About Georgia

Georgia is located on the crossroad of Europe and Asia. It lays at the eastern end of the Black Sea, with Turkey and Armenia to the south, Azerbaijan to the east, and Russia to the north, over the Caucasus Mountains. The capital and largest city is Tbilisi. Georgia’s total territory covers 69,700 square kilometers.

Population in Georgia is almost 5 million. Official language is Georgian. Country is unitary semi-presidential republic. Georgian currency is Georgian Lari () (GEL). The native name of Georgia is “Sakartvelo”.

The climate of Georgia is extremely diverse, considering the nation’s small size. The highest mountain in Georgia is Mount Shkhara at 5,068 meters.
A large majority of Georgia’s population (83.9% in 2002) practices Orthodox Christianity.

Largest cities and towns of Georgia are : Tbilisi; Kutaisi; Batumi; Rustavi; Zugdidi; Gori; Poti; Khashuri; Samtredia.

 

Geography of Georgia, Location, Climate

Landscape: Approximately 2/3 of the country is covered by mountains, and the rest of the land is also characterized by a variety of contrasts. The northern part of Georgia is formed by the Caucasus mountain range, with the highest peak of Shkhara (5.068 m.), followed by Kazbegi (Mkinvartsveri – 5.047 m.) and Ushba (4.710 m.) peaks as the second and third highest mountains. The Caucasus Minor covers the southern part of the country. Between these two mountain systems the Kolkhida lowland is spread (its lowest point near lake Paliastomi is a mere 1.5 m. above sea level), with its eastern counterparts – the plains of Alazani, and Shida and Qvemo Kartli valleys.
Water resources:The country is exceptionally rich in water resources: there are more than 26,000 rivers, 756 lakes, a multitude of reservoirs and a substantial number of waterfalls. The mineral springs are also in abundance – about 2,000 sorts of almost any type of classification. The familiar names of Borjomi, Sairme, Nabeghlavi are among the most popular and widely known brands. There are also numerous fresh and thermal water springs (their temperature up to near boiling point), along with therapeutic mud perfect for mud-and-water cure, these water resources provide the factor and basis for a variety of spas and health resorts.
Climate: A comparatively small territory of the country demonstrates almost a complete variety of the climate zones of the planet – from eternal snows and glaciers and high mountain zones of the Caucasus Major – to the humid subtropical climate of the Black Sea coast, and from the climate of tropics – to that of the semi-deserts. The Likhi mountain range divides the country into two sharply different climate areas: the humid subtropical western zone of the Black Sea, and the dry continental zone of the east. The average temperature in January is about + 3o C in western Georgia and – 2o C in the eastern part; correspondingly, the temperature varies in August within the limits of 23 – 26o C.

 

History of Georgia

Georgia has the dubious distinction of being one of the most invaded nations on Earth. As a nation at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, it has been marked by war for ages. From the I century BC to the XVIII century AD the Greeks, Romans, Persians, Arabs, Ottomans and Russians have all attempted to possess this beautiful land, but none have ever conquered it completely or permanently.
As a result, our history became one of the skilled survivals – preserving our culture against overwhelming odds again and again. To protect against invaders an elaborate system of watchtowers (many of which still exist) alerted the people to an attack, and precious religious icons and relics would disappear into caves and hidden mountain fortresses. Villages in the most remote mountain valleys would escape the invaders attention entirely, thus some of the oldest and most superlative frescoes are found in the highlands.

Culture

The Georgian language is the state language of Georgia. The most ancient Georgian inscriptions are Mrglovani or Asomtavruli dates back to the 5th century A.D., Nuskhuri dates back to the 9th century A.D., Mkhedruli inscriptions used today belongs to the 10th century. Georgian is the only language in the Ibero-Caucasian family having ancient script. According to the Georgian tradition the Georgian alphabet was created in the 3rd century B.C. by Georgian king Pharnaoz and is among the 14 existing ones all over the world.
Georgian literature dates back to the fifth century A.D. The earliest surviving Georgian text has existed from the 5th century Martyrdom of Shushanik by Iakob Tsurtaveli. The most important work was Georgia’s national epic poem, “The Knight in the Tiger’s skin” by Shota Rustaveli. Scholars have compared the 12th century Georgian poet  Shota Rustaveli to Dante and  Shakespeare.
Music, Georgian National dancing, canticles and folksongs in particular, form one of the most important elements of Georgian culture. Georgian songs are famous by their complicated polyphony and are still very significant for Georgians and have been preserved in almost all parts of Georgia.

Georgian Cuisine & Gastronomy

You may try delicious Georgian food and different Georgian drinks from lemonade to chacha in various cafes and restaurants. However, one of the best ways to experience and understand Georgian traditions of eating, drinking and enjoying life is Supra, the Georgian table.
It shouldn’t always have a festive reason: every day can be festive in Georgia. Gathering with friends and family is very important here. If the guests are attending supra, it is even merrier. So if you are invited, don’t be shy: try all the dishes (it’s a big pleasure for the hosts if their guests are full and happy), join the toast-master, take wine with the others and say some warm words too.
The order of toasts is not always the same: it varies from region to region, but generally the first glass should be drained for God and peace, because both play very important role for every Georgian. If you learn the phrase “Gmerts dideba chven mshvidoba” (“May the God’s greatness bring you peace”), it would be really appreciated.

                                                                          Visa Information

Valid passports are required for visitors of all nationalities. Georgia has a liberal visa regime; with visa waiver for the citizens of 94 countries for short-term visits (Not exceeding 90 calendar days in any 180-day period).

For more information please visit the website of the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of For more information please visit the website of the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia:

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