of Georgia went hunting in the heavily wooded region with a falcon (sometimes the falcon is replaced with either a hawk or other small birds of prey in the legend). The King's falcon allegedly caught or injured a pheasant during the hunt, after which both birds fell into a nearby hot spring and died from burns. King Vakhtang became so impressed with the hot springs that he decided to cut down the forest and build a city on the location. The name Tbilisi derives from the Old Georgian word "Tpili", meaning warm. The name 'Tbili' or 'Tbilisi' ('warm location') was therefore given to the city because of the area's numerous sulphuric hot springs that came out of the ground.

 

Batumi

Batumi is a city you easily fall in love with due to its unique blend of subtropical coastline and beaches, framed by spectacular snow-capped mountains and boasting a legendary nightlife. The health restoring qualities of this combination of sea and mountain air is renowned. Perhaps it is a reason why Georgia has an unusually high number of centenarians. The fields around the city are mostly tea and citrus plantations, spotted with ancient ruins and their sweet fragrance diffuses throughout the area. Just 9 km north of Batumi at Mtsvane Kontskhi (Green Cape), the Batumi Botanical Garden grows thousands of beautiful species of plants – there are over 1,200 species of roses alone. Thanks to Adjara’s unique micro-climate, gardens can grow an astonishing variety of plants from different regions and climates, all side by side. Marvel at the full impact of so many species together in one place, or simply breathe in the scent from these spectacular plants.

 

Bakuriani

Bakuriani, the great mountain resort of Georgia, is a feast for snow-lovers and skiers. It is an internationally known winter sports centre, built to Olympic standards and many sportsmens come here to practice. But novices and children enjoy their first winter sports steps in this winter paradise as well. Off the slopes, one of the most interesting places to visit in Bakuriani is the Botanical Garden, which opened in 1910. Over 1.500 species of plants provide a rich collection of Alpine and Sub-Alpine vegetation.

Signagi

Signagi Signagi Fortified town, 18th century.  The name of the town comes from Turkish word “Siğnak” meaning a shelter - has had a rich history as a central hub for tradesmen and artisans.The winding cobblestone streets, Italianate architecture, and 18th century walls create a charming atmosphere. Down the hill from the main town are several historic churches. Stay the night and enjoy the hospitality of the innkeepers and restaurateurs. In the current form of a town Sighnaghi originated on the ruins of a previously existing fortress in the second half of the 18th century during the reign of King Erekle II. Sighnaghi museum shows many archaeological, ethnographical and medieval exhibits and artefacts including musical instruments, weapons, clothes and many other historical items of everyday life. The most remarkable exhibition is the paintings of Niko Pirosmanashvili, the greatest Georgian self-taught artist of the XIX century. Monastery, 4-9th centuries; Sighnaghi District. History ascribes building and decorating the temple to the first Christian King of Georgia Mirian and his son Bakar. This is where St. Nino, enlightener of all Georgians, died and was buried. The church acquired its current shape in the 9thcentury. In 1823 it was restored and painted. Bodbe has always been an important monastic and educational center and had a significant role in the political life of the country. It managed to retain its importance as a spiritual center in the Caucasus throughout the years when Georgia was part of the Russian Empire (19th century).

Sairme

Sairme The first mention of the waters Sairme was found in the sources of the 1890s. According to popular legends among the people, two brothers - the  hunters who were pursuing the trail of a wounded deer found water Sairme. Water flowed over the stones red with oxide and all around it was white with salt. Deer often came here for salt and water. They called the water Sairme because of their number (the origin of the name comes from the Georgian word which in translation means "deer"). Shepherds also paid attention to this area because of the amazing events. They noticed that in a place that was at a distance of about 3 km from the source of deer, grass was steady green, the snows never lie, and the earth was already dry in a few minutes after the rain. The veil of mystery of a magic glade was filmed in the 20th century when geologists discovered hot mineral water in the land. The water is rich in calcium bicarbonate, which strengthens the skeletal system and helps to stop the inflammatory process. Carbonated mineral water is used for restoring the function of the liver, urinary tract, kidney and gastrointestinal tract. It promotes the breakdown of harmful substances formed as a result of metabolism. Sairme Springs – (not carbonated) is used in medical procedures as well as in cosmetology.

