Category Archives: Info About Georgia

Anaklia

Anaklia is a seaside resort in Western Georgia. Its coastline stretches 8 km along the Black Sea, and there are several modern hotels. At the western end of the promenade the longest pedestrian bridge in Europe (540 meters!) connects the resort to the village of Ganmukhuri, located on the opposite side of the Inguri River.

Sandy beaches and sunny weather attract several music festivals to the town. As its popularity grows, Anaklia is poised to become the hottest new destination for summer holidays in Georgia.

You can get to Anaklia from Zugdidi, the central city of the Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti province, via a minibus or private taxi.

Gori

The original fortress, constructed on a hilltop, was named Gori (meaning hill in English), and was mentioned in the Georgian chronicles as early as the VII century. Some historians believe that the fortress was built by Byzantine Caesar Heraclius to store ammunition battles against the Persians.

Just after the XI century the area became an active center for trade. According to some historians, this was due to David the Builder founding the town. Because of its geographical location, enemies frequently targeted the fortress, as conquering it enabled control of 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 repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt.

The current iteration of the fortress was built in 1774, during the reign of Erekle II, but was significantly damaged by 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 train car he used to visit Tehran, Yalta, and Potsdam. There are many unique exhibits displayed here, including personal belongings and collections of paintings, photos, films and other important historical artifacts.

1. Gori Fortress
The historic fortress stands on a rocky hill in the center of Gori. The ruins on the northern slope and the archaeological findings indicate that there was a fortress here as far back as the I century BC. In historic manuscripts the fortress is first mentioned in the XIII century as “Gori Prison.”

2. Virgin Mary Cathedral
The temple was built as a Catholic church between 1806 and 1810. In 1920, it was heavily damaged by an earthquake. During Soviet times, Gori’s Music School was situated in the church. The building was handed over to the Georgian Orthodox Church in the 1990s. Currently, Samtavisi and Gori Cathedral belong to the episcopacy.
Address: 7 Lomouri str., Gori

3. Historical-Ethnographic Museum
The museum was founded in 1935. Currently, it houses more than 48,100 exhibits, including: handcrafted metal masterpieces, paintings, decorative sculptures, heraldic artifacts, unique Colchis silver coins (the only ones in the former USSR), coins dating back to the time periods of Queen Tamar and David Narin, ancient Eastern coins, epigraphic monuments in Georgian and Arabic languages, collections of manuscripts in the Georgian language, a vast photo archive, and many more attractions.
Address: Gori, Kirion II St.

4. State Museum of Joseph Stalin
Soviet leader Joseph Stalin’s Museum was founded in 1937 and contains 60,000 exhibits. The museum includes the memorial house where Stalin is believed to have been born, an exhibition building, and Stalin’s personal train car, in which he traveled to Tehran, Yalta and Potsdam. The museum also houses Stalin’s personal belongings.
Address: Gori., Stalin Av. №32

5. Gorijvari
A church complex and local resort, located at an altitude of 600 meters. Low mineralized hydrosulfite, hydrocarbon-chloride and sodium mineral water are used to prepare special therapeutic baths. The baths are used for treatment of musculoskeletal system issues and gynecological diseases; they also have a positive effect on the nervous system. The season for the resort usually runs June through September.
Location: village of Great Gorijvari

6. Uplistsikhe
Uplistikhe is a rock-hewn city, located just 10 km east of Gori, on the left bank of the river Mtkvari. One of the oldest settlements in the Caucasus region, Uplistikhe is first mentioned within the pages of history in the VII century. Uplistiskhe and its surrounding archeological and architectural monuments belong to a distinct group, the oldest of which dates back to the early Bronze Age, and are considered to be relics of the Kura-Araxes culture.

7. Ateni Gorge
Alongside the natural biological diversity, the Ateni Gorge features plenty of tourist sites: Great Ateni – Ateni Sioni Church (VII Century), Ateni (Orbeliani) Fortresss (X-XI centuries), the Church of the Virgin Mary, mineral water “Bisi,” and more. Ateni Gorge is also a perfect destination for camping.

8. Village Gardateni
The village is located 6 kilometers from the town of Gori. Here you will find several important historic monuments, including: Vere fortress, the Church of Saint George, Vere Church of the Virgin Mary, the Green (Transfiguration) cathedral, Tsedisi Fortress, and other architectural monuments.

9. Ruisi Cathedral of Transfiguration
The cathedral dates back to the VIII-IX centuries and is located 7 km from the town of Gori. According to sources, it was built by King Vakhtang Gorgasali. Despite the fact that the original structure of the building was not preserved, the VII century architectural style can easily be identified when looking at the building. Ruisi is associated with a number of important political events of the feudal age. Within the walls of this church, George II (1072-1083 AD) was crowned the King of Kartli. During this time, Ruisi was the capital city of Kartli.

