Georgia - Sacartvelo
Once experienced this country will be with you forever due to its history, culture, religion and people. It is the country where everyone can find something to his own mind and interest. Georgia offers various types of tourism including sightseeing as it has numerous monuments – cult structures of early Christianity, ancient churches and monasteries hiding in the Caucasian Mountings. Hikers, trekkers, MTB bikers, skiers, rafters, snookers will enjoy unique landscapes with high mountains, rapid rivers, green meadows and beautiful sea. Food tourists will like legendary Georgian Hospitality in cheerful feasts with toasts and magnificent Georgian cuisine and wines.
Name of the country
Name of the country
Do you know that Georgians do not call their country Georgia. They call it Sakartvelo. The origins of the country name in English is obscure. One theory points to the Middle Ages when Christian crusaders swept through the region on their way to the Holy Land. At that time, it was part of the Persian Empire and the people here were known as "Gurj". They were also devotees of St George. Theory has it that the crusaders made the connection and named the country Georgia. These days, there's no mistaking the link to St George. A golden statue of the saint slaying a dragon dominates Tbilisi's central square. He is also Georgia's patron saint and the national flag featuring his red cross on a white background is everywhere.
The recorded history of Georgia dates back more than 4,000 years. The country is proud of the unique Georgian alphabet introduced in 5th century BC. Georgia is also one of the first world countries that adopted Christianity as the state religion in the first half of the 4th century.
Over the centuries, Georgia has been a home for people of different cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds.
Throughout its long and eventful history Georgia was the object of rivalry between Persia, Turkey and Russia, before being eventually annexed by Russia in the 19th century.
Spoken Georgian is like no other language you are likely to hear. It belongs to its own ancient linguistic group unlike any other language spoken outside the region. It includes rare sounds that many visitors may never have heard before. Some consonants, for example, are pronounced from the back of the throat with a sudden guttural puff of air. Georgian has its own unique 33-letter alphabet thought to be based on the sort of Aramaic spoken in the time of Jesus. To the untutored eye, the letters look very much alike. A squiggle too far and your "k" can easily turn into a "v" or a "p". But even without understanding it, Georgian writing is beautiful, a myriad of theatrical swirls and flourishes. Very fitting to a country of dramatic personalities.
Go to any flea market in Georgia and you're likely to stumble across a moustachioed face looking out at you amid the bric-a-brac. Sixty years after his death there's still a market for portraits of Joseph Stalin, the Georgian-born ruler of the former Soviet Union. As Georgia's most famous son, attitudes here towards "Uncle Joe" are complicated. After independence, many Stalin statues were torn down but now some are returning to town squares. Some older Georgians revere him as a strong leader, who defeated Hitler, and are proud that tiny Georgia produced someone who had such an impact on world history.
What's the highest mountain range in Europe? The Alps? Wrong. It is the Caucasus Mountains marking the border between Georgia and Russia. While the highest peak is in Russia, Georgia lays claim to the second highest, Shkara, which at 5,193m (17,040 ft) beats Mont Blanc by nearly 400m (1,312 ft). These dramatic mountains, with their terrifying hairpin roads and hidden villages cut off at winter, are the stuff of legend. In Greek mythology they were one of the pillars holding up the world. And it was here that Zeus tied up Prometheus, to have his liver eaten by eagles. Today they are increasingly becoming destination for climbers, walkers or sciers looking for adventure.
While many European nations have seen religious adherence fall in recent decades, the Orthodox Church in Georgia is booming. Attendance, adherence and respect for the Church are all growing. Over 80% of Georgians say they belong to the Church while its head, Patriarch Ilia II, is the most respected public figure by far, with popularity ratings over 90%. Dating back to the 4th Century, the Church helped the country keep its ancient musical traditions during the Soviet era and has been central to Georgians' sense of themselves since independence.
Georgia is in Europe, not the United States
The leafy boulevards of the Georgian capital Tbilisi look like Paris, and the English-speaking young hipsters wouldn't look out of place in Berlin. But take a look at a map and you'll find the former Soviet republic 1,000km (600 miles) east of the Bosphorus, marooned in Asia. One definition of Europe marks the Caucasus Mountains as its border, putting Georgia firmly in Asia. Other definitions place the whole Caucasus region, including Georgia, in Europe which is where most Georgians feel it belongs.
