When people hear of Georgia, the first thing they think about is a state in the United States.
Many people may be familiar with some of its art, charm, natural beauty, the hospitality of the locals, and the name on its own. But, what do you know about Georgia?
The article below focuses on giving you Georgia’s unknown and known facts. Let’s get started with some of the interesting facts about Georgia that will see you adding this unique, underrated and unknown destination to your bucket list in no time at all.
1. Where is Georgia?
Georgia is situated strategically at crossroads between Asia and Europe. While it falls in the Asia continent, locals of the country view it as part of Europe’s country. It is bordered by the Black Sea beaches and the Caucasus Mountain Range.
2. The history of Georgia
The oldest human skulls in the Caucasus were found during an archaeological expedition in Dmanisi. These skulls are believed to belong to a 1.8-million-year-old couple. From these excavations, Georgia is believed to be home to the first Europeans
3. Georgia’s name
Georgians do not refer to their country by its name, Georgia. They call it ‘Sakartvelo,’ which translates to the place where Kartveli lives (Kartveli means an inhabitant of Georgia’s central region, Karli-Iberia).
It is not known where the name Georgia originated from. Some believe that the country was named after St. George by Christian reformers in the Middle Ages.
4. The cradle of winemaking
Just imagine a world without wine at the moment! Georgia’s wine-growing region of Kakheti is considered the birthplace of wine. Despite its labels not lining your wine cellar, Georgian’s are said to have been producing wine as far as 8000 years ago.
The production of the wine was purely accidental. It was discovered by pouring wine in a traditional jar known as a Qvevri and burying it underground in a shallow pit to ferment naturally. The success of this traditional winemaking process relies heavily on minimal human interruptions and interaction.
With such a history, UNESCO listed Georgia’s winemaking method as a unique cultural heritage.
A visit to Kakheti in Georgia is a must for any wine lover.
5. Language in Georgia
The Georgian language is among the unique languages of the world as no one speaks the language except for Georgians. It has its alphabet used in the Nuskuri, Asomtaruli, and Mkhedruli languages. In modern-day Georgia, Mkhedruli is the language used. It has 33 letters and no capital letters.
6. It is among one of the ecologically diverse places in the world.
Georgia has 12 different climatic zones. These range from subtropical to semi-desert to alpine climatic conditions. The country’s climatic zones and the over 45 soil compositions have spawned a breathtaking diversity of beautiful landscapes and wildlife. It makes Georgia one of the most ecologically diverse countries in the world.
The country is a must-have bucket list tourist destination for any environmental and outdoor enthusiasts, backpacker, and wildlife lovers. One gets to enjoy hitting the ski slopes, hike canyons, spotting lynx, bears, leopards, and wolves in the country’s dense forests.
7. Let’s talk about Caucasus Mountain Range.
The Caucasus Mountains stretch along the border between Russia and Georgia. It is the highest mountain range with the highest peak in Russia. In Georgia, Shkhara is the highest mountain which stands at 5193 meters. A higher range when compared to other mountains.
8. Home to one of the oldest Jewish communities
Georgia has two groups of the Jewish community; Georgian Jews and Ashkenazi Jews. The Georgian Jews have been in the country for more than 2500 years, while the latter came in the 19th century. These Jewish communities are considered the oldest in the world.
9. Religion in Georgia
The country actively practices Orthodox Christianity as its national religion. Apart from Christianity being a large part of the country, they still respect and recognize other religions. You will get Muslims, Catholics, and Armenian Apostles in the country.
10. World heritage sites
Georgia country has some cultural sites recognized and listed on UNESCO World Heritage List. These sites are;
- Gelati Monastery, which was a massive cathedral complex declared as a heritage site in 1994.
- Mtskheta and all its historical monuments, an ancient city, and former capital. It was declared as a heritage site in 1994.
- Upper Svaneti, a mountainous region declared as a heritage site in 1996.
11. Home to Joseph Stalin
Georgia country is the former Soviet Republic and home to Joseph Stalin. Stalin was the former General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. There is a museum dedicated to Stalin in his hometown, Gori.
12. Georgia’s food scene
Despite it being a small country, delicious foods are abundant. There are a variety of tasty foods to select from. While visiting the country, make sure to taste their ‘shotis puri,’ a traditional bread, and ‘churchkhela,’ a uniquely candle-shaped candy.
13. Home to one of Europe’s oldest cities
In the west of Georgia rests the world’s oldest continuously inhabited city, Kutaisi. Its existence can be traced back to the second millennium BC, where it used to be the capital of the Kingdom of Colchis. The city still stands strong through the ravages of times and conflict.
14. Let’s explore the cave city.
Georgia has its cave town (fortress-palace complex) carved out under the Erusheti Mountain in the south. The site was constructed in the 13th century as a refuge camp for Georgians against the raiders from Mongol Empire. The cave city boasted 6000 rooms in 13 levels. Unfortunately, two-thirds of the city was destroyed by an earthquake.
However, don’t be disheartened as tourists can still visit the undestroyed and safe parts of the cave today.
15. Beautiful ski slopes
For all the ski lovers, Georgia country is just the place to visit. Georgi has a premier ski resort, Gudauri, which has become a freeriding and heli-skiing hotspot.
16. It is known for its folk music
UNESCO listed Georgia’s polyphonic folk music as an Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2008.
Georgia is a safe country to visit. According to the International Crime Index, 2017, it was rated as the seventh safest country. Despite this, there are still specific places not to visit, as the border to Russia.
18. Georgia loves guests
Hospitality is practically the way of life in Georgia as they believe that visitors are a gift from God. Tourists visiting this country are sure to be welcomed warmly with open arms. People come together during mealtimes where there is w\always plenty of food and wine.
19. Other little amazing facts about Georgia
Georgia country capital city is Tbilisi. The city’s name is derived from the Georgian word warm. It is linked to the natural hot springs discovered in the 5th century AD. Therefore, when translated, it means “warm location.”
20. Georgia’s Flag
The country’s Five Cross Flag has an important meaning and symbolism. It was a banner during the medieval kingdom of Georgia. In 2004, Georgia adopted it as the country’s modern-day flag. The flag has a white background with a red cross of St. George. On each of the four sides of the cross, there are red mini crosses. The flag’s white background represents peace, and the five crosses represent sacrifice and Christianity.
Georgia is an underrated country with an immense wealth of hidden treasures waiting to be uncovered and explored. The above facts are just some of the exciting facts unlocked about the country. Georgia is the best place for you if you are looking for an unforgettable adventure with surprising facts to uncover.