Intersected at the Europe and the Asian continent, you find Georgia; a former Soviet Socialist Republic sandwiched between the Caucasus Mountain and the Black, mostly known for Orthodox Christians. The capital is Tbilisi, an old city known for its diverse architecture and mazelike, cobblestone streets. History has it that Georgia has some of the oldest towns in the world. The architecture of these towns is making the country pride herself in an influx of foreign visitors who visit to see the designs and architecture of these buildings.
Although in the past, Georgia’s tourism industry has been the victim of civil unrest and economic instability, the country has slowly recovered and discovered the potential of the tourism industry. There are amazing tourists’ attractions in Georgia that leaves visitors amazed. The country and has over 10,000 monuments of archeology, history, architecture and art, and it also prides in numerous nature sanctuaries. One of the architecturally significant buildings in Georgia is the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral located in Mtskheta, a historic town near Tbilisi. Having originally built on the 4th century but rebuilt on the 11th century, this medieval stone cathedral is a survivor of many attacks from Arabs, Persians and even the earthquakes. Not only is it an important place of Christian worship, the cathedral is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Another cathedral that attracts visitors is the Sameba Cathedral in Tbilisi a 21st century addition to the old city of Tbilisi built within a span of 9years, 1995-2004. The interior is impressive and has nine chapels with more than half of these located underground! It’s an amazing site where thousands of tourists flock to have a sight. Other attractions site in Georgia include: the Narikala Fortress situated on a hill. The 4th century Fortress was built to protect the city from attacks. It is one of the stunning sites to view the capital and Georgia at large. The Vardzia, a sprawling cave monastery of the 12th century with a labyrinth of tunnels and rooms that extend for kilometers into Erusheli Mountain is an eye-catching site. Up to date there are over 300 rooms and halls remaining in this monastery.
But visitors can not feel the joy of Georgian visit if they don’t visit the coastal city of Batumi on the Black Sea known for its good weather, contemporary architecture and beaches. The concourse is a park that runs along the seashore with formal lawns, gardens and palm trees. It is the focal point of the city’s night life during summer and a popular place for a scenic walk, cycle or to pick up some mementos.
In spite of Georgia being known as the ancient wine-growing region at Kakheti, there’s one place to be in Tbilisi, called Rustaveli Avenue. T he street is a cultural hub of tourist attractions. The National Gallery, National Museum, Opera and Ballet State Theatre, Kashveti Church and Parliament are all located along here. It’s also a focus for entertainment venues, bars, restaurants and souvenir shops.
Other attractions are Beautiful Lake Ritsa, surrounded by mountains and with its green-blue waters full of trout, Mount Kazbek meaning a mountain of ice’. It’s popular with trekkers and climbers for being one of the highest in the region and for its magnificent summit views.
Make a visit in Georgia mostly in May, June and September, when the weather is sunny and pleasant and you will have a history to tell. And if you are an American citizen you don’t need a visa, once you arrive at Tbilisi International Airport, a stamp is issued upon arrival and is good for a full year!
By Michael Mwaura