georgian version

Bakuriani

Bakuriani is a popular skiing resort in the Borjomi district of Georgia. It is located on the northern slope of the Trialeti Range, at an elevation of 1,700 meters (5,576 feet) above sea level. The region around Bakuriani is covered by coniferous forests (mainly made up of spruce).

The resort lies 30km from Borjomi and is located within the so-called Bakuriani Depression/caldera. The present-day area of the town was built up by the lava flows from the Mukheri volcano.

The highest mountain of the resort used for skiing is called Mount Kohta at around 2,200 meters (7,216 feet) above sea level. The climate of Bakuriani is transitional from humid maritime to relatively humid continental. The winters are cold and experience significant snowfall while the summers are long and warm.

The depth of snow from December to March is 64cm (25.2 inches). Bakuriani is also home to the well-known Botanical Garden of the Georgian Academy of Sciences.


Borjomi

Borjomi is a resort town in south-central Georgia with a population estimated of 14,445. It is one of the districts of the Samtskhe-Javakheti region and is situated in the northwestern part of the region in the picturesque Borjomi Gorge on the eastern edge of the Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park.

The town is famous for its mineral water industry (which is presently the number one export of Georgia), the Romanov summer palace in Likani, and the WWF-site Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park. Borjomi mineral water is particularly well-known in those countries which were a part of the former USSR; the bottling of mineral water is a major source of income for the area. Because of the supposed curative powers of the area's mineral springs, it is a frequent destination for people with health problems. Borjomi is also home to the most extensive ecologically-themed amusement park in the Caucasus.

Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park is protected by the World Wide Fund for Nature.


Tabatskuri alpine lake

Coordinates: 41o 39" N, 43o 37" E; Altitude: 1,989 m. a.s.l.

ClimateContinental, mountain climate. Winter very cold and snowy, summer cool. Annual precipitation below 700 mm (40 mm in January, 60 mm in April, 80 mm in July, 50 mm in October). Over 50 days with heavy rains per year. Around 150 days with snow cover. Mean temperature: January/– 8, April/2, July/12, October/8. Mean maximum temperature (July)/26 o C.

This area is a spectacular nature– watching site in the northern part of the Javakheti volcanic plateau in southern Georgia. It consists of a large subalpine lake with water surface of ca. 15 km2 and depth 22– 44 m, located in a mountain grassland setting, with a small fishermen" s village at the north– western coast. Wetlands are located north from the area. A one– day visit is possible from Bakuriani.


Timotesubani

The Timotesubani is a Georgian archeological monument preserved in the village with the same name in Borjomi Region. This is a large monastic complex of the XI-XVIII cc. with the Church of Falling Asleep of the Most Holy Theotokos (XII-XIII cc.) as its principal building.

The Timotesubani is built with pinkish "Georgian brick". The central-domical building of a drawn-in cross type has three lugged-out apses in the east. The cupola neck rests on two freely standing pillars and lugs of the altar wall. Later, they built a brick gate from the west of the building and a dressed-stone gate form the south.

The church interior is all painted. The frescoes are dated by the 20s of the XIII century at the latest and make the church one of the brilliant monuments of the Queen Tamara's epoch. With its iconographic program and content, the Church is unusually rich and is a typical Georgian monument.


Gelati Monastery Complex

The Monastery of the Virgin - Gelati near Kutaisi (Imereti region of Western Georgia) was founded by the King of Georgia David the Builder (1089-1125) in 1106.

The Gelati Monastery for a long time was one of the main cultural and intellectual centers in Georgia. It had an Academy which employed some of the most celebrated Georgian scientists, theologians and philosophers, many of whom had previously been active at various orthodox monasteries abroad or at the Mangan Academy in Constantinople. Among the scientists were such celebrated scholars as Ioane Petritsi and Arsen Ikaltoeli.

Due to the extensive work carried out by the Gelati Academy, people of the time called it "a new Hellas" and "a second Athos".

The Gelati Monastery has preserved a great number of murals and manuscripts dating back to the 12th-17th centuries.

In Gelati is buried one of the greatest Georgian kings, David the Builder (Davit Agmashenebeli in Georgian). In 1994, Gelaty Monastery was recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site.


Monastery city of Vardzia

The Cave City of Vardzia is a cave monastery dug into the side of the Erusheli mountain in southern Georgia near Aspindza. It was founded by Queen Tamar in 1185.

The monastery was constructed as protection from the Mongols. and consisted of over six thousand apartments in a thirteen story complex. The city included a church, a throne room, and a complex irrigation system watering terraced farmlands. The only access to the complex was through some well hidden tunnels near the Mtkvari river.

