Heritage and Culture

Georgia is the small country located between Europe and Asia, which is one of the primary reasons for it’s diverse, yet distinct, cultural features.

Georgian monumental architecture, world famous polyphonic singing and traditional music, colorful folk dances and ballet, theatre and cinema, jewelry, metal works, enamels, paintings and sculptures all bear trademark qualities of this ancient culture. Georgia is the country where you can discover lot of interesting cultural monuments.

Architecture in Georgia ranges from postmodern high-rises to art nouveau dwellings, Indo-Islamic theatres to Soviet modernist monuments and public works, Orthodox Christian churches to Ottoman mosque complexes.

Georgian Orthodox churches and monasteries are definitive examples of authentic Georgian architecture.

Georgia is a crossroad of different religions, and as Georgian people are very tolerant towards other religions; here you will find together Orthodox, Catholic, Muslim, Jewish temples.

The first human civilization outside of Africa has been discovered in Georgia (the remains of that settlement are 1, 8 million years old).

Dmanisi Hominid
Dmanisi archaeological excavations prove the fact of ancient humans (hominids) living on the territory of Georgia. Human skull recently discovered here is 1.8 million years old and the most ancient on the territory of Europe. It means that Georgia is the homeland of the first European.

 

Sameba in Old Tbilisi is a famous pilgrimage site, which was built in 2001. The city of Mtskheta is the center of religious architecture, Svetitskhoveli Cathedral is one of the oldest churches built in Georgia.

If you are looking for some special, ancient and unique things you should definitely visit monastery complexes carved into the rocks:

Davit Gareja is a complex of monastery caves of the feudal era carved into the rock. Its walls are painted with ancient frescoes.

Vardzia cave town is a monastery complex built in the 12th century, which consists of churches carved into the rock, cells, secret tunnels and halls. This is one of the most eye-catching tourist attractions of the country.

Uplistsikhe which is one of the most ancient settlements of the Caucasus. Caves, carved into a massive rock are firmly standing for thousands of years and even today keep their old appearance.

Georgia joined UNESCO on 7 October 1992.

 

UNESCO Heritage

The list of World Heritage Sites in Georgia with properties of culture and nature include: Gelati Monastery and Bagrati Cathedral; Historical Monuments of Mtskheta and Upper Svaneti.

Gelati Monastery, a masterpiece of the Georgian Golden Age, was built in 1106 by King David IV and was one of the main cultural and intellectual centers in Georgia throughout the Middle Ages. 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, one of which was the Mangan Academy in Constantinople.

Historical Monuments of Mtskheta –The classification includes two of Georgia’s most ancient religious structures: the Svetitskhoveli (Cathedral of the Living Pillar) and the Jvari Monastery (Monastery of the Cross), as well as the historical area of Mtskheta in which the two are situated. The monuments trace their origin to the dawn of Christianity in Georgia in the first half of the first millennium A.D. and were judged by UNESCO to be a testament of “the high artistic and cultural level attained by this ancient kingdom.”

Upper Svaneti – These upper lands of Georgia’s alpine region of Svaneti were recognized by UNESCO as an “exceptional example of mountain scenery with medieval-type villages and tower-houses” that were often family-built and served to protect against invaders for centuries.