Borjomi

Borjomi The Borjomi-Likani recreation complex is situated 150 km from Tbilisi in the Borjomi gorge-one of the most beautiful regions of Georgia. The resort is 807 meters above sea level. The average annual temperature is 9.1 C (+19.3 in summer and 0 in winter). Built in 1895 by French architect Benoit, the elegant palace once owned by Russian emperors (the Romanovs) is erected at the embankment of the Mtkvari river and is surrounded by a beautiful park extended by forest, enhancing the natural beauty of the resort. The resosrt’s main asset is Borjomi, the mineral water used for the treatment of chronic gastric and intestinal diseases, gall bladder and kidney diseases, metabolic dysfunction, heart problems and nervous pathologies.

Zugdidi

Zugdidi ( literally "big hill") is a city in the Western Georgian historical province of Samegrelo (Mingrelia). It is situated in the north-west of that province. The city is located 30 km. from Black sea coast and 30 km. 100–110 metres above sea level. As of 2007, it had a population of 75,900. The city is the capital of the Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti region which combines Samegrelo (Mingrelia) and Svaneti. The name "Zugdidi" means "big/great hill" in Laz and Mingrelian. Architectural sights of this city are Queen's palace and Niko's palace (now the Dadiani Palace museums, both of the 19th century), Blachernae St. Virgin (1825–1830) and Mantskhvar-kari (10th–14th centuries) Churches. There are also an old Botanical Garden (Queen's Garden) and the city boulevard. Historically Zugdidi was a capital of principality of Mingrelia (Odishi) until 1867, when the principality was abolished by the Russian Empire. In 1993 there was an administration of first President of Georgia Zviad Gamsakhurdia. Napoleon’s death mask is on display in the Dadiani Palace Museum in Zugdidi, but the main treasure of this museum is a Shroud of Mary, the mother of Jesus. The biggest hydroelectric power plant of Georgia is Engurhesi. The construction is placed on  the river Enguri and creates impressive lake behind it.

Kutaisi

Kutaisi Location above the sea level – 80 -100 meters. Foundation of Kutaisi traces back to more than 3500 years. According to Greek mythology Jason stole golden fleece from Kutaisi . ancient names: Aea/Aia, Kotais, Kutatisi, Kutaïssi, is Georgia's second largest city, legislative capital, and the capital of the western region of Imereti. One of the most beautiful cities of Georgia – Kutaisi, is located in Imereti - also rarely beautiful region. The city, as a settled place was born (founded) near the mouth where the River Rioni’s narrow and deep gorge outfalls to the plain. Kutaisi is considered as one of the oldest cities in the world. The old Greek history and mythology dates the city by the “Epoch of Minos” (XVII-XV centuries B.C). The well known “Argonautica”, which express the tidings older then 3300 years, is totally focused on the main city – Kutaisi. Starting from the ancient times and even later in feudal age, Kutaisi endured its leadership position in western Georgia. From 8th century it is a capital of United Kingdom of Egrisi and Abkhazia. In 10th century the importance of Kutaisi is getting(emerging) even bigger as it becomes the first capital of United Kingdom of Georgia and the residential place for King Bagrat III. As a symbol of Unity of the country, he built a beautiful “Bagrati” Cathedral in Kutaisi. Kutaisi was capital of United Georgian Kingdom for 124 years after that. During the period of David the Builder, the unique architectural monument – “Gelati” Monastery and higher Ecclesiastic Academy was build near Kutaisi. Despite of loosing the status of capital, Kutaisi has never lost its place in History of Georgia. Kutaisis is still a cultural, political, educational and tourist center of the country. In 2011 Mikheil Saakashvili, the president of Georgia, signed a constitutional amendment relocating the parliament to Kutaisi. On 26 May 2012, Saakashvili inaugurated the new Parliament building in Kutaisi.

