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cave city complex in Georgia
fifth largest city of Georgia
– The highest inhabited region of Europe, centred around Mestia, is home to the mysterious Svans and is a UNESCO World Heritage site
capital city of Georgia
An official residence of the President of Georgia with a beautiful garden.
The fortress looms over the village of Khertvisi. The outcrop was used as a fortress from the second century BC, and was reputedly destroyed by Alexander the Great. The "modern" fortress, however, was built around the thirteenth-fourteenth centuries, and saw fighting during the Ottoman invasion (and subsequent occupation) in the sixteenth century. The walls on the far side drop down a sheer cliff to the Mtkvari far below, so if you fancy a bout of vertigo, pull yourself up and look straight down.
Another cave monastery consisting of six churches and very popular with people. Several hundred rock caves on 16 floors, used as shelter, vault, tomb and market. About an hour's walk or 5 km away from Vardzia on the road back to the highway.The church (St. George) built here dates back to the 8th century. The caves where added between the 9th and 11th century. In 1089, a strong earthquake destroyed parts of the caves and the church. Reconstruction was carried out during the reign of Queen Tamar. In 1204, the old stone wall was rebuilt. Between 1204 and 1283, the site was owned by a feudal family named Mkhargrdzeli-Tmogveli. In 1265, the gate, a bell tower and the hall of the St. George church were built. However, in 1551 and 1576 the place was destroyed by the Persians and Ottomans, respectively. After this the place was not used as a monastery anymore.
The Stalin Museum is the highlight of a visit to the city of Gori. Behind its faux-Venetian facade is an impressive museum filled with paraphernalia and media documenting the life and career of I.V. Jughashvili. The museum's portrayal of Stalin is one-sidedly nostalgic, which can be jarring for visitors, but the exhibits are actually quite well done and there are ample Georgian babushkas throughout the museum who will be more than happy to elaborate on the exhibits and answer questions. Unfortunately, the exhibits are overwhelmingly in Russian and Georgian, to the disadvantage of most Western visitors. But the main show requires no language—Stalin's death mask. Stalin's bronze death mask is not so exciting in and of itself, but the lighting and bizarre, personality cult-chic, red velvet display will surely elicit goose bumps. At the ticket office, ask about an English or German-speaking guide. Guided tours start regularly. They are sometimes available and will often show you the inside of Stalin's home and train car.
cultural heritage monument in Georgia
Ancient church that was built in the 11th century by King Bagrat III, a symbol of a unified Georgia. Foundations of an earlier building have been found. Blown up by marauding Islamic invaders in the 18th century, then carefully restored over the last 100 years; the interior is also almost completed. The difference between original and replacement is clearly obvious. The ongoing reconstruction aimed at returning Bagrati Cathedral back to its original state as a religious space has led ICOMOS to recommend that it should be left as a ruin and added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in danger.
ancient rock-hewn town in Georgia
One of Georgia’s longest natural caves, with fabulous stalactites and stalagmites and underground lake. Take warm clothes.Beware, some travellers have complained that it is just an expensive tourist trap. Often you have to go in a large group (30+ people), having to wait for everyone. And also, the tour guide only explains things in Georgian or Russian. If you have seen other caves around the world before, you can probably skip this one.
historic province of Georgia
If you make it to Khorakert, you should be able to make it to this soaring, majestic and lost work of architecture, further along the border.
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