In Georgia, the mountain scenery, coupled with age- old watch towers and churches, never fail to amaze both locals and foreign tourists. Named as one of the most majestic countries in the world, the wide landscape provides a beautiful visual of green that meets the blue expanse of the sky. Aside from the view, Georgia is also known for its high- cultured and lively people, a rich wine history, ancient architecture and a whole lot of activities that cater to adrenaline junkies. Experience the Eurasian culture, which will help you understand how Georgia came to be after a very complicated history.
Interesting and Important Facts About Georgia
- Georgia is considered as a transcontinental country as it spans more than one continent.
- Georgia occupies the central and eastern part of Caucasus. Its neighbors are the Russian Federation in the north, Azerbaijan in the east, Armenia in the south and Turkey in the south-east. It is a mountainous country, the northern border of which passes along the Big Caucasian ridge, and southern border — across Small Caucasus. In the west it is washed by Black sea. Local weather and the landscape epitomize meeting of the East and the West.
- The landscape within the nation’s boundaries is quite varied. Western Georgia’s landscape ranges from low-land marsh-forests, swamps, and temperate rainforests to eternal snows and glaciers, while the eastern part of the country even contains a small segment of semi-arid plains. Forests cover around 40% of Georgia’s territory while the alpine/subalpine zone accounts for roughly around 10% of the land.
- The climate of Georgia is extremely diverse, considering the nation’s small size. There are two main climatic zones, roughly separating Eastern and Western parts of the country. The Greater Caucasus Mountain Range plays an important role in moderating Georgia’s climate and protects the nation from the penetration of colder air masses from the north. The Lesser Caucasus Mountains partially protect the region from the influence of dry and hot air masses from the south as well.
- The highest peak of Europe can be found here, the Mount Elbrus which rises to a height of 5,642 metres.
- Tbilisi is filled by unique national flavor. Almost all buildings in historical city centre and at the bottom of mountain Mtatsminda represent historical or cultural monuments. Georgian Orthodox church, the Armenian Apostolic church, the Synagogue and the Muslim mosque are located in the very centre of old Tbilisi.
- Gudauri is a popular resort for skiing located 120 km far from Tbilisi, in Kazbeg area of Georgia, at the height of 2196 m. The resort is developing rapidly – more and more tourists visit the resort every year.
- The republic Abkhazia (local name – “Apsni”,) is located along the Black Sea coast in the north-west of Georgia. It is one of the warmest and cleanest areas of the coast. Here are such well-known earlier resorts, as Gagra, Ochamchira, Pitsunda, Sukhumi – one of the oldest cities of the coast with its well-known Botanical gardens, Noviy Afonis famous with its well-known caves, ruins of an ancient fortress and an antique temple, as well as its well-known monastery. The well-known natural monuments of region are lakes Ritz, Paleostomi, Aletkel and a huge cave complex located near Noviy Afon.
- There is a startling amount of space-age architecture in Georgia. The new parliament building is a huge glass and concrete bubble, looking like a giant frog’s eye. A slew of new police stations have been built that are all glass and see through, symbolic of Georgia’s aspirations for democratic transparency.
- Jekyll Island is a larger island, with three public beaches and a host of Georgia beach rentals available throughout the summer. Georgia beach vacations on Jekyll Island will not come with lifeguards, but there is plenty to do off of the coast. The St. Andrew Picnic Area is the southern most beach on the island and the most popular, with picnicking spots and showers available. South Dunes Beach and Central Dunes beach are also great places for Georgia beach vacations, both have showers and dunes for running about on.
Cool, Funny, and Fun Facts About Georgia
- According to surveys Georgia is one of the world’s most homophobic countries – attitudes which came to the surface in May during a violent anti-gay demonstration in Tbilisi.
- Georgia has been nicknamed as ‘the number one economic reformer in the world’ by the World Bank.
- Georgian people is an autochthonous. (Has always lived on this territory
- Georgia is considered the birthplace of the wine. On the territory of present-day Georgia found the oldest remains of wine jugs and vines. Georgian wine is just awesome. Be sure to try it. Georgians are proud of their wine
- In Georgia still steal brides. But the groom does it with the consent of the bride. Nowadays it is a part of a wedding ritual, because Georgia today is a democratic free country and steal people is prohibited by law here.
