Brief History of Georgia
[Ananuri, Georgia] Georgia – the country of remarkable history and culture. Its special geographical location justify the cultural identity that distinguish Georgia from other countries. On the one hand it is at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, and at the same time, Georgia occupies a central place in the Caucasus between the Black and Caspian Seas, where it has always played a significant role.
According to archaeological excavations in the territory of Georgia there are the first hominids in Europe 1.8 million years ago. It is believed that they were the first Europeans, and that Georgia is a country where they have spread to other parts of Europe.
Study the unique culture Shulavery (6000 – 4000 BC. Er.) showed that in Georgia, the first in the world, began to grow vineyards and wineries. Based on these facts, Georgia is considered the birthplace of wine making.
On the territory of Georgia are still encountered several
dozen varieties of grapes, and Georgian wines are popular around the world.
Based on the special geographical location, Georgia from ancient times within the scope of interests of travelers and traders. Among them were the Argonauts – Greek sailors, a story about journeys which have survived to this day thanks to the Greek myths. The aim of the expedition of the Argonauts in Georgia has been associated with the task they are even seize the Golden Fleece.
Myth of the Golden Fleece reflects the history of the early bonds of ancient Greece and Georgia. According to legend, the gold on the slopes of the Caucasus, in Georgia, was extracted by immersing in a sheep’s skin gold-water river. This method of gold mining still occurs in the mountains of Georgia – Svaneti region. [Vardzia, Georgia]
In ancient times, after the collapse of the Achaemenid Empire of Iran and Alexander of Macedon, Silk Road which connects Asia with Europe, was under threat. This influenced the fact that this road bypassing Syria and Iran, runs across Georgia. Influence from the west – first from Rome, and then her right heir to the Byzantine Empire, and at the same time, the influence from the East – from Iran and the Islamic Caliphate, as the spread of other oriental civilizations has enabled Georgia to be dedicated to the incredible cultural values. In Georgia, was created a unique alphabet, which is one of the 14 original scripts, known to date throughout the world.
At the same time, Georgian architecture has reached unprecedented peaks, which is primarily manifested in a variety of churches and monasteries, most of which are still standing in Georgia. Next to the Georgian Orthodox Church can be seen Gregorian and Catholic churches, as well as Jewish synagogues and Muslim minarets.
In Georgia, in some cities, you can meet each other at a distance of less than 100 meters of churches of different religious denominations that historically characteristic of Georgian culture and a peaceful co-existence of different religions emphasizes tolerance of Georgian culture. [Gelati, Georgia]
Zenith of Georgian culture and statehood is the period of King David IV the Builder (1089-1125) and Queen Tamara (1184-1210), when the Georgian art, architecture and literature reached their highest recognition. XII century in the history of Georgia called Golden Era.
Despite the political disintegration and partial loss of independence in the XIII-XVIII centuries, Georgian culture remain to be selected for its rich tradition and revival of regional centers, in different ways reflected in all the historical parts of Georgia.
From 1801 to 1991, despite the first conquest of Georgia by the Russian Empire and then the Soviet regime, Georgian culture has preserved its traditions and protect themselves from extinction.
In 1991, Georgia regained its independence (from the first it happened in 1918, but that time only three years), and 2003 after the Rose Revolution, it became the path of economic development, as well as reconstruction and establishment of the European tradition culture. This in turn led to a revival of tourism in Georgia. [Tbilisi, Georgia]
Rich Georgian culture makes it even more interesting traditional distinction and diversity of historical regions of the country. Culture of these regions in Georgia that are in the same time historical provinces of the country, they differ from each other with life and traditions. But at the same time they add each other and together create a multiface Georgian culture.
For example, Kakheti known for ancient tradition of wine making; Kartli region – for many ancient and medieval cities (Uplistsikhe, Dzalisi, Mtskheta, Tbilisi, Samshvilde); Javakheti – unique healing spas and mineral waters, Abkhazia and Adjara – the seaside resorts; Samegrelo – a variety of beautiful dishes; Imereti – historical monuments, Svaneti – unique medieval towers, Racha-Lechkhumi – unforgettable mountains, etc.
And all these historic regions of Georgia unites the rich history and unique cultural heritage, the variety of recipes and widely known of all Caucasians, hospitality – all these features for centuries was admired and still admire visitors to Georgia.