Georgia has an 8,000 year history of continuous wine making tradition, which is evidenced numerous archaeological discoveries.
Numerous displays related to wine making practices dating to millennia have been kept in Georgian museums.
The earliest traces of viticulture and wine were found in the ancient Neolithic settlements in the neighborhood of Dangreuli Gora (Shulaveri Hill, Cut Hill, Khrami Big Hill, Arukhlo Hill, Khizanaant Hill and others).
The majority of linguists agree that semantic meaning of the word “wine” is rooted only in Georgian language, and supposedly it is derived the verb “Ghvivili”. The root of the word, “ghv,” is purely Georgian and is found in many Georgian words.
Wild sorts of vine are still spread throughout Georgian territory. the 1980s, the forest vine has been included on Georgia’s the red list as an object of state protection.
Over 500 Georgian domesticated vine types are described in Georgia. Of those, around four hundred thirty are protected in various state and private collection vineyards.
UNESCO added the ancient traditional Georgian winemaking method using the Kvevri clay jars to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists.
18 appellations of origin of wines that have been registered in Georgia:
Tsinandali – is a dry white wine.
Gurjaani – is a dry white wine.
Vazisubani – is a dry white wine.
Manavi - is a dry white wine.
Kardenakhi - is a fortified white wine.
Tibaani – is a dry white wine.
Napareuli – are dry white and dry red wines.
Tvishi – is a dry to semi-sweet wine.
Atenuri – is a white sparkling wine.
Kindzmarauli – is a naturally semi-sweet red wine.
Akhasheni – is a naturally semi-sweet red wine.
Kvareli – is a red white wine.
Mukuzani – is a dry red wine.
Teliani – is a dry red wine.
Khvanchkara – is a naturally semi-sweet red wine.
Kakheti – is a dry white wine.
Outstanding Georgian Ladies
Outstanding Georgian Ladies
Tamar the Great of Georgia or Quine Tamar (1184- 1213) was born in Georgian Royal family belonging to Bagrationy dynasty. The period of her reign recognized as the apex of the Golden Age in the history of Georgia. Strong politician, a woman of wisdom, a daughter, a mother and a wife being coronized at the age of 18 as a co-regent she ruled several years under supervision of her father and after his death she came to throne as a Queen-regnant. During her reign Georgia experienced the period of political and military success and cultural achievements. At all the times she has been an important symbol in Georgian culture and has been canonized as the Holy Righteous Queen Tamar with her feast day on May 14th. During her reign construction of cave monastery of Vardzia was completed. The walls of the church Dormition has frescoes of Queen Tamar and George III. Vardzia is nowadays a functioning monastery and cultural and historical site receiving thousands of tourists coming from different parts of the world.
Georgia produced many famous and talented writes, actors, artists, sportsmen, politicians and amongst them are three women that Georgia is proud of:
Nona Gaprindashvili is a Georgian chess player, the sixth women's world chess champion, and first female Grandmaster. Born in Zugdidi, Georgia, she is the strongest female player of her generation. The 5-time world champion at the age of 75 she is still fit and displayed magnificent play at Worlds Senior Chess Championship 2016!
Maia Chiburdanidze is a Georgian chess grandmaster, and the seventh Women's World Chess Champion, the youngest one until 2010. She is the only chess player in history who has won nine Chess Olympiads.
Nana Ioseliani is a Georgian chess player. She has held the FIDE Woman Grandmaster title since 1980, and the International Master title since 1993.
Georgia has made a notable progress since 2004 in accelerating democratic reforms in different areas, including: public service, elections, judiciary, local governance and economic development. The 2012 parliamentary polls demonstrated Georgia’s maturity as a state for the conduct of democratic election and a peaceful transfer of power.
In June 2014, Georgia signed the Association Agreement with the Euroepan Union which entered into force in July 2016.
Georgia has successfully implemented the Visa Liberalization Action Plan (VLAP) with the European Union. In October 2016, EU states agreed to grant Georgian nationals visa-free travel to the Schengen zone. Visa-free travel will come into force in 2017.