10. Urbnisi Cathedral
The cathedral is located within the Kareli municipality, in the village of Urbnisi. Stylistic elements, as well as paleographic assessments of inscriptions on the northern faзade estimate that the cathedral was constructed sometime in the V-VI centuries. The inscriptions on the facade feature names of the architects – Konstantin and father Mikheil. The rest of the inscriptions refer to dates of the church’s restorations.

Akhaltsikhe

Akhaltsikhe is a town in Southern Georgia, founded in Middle Ages. Its name means “a new fortress”, because the town’s fortress used to be the most important landmark of the region. In 1579 it was a center of a region of Ottoman Empire, then, during Russian – Turkish war in 1828 – 1829, it was brought back to Georgia, which used to be a part of Russian Empire.

Now, the huge freshly renovated fortress of Rabati remains the main landmark of Akhaltsikhe. Its upper part includes the castle of Jakeli family, where the Museum of Samtskhe-Javakheti region is situated; there are also an Akhmediye Mosque, an orthodox church, an amphitheatre and a citadel. The other part of Rabati includes touristic objects as hotels, cafes, restaurants, an information center, and even a marriage hall. It is a very beautiful place for a wedding ceremony and a romantic photo shooting, indeed!

Beside this, there are also several interesting places near Akhaltsikhe: an ancient fortress of Atskuri, which has been constructed in the X century, and also Saphara monastery, which kept its beauty even after the most difficult years in Georgian history.

If we talk about important landmarks of Samtskhe-Javakheti region, we can’t avoid mentioning Vardzia, an impressive cave town founded by King George III in the XII century. During its golden time it accommodated around 50.000 people. The infrastructure included living quarters, wine cellars, religious places like churches or monasteries, and even a library. There was even a sewerage system in the town! Hard to believe, that already in XII century far in the mountains people could live in such a developed town hewn in rocks… That’s why you have to go to Vardzia to see it with your own eyes!

Telavi

Telavi, the capital of the Eastern province of Kakheti, is home to several of the region’s world-famous wineries, art museums, castles and a theater highlighting folk singing and dancing. Telavi is located at the crossroad of the region and is an ideal place to stop for lunch or an excellent jumping-off point for two or three-day excursions.

1. Giorgi Chubinashvili Telavi State History and Ethnography Museum
Founded in 1927, the Museum resides in several halls of King Erekle II’s former Palace. The Museum houses King Erekle’s belongings and numerous archeological, ethnographic, numismatic and textile artifacts.
Address: 1 Erekle II Avenue, Telavi

2. Cholokashvili Street
Cholokashvili Street is one of the most beautiful streets in the city, and has been recently renovated. The homes on this residential street are adorned with colorful gates and intricately carved balconies.

3. Batonis Tsikhe Castle
Batonis Tsikhe castle served as the residence of Kakhetian Kings between 17th and 18th century. The castle encloses two churches, the ruins of a royal bathhouse, and the Persian style Palace of King Erekle II.
Address: 1 Erekle II Avenue, Telavi

4. Nadikvari Park
Nadikvari Park is a wonderful place for leisure; you will find walking trails, beautiful nature, playgrounds, an open-air theater/concert arena and plenty of other attractions.

5. Giant Plane tree
The almost 900 year old Giant Plane tree is one of the oldest and most unusual attractions of the city.

6. Old Shuamta
Old Shuamta, located 7 kilometers from Telavi, is one of the oldest preserved Orthodox churches in Georgia, dating back to the 5th century. The complex also incorporates two dome churches constructed in the 7th century.

7. New Shuamta
New Shuamta Temple is located 6 kilometers from Telavi and dates back to the middle ages. The damaged temple was restored by King Erekle II during his reign. New Shuamta is an excellent example of the architectural style used in Kakheti during the middle ages.

8. Ikalto
Ikalto Monastery complex is located 8 km to the north of Telavi. The complex incorporates three churches dating back to the 6th, 9th and 12th centuries.

9. Alexandre Chavchavadze Museum
During the 19th century, the Tsinandali complex belonged to renowned Georgian poet and public figure Alexandre Chavchavadze. The complex consists of a beautiful garden with over 1,000 varieties of trees and plants from all over the world. Furthermore, within the premise there are wine cellars with unique collections of wines.

10. Monastery of Alaverdi
The earliest structures of the Alaverdi Monastery date back to the 6th century, although the present day cathedral is a part the 11th century Georgian Orthodox monastery. Alaverdi is located 18 kilometers from Telavi and is one of the tallest religious buildings in Georgia. The surrounding courtyard is home to vineyards from which local monks make their own wine. Location: village of Alaverdi