Welcome to Georgia!

Грузия

You are about to discover a country rich in history, tradition, pride, and friendship. A land so pleasant, rich and fertile that it is home to the earliest remains of modern man found outside of Africa, dated to be nearly 2 million years old.

From these early Georgians, living in the shadows of the mighty Caucasus Mountains, to the Ancient Greek myth of Jason and the Argonauts search for the golden fleece, the Kings and Queen that converted Georgia to Christianity in the 4th century AD, the events of the 20th and 21st centuries, Georgia has an amazing story to tell.

Whether you visit our ancient cave cities, marvel at the highest settlements in Europe or experience the sights and sounds of our amazing theatre, food, arts, wine and music, Georgia will capture a place in your heart forever.

Georgia

Churches & Fortresses

Georgia has a magnificent 1,300 year old tradition of architecture, which is one of the most significant expressions of the nation’s artistic vision and heritage. The famous cupola structures that dominate Georgian ecclesiastic architecture can be traced back to domestic dwellings.

Two major forms of ecclesiastical architecture was developed in Georgia; the central domed structure and the basilica. The basilica form came to Georgia through the influence of the Roman and Hellenistic worlds.

The turn of the seventh century was an epoch of extraordinary architectural achievement. The tetraconch Church of Djvari, original in design and conception, soon became an inspirational model for many other architects.

The eighth and ninth centuries were an interesting transitional period of hybrid forms such as the fusion of the central domed church and the triple-church basilica. The most notable surviving successes of this kin'cl include the domed Church of Vachnadziant and the double-domed Church of Kvelatsminda in Gurdjaani. This period is known as the Golden Age of Georgia.

Собор Алаверди

Another outstanding gem of architec-tural heritage is The Alaverdi Saint Giorgi Church which was founded by one of the 13 Syrian Fathers, Joseb Alaverdeli in the 6th century and was constructed as an Episcopal Church in the 11th century.

By the 15th-16th centuries the Realm of Kakheti reached the peak of its power and its capital city was Gremi, built by King Levan and one of the most important trading and economic centers of the Feudal Era. The unique castle of Gremi with its church of the Archangel, is a must-see in Georgia.

Another example of great architectural and artistic accomplishments is Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, the most interesting being the one on ‘the pillar’ painted by the Georgian painters under the leadership of Grigol Guljavarsashvili (17th century).

Svetitskhoveli is also a burial ground of the Bagrationi Royal family members and church dignitaries.

Driving from Tbilisi to the North, the Ananuri Architectural Complex can be seen from afar; an impressive, elegant, 16th- 17th century fortified complex of the local lords. Inside of the complex there is also a tower built in local, Khevsureti style.

Bagrati Cathedral

Bagrati Cathedral

The Bagrati Cathedral of the Dormition (11th century) is located on the Ukimerioni Hill in Kutaisi. As per the inscription on the Cathedral's wall itself, the floor was laid in the year 1003, during the reign of King Bagrat III. A real masterpiece of medieval architecture, the cathedral has been in ruins for a long time without the cupola and ceiling. The reconstruction works on the site began in the last cen-tury and are still underway.

Gelati complex

Gelati complex

The Gelati complex is one of the most significant wonders in Georgia. It contains the Church of the Virgin founded by the greatest King of Georgia, David the Builder in 1106, the 13th century churches of St George and St Nicholas and the Academy building. Wonderful mosaics and wall paintings are well preserved in the main cathedral. King David the Builder is buried here.

Khertvisi fortress

Khertvisi fortress

Khertvisi fortress is situated on a high rocky hill at the confluence of the river Javakheti and the Mtkvari in Artaani, 46 km from Akhaltsikhe, on the way to Vardzia. Khertvisi Fortress is the symbol of the many battles for independence and honour of the Geor¬gian nation. It also symbolises strength and independence of all Georgians.

Georgian music

Georgian music

Georgia’s polyphonic music tradition is world-renowned and calls upon an enchanting combination of ancient and modern harmonies. In 2001 UNESCO acknowledged this music as “a masterpiece of the world's intangible cultural heritage” and its unique, slightly dissonant style has not changed for centuries. The Greek historian Strabo recorded the multi-voiced chants of Georgians riding into a battle as early as the 1st century BC. The songs, made up of three-part- harmonies, are still the life blood of modern society. They can be heard in churches and monasteries across the country; down Tbilisi’s back-streets of an early evening; or across the village fields during the summer. They are also very much a part of the Georgian feast, or supra.

Georgian Ballet

Georgian Ballet

The Tbilisi Ballet has recently undergone a major refurbishment, thanks to the return and inspiration of Nino Ananiashvili, former Principal Ballerina at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. Performances are mastered and presented at the highest level and continue the tradition of dance forged by the former great Georgian choreographers like George Balanchine.

Georgian dance

Georgian dance

Georgian dance, like its polyphonic songs, remains a major cultural export and The Georgian State Dance company tours the world all year round. The vigorous, vibrant men leap high in the air; clash swords amidst flying sparks and razor sharp daggers are thrown into the floor in a frenetic, breathless choreography. All this contrasts with the women's graceful, elegant and lightweight dances.

Add ourfabulous multi-coloured costumes from the many mountain villages, wild drumming, accompanying pipes and accordions, and the overall effect is mesmeric and truly unforgettable.

 

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E-mail: victoria@simurgtravel.com