- The law on a ban of smoking of tobacco didn’t concern Georgia. Here it is possible to smoke almost at all restaurants and on streets of the cities.
- At all the Georgian schools children learn English. In the country it is very heavy to get a job without knowing English. Therefore it will be very easy for you to communicate with local population. Also almost all signs in two languages – Georgian and English.
- In Tbilisi there is George Bush Street, and residence of the former president Saakashvili – the reduced copy of the White House in the USA
- Georgia is a very safe country. People here do not lock the doors. Everywhere on the streets a lot of police. All police stations here are transparent like aquariums. So that, anyone can watch the work of the police. And I must say they work well. In Tbilisi, the last few years have not stolen any cars
- In Georgia, there is no central heating and hot water. People put in apartments Electrical waterheaters and they heated apartments with the electrical appliances. By the way, water and electricity is very expensive in the country.
- In Georgia, in high rise buildings you have to pay for the lifts! One ride costs 10 tetri (1.3 cents)
- Georgians are using the the vigesimal (base-twenty) system for numerals. For to say a number between 20 and 100, you need to break it down into twenty and call their number and residue. For example: 33 – twenty-thirteen, and 78 – twenty-three to eighteen
Historical and Cultural Facts About Georgia
- Georgia became a kingdom about 4 B.C. and Christianity was introduced in A.D. 337. During the reign of Queen Tamara (1184–1213), its territory included the whole of Transcaucasia. During the 13th century, Tamerlan and the Mongols decimated its population. From the 16th century on, the country was the scene of a struggle between Persia and Turkey. In the 18th century, it became a vassal to Russia in exchange for protection from the Turks and Persians.
- Georgia is considered to preserve one of the earliest evidences of human habitation. Archeological excavation has found skulls of pre-historic human being that date back to 1.7 million years.
- Georgia attained independence from the Soviet Union on April 9, 1991. Prior to that, it was called the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic.
- In 337 AD, Christianity was declared as the official religion of Georgia.
- Spoken Georgian is like no other language you are likely to hear. It belongs to its own ancient linguistic group unlike any other language spoken outside the region. It includes rare sounds that many visitors may never have heard before. Some consonants, for example, are pronounced from the back of the throat with a sudden guttural puff of air. Georgian has its own 33-letter alphabet thought to be based on the sort of Aramaic spoken in the time of Jesus. To the untutored eye, the letters look very much alike. A squiggle too far and your “k” can easily turn into a “v” or a “p”. But even without understanding it, Georgian writing is beautiful, a myriad of theatrical swirls and flourishes. Very fitting to a country of dramatic personalities.
- Georgians are very hospitable people. On a visit in their home, they will feed you with the tasty meals. Also, when you come on a visit, it isn’t accepted to remove footwear. It is – for convenience of dear visitors. If in Georgia you are invited on a visit, a good form of you will be to take with itself a box of candies or a wine small bottle by a dinner.
- The greatest culinary divide is between the western and eastern region. In the west, there is a greater emphasis on vegetarian food, predominantly prepared with walnuts. Herbs and spices, especially tarragon, basil, coriander, feuille Grec, and pepper make western Georgian food hot and spicy. Cheese usually is made from cow’s milk and is eaten with either corn bread or a corn and flour porridge. Khachapuri, a kind of cheese pizza, is common.
- Both men and women may kiss one another on the cheek in public places. Kissing on the lips and intimate hugging in public are not approved. Shaking hands is common, but women shake hands less often than men do. Either the person with higher social status or the woman is supposed to initiate greeting and define its form. In the countryside, it is common to greet strangers. Men may embrace while walking in the street. In general, the closer the relationship, the smaller the distance at which people stand. Women are not supposed to gaze at a stranger or smoke on the street.
- Many of popular beliefs and rituals regarding death and afterlife stem from a mixture of Christian and pagan concepts, with many superstitions and cultural borrowings. Respecting the deceased is a very important part of social life, and much time is spent attending funerals and wakes and caring for graves. Although people believe in an eternal afterlife, there is no clear understanding of its nature; people observe rules and try to reduce their grief by ritualizing the mourning process.
- The Chokha is part of the traditional male dress of the peoples of the Caucasus.
- Rugby union is a popular team sport played in Georgia. Rugby union is considered the second most popular sport in Georgia, after football.