 

Gudauri

Gudauri is situated at over 2.000 metres above sea level on the Georgian military road near the Cross Mountain Pass of the main Caucasus range, about 120 km from Tbilisi. Even in mild winters it offers reliable snow cover from November to May. The total length of groomed ski runs are over 20 km and are suitable for all skiers, from beginners to experts. Gudauri is well known for its winter activities and hosts ski and snowboard competitions and sports festivals every year. It is also a great summer destination, offering bird watching, trekking, horseback riding and rafting.

Gori

Gori The original fortress, constructed on a hilltop was named Gori (meaning hill in English) and was mentioned in Georgian annals as early as the in the VII century. Some historians believe that the fortress was built by Byzantine Caesar Heraclius to store ammunition when he fought against Persians. However, just after the XI century the area became an active centre for trade: according to some historians, it's because David the Builder has founded the town. Because of its geographical location, enemies frequently targeted the fortress, as conquering it meant controlling the whole Shida Kartli region. The fortress has been invaded many times and controlled by Ossetians, Iranians and Persians, amongst others. The stronghold has been destroyed and rebuilt many times. The fortress was built in 1774, during the reign of Erekle II, but it was significantly damaged during an earthquake in 1920. The Stalin Museum includes the memorial house where Joseph Stalin (1879-1953) was born, a museum building with a tower and Stalin’s personal carriage he used to visit Tehran, Yalta, and Potsdam. There are many unique exhibits displayed here, including Stalin’s personal belongings and collections of paintings, photos, films and other important historical works and items.

 

 

 

Mestia

Mestia Municipality of Mestia is an administrative-territorial region in Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti. Mestia is one of the attraction monuments of Georgian architecture and ethnography. Temporal, cult and defence works of middle ages are well kept here. The following cult works are important: Our Savior two level church (XIII-XIV ages), the walls of which retain the fragments of a fresco painting; church of the holy Virgin (Lamaria) with medieval paintings and inscriptions; church of the Archangels and Fust. There are also preserved Svan fortresses-the united fenced complex, which enters the tower, the other living and agricultural dwellings attached to it.

Anaklia

Anaklia is a town and seaside resort in western Georgia. It is located in the Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti region, at the place where the Enguri River flows into the Black Sea. The earliest settlement on Anaklia's territory dates back to the mid-Bronze Age and is typical to the Colchian culture. After the fragmentation of the Kingdom of Georgia in the 15th century, it was an important fortified town, sea port and fishing station within the Principality of Mingrelia. In 1723, the town was captured by the Ottoman Empire and converted into its maritime outpost and slave-trading locale. Coast of Anaklia is about 8 km in length, and in the distance of more than 1 km, there’s the resort promenade, and some comfortable hotels are placed along it. At the western end of the promenade begins the 540-meter pedestrian bridge that connects the resort to the village Ganmukhuri, located on the opposite side of the Enguri River. Anaklia is located on flat terrain, bordered on the north western spurs of the Greater Caucasus Mountains Range, which can be perfectly viewed in clear weather, directly from the sea coast. The mountains are located at a distance of approximately 40 – 45 km. The area between the mountains and the sea is quite densely populated; there are many villages, whose inhabitants – Megrelians – engaged mainly in agriculture.

Akhaltsikhe

Akhaltsikhe formerly known as Lomisa is a small city in Georgia's southwestern region of Samtskhe-Javakheti. It is situated on the both banks of a small river Potskhovi, which separates the city to the old city in the north and new in the south. City of Akhaltsikhe in dated to the IX c.  It was built by Gvaram  Mampali – the young son of Ashot I kurapalati – the king of Tao – Klarjeti. Its original name was Lomsia. Akhaltsikhe was first mentioned in historical annals in 1204 in connection with the battle of Basiani. City of Akhaltsikhe consisted of three parts: city, fortress and citadel. The fortress was surrounded by three lines of walls, including gates and watchtowers. Via tunnels it connected to the suburbs of the town. Different institutions such as “ saajo kari” – court, “ Sachurchle Sakhli”, ” Zarapkhana” – mint, “ Zardakhana” – arsenal, Caravanserais, Guest -  houses, Bath – house, Churches, as well as mosque, madrassah and minaret built in the II half of the XVIII c.  were located on the area  of the fortress. Citadel was the residence of the ruler initially of Torel – Akhaltsikheli , then  Atabag Jaqeli.



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