An earthquake in Samtskhe destroyed approximately two thirds of the city in 1283, exposing the caves to outside view and collapsing the irrigation system.

The church was reinforced and an externally visible bell tower added during the reign of Beka Jakheli in the thirteenth century.

Persians commanded by Shah Tahmasp I raided the monastery in 1551, capturing all important icons and effectively ending the life of the monastery.


Mtskheta

Mtskheta, one of the oldest cities of the country of Georgia (in Kartli province of Eastern Georgia), is located approximately 20 kilometers northeast of Tbilisi at the confluence of the Aragvi and Mtkvari rivers. The city (population 7,423 as of January 1, 2005) is now the administrative centre of the Mtskheta-Mtianeti region. Due to its historical significance and numerous ancient monuments, the "Historical Monuments of Mtskheta" became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994.

As you approach mtskheta, you get a thrill from pathetic prefection of its breathtaking vast space and become overwhelmed by the feelings as if you native land offers its heart to you. Going to mtkheta is like ritual,and when taking part in it you have to be alert but setimental if you want to experience the full enjoyment of being there.

Svetitskhoveli Georgian Orthodox cathedral (11th century, see photo) and Jvari Monastery (6th century) in Mtskheta are amongst the most significant monuments of Georgian Christian architecture, and are historically significant in the development of medieval architecture throughout the Caucasus. Of especial significant are early inscriptions, which form a valuable reference in the study of the origins of the early Georgian alphabet.

In the outskirts of Mtskheta is the ruins of Armaztsikhe fortress (3rd century BC), the Armaztsikhe acropolis (dating to the late 1st millennium BC), remains of a "Pompey's bridge" (according to legends built by Roman legionnaires of Pompey the Great in 1st century BC)


Svetitskhoveli Cathedral

Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (literally, "the Living Pillar Cathedral") is a Georgian Orthodox cathedral located in the historical town of Mtskheta, Georgia, 20 km (12.5 miles) northwest of the nation's capital of Tbilisi.

Svetitskhoveli, known as the burial site of Christ's mantle, has long been the principal Georgian church and remains one of the most venerated places of worship to this day. It presently functions as the seat of the archbishop of Mtskheta and Tbilisi, who is at the same time Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia.

The current cathedral was built in the 11th century by the Georgian architect Arsukisdze, though the site itself is even older dating back to the early 4th century and is surrounded by a number of legends associated primarily with the early Christian traditions.

It is the second largest church building in the country, after the recently consecrated Tbilisi Sameba Cathedral, and is listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site along with other historical monuments of Mtskheta.


Signagi

Sighnaghi (Signagi) is a town in Georgia's easternmost region of Kakheti and the administrative center of the Sighnaghi District. It is one of the country's smallest towns with a population of 2,146

Sighnaghi's economy is dominated by production of wine and traditional carpets. The town and its environs are also known for their landscapes and historical monuments.

Sighnaghi has recently underwent a fundamental reconstruction program and has become an important centre of Georgia's tourist industry.


Telavi

Telavi is the main city and administrative center of Georgia's eastern province of Kakheti. Its population consists of some 21,800 inhabitants. The city is located on foot-hills of Tsiv-Gombori Range at 490 meters above the sea level.

First archaeological findings from Telavi date back to Bronze Age. One of the earliest surviving accounts of Telavi is from the 2nd century AD, by Greek geographer Ptolemeus

Telavi is the only city in Georgia, where four fortification monuments from different historical periods remain relatively intact. Due to this reason, architects, scholars and art historians consider Telavi as the most "medieval" cities in the country. Another curious sight in Telavi is a 900-year-old sycamore (45 meters high, 12.4 meters around the trunk).

Other notable landmarks around Telavi include the Alaverdi Cathedral (11th century AD) - the second highest cathedral in Georgia after the newly built Tbilisi Sameba Cathedral, the Ikalto Academy (8-12th centuries AD) - where the famous Georgian writer Shota Rustaveli studied), the Church of St. George (dedicated to the patron saint of Georgia; it is said that in Georgia there are 365 churches in the name of St. George), ruins of the city and castle of Gremi (the former capital of Kakheti from the 15-17th centuries AD), Shuamta - a complex made up of three churches of different periods - 6th, 7th and 8th centuries in a highland forest, Akhali Shuamta ("New Shuamta" in English) - the monastery close to Dzveli Shuamta ("Old Shuamta" in English), built in the 16th century, the stunning Tsinandali Gardens (the residential Palace of Noblemen Chavchavadzes family) and many others.