History of Georgia
Georgia was established as a kingdom at about 4 B.C. and was first united as a kingdom in the early 11th century under the rule of the Bagrationi dynasty by King Bagrat III of Georgia. The Kingdom of Georgia thrived during the 10th to 12th centuries during the reign of King David IV the Builder and Queen Tamar the Great, during her time in power the territory of the kingdom encompassed the whole of Transcaucasia. All through the 13th century, Tamerlane and the Mongols demolished the population of Georgia and it fell to the Mongol conquest by 1243. By the year of 1490, Georgia was split up into a number of minor kingdoms and principalities, which struggled to keep their autonomy against Ottoman and Iranian domination over the Early Modern period. Starting from the 16th century, the country was the scene of a battle between Persia and Turkey. In the 18th century, it became a vassal to Russia in return for protection from the Turks and Persians and later in the 19th century, Georgia was finally annexed by the Russian Empire. Georgia was part of the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic from 1922 to 1936 and later formed the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic until the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The present-day republic of Georgia has been independent since 1991.
Georgia culture & Traditions
Georgian culture can be described as exotic, mysterious and ancient, that dates back for millennia. The geographic location of the country, between Europe and Asia, is one of the main factors for its assorted, yet distinct, cultural features. It was vastly influenced by Greco-Roman culture and features of Anatolian, European, Persian, Arabian, Ottoman and Far Eastern cultures can be found in it. Starting from the early 16th century Georgian culture became expressively influenced by Persian culture. Today, Georgian culture is richer than ever.
Georgian cuisine is very exceptional to the country but it also conveys some influences from other Caucasian, Eastern European and nearby Middle Eastern culinary customs. It is the result of the culinary ideas carried along the Silk Road Trade route by merchants and travellers. The prominence of food and drink in Georgian culture can be witnessed during a feast called supra, during which a big variety of dishes are prepared and is always accompanied by large amounts of local wine. In a Georgian feast, the role of the tamada (toastmaster) is a significant and privileged position.
Wine in Georgia is considered a national asset and the tradition of winemaking is believed to have originated about eight thousand years ago. During the course of history, winemaking has not been only the foundation of Georgia’s economy but also a huge part of its spiritual culture. One of the traditional ways to drink wine is from a vessel called a kanci, which is made from a hollowed goat’s horn. It should be drunk until the glass is empty and this is to be done in a single gulp.
Shopping in Georgia
The sophisticated shopping capital of Georgia – Tbilisi is becoming known with its ever-expanding range of shops, popular shopping malls, Art Deco architecture, unique antiques and some of the world’s most thrilling selection of wines! Tbilisi is the best place to discover treasures to take home with the abundance of independent shops, where handcrafted art, homeware, fashion and ceramics can be found. Tbilisi is a hot spot for the best international labels that can be found in shopping malls around the city, like Tbilisi Mall. One of the best places to shop in Tbilisi is the flea market, which is located in historic Old Town near the Dry Bridge. The Dry Bridge Flea Market is open from 10 am till 5 pm. Here one can buy characteristic and popular Tbilisi souvenirs. This bursting bazaar is Georgia’s biggest open-air market and it’s open every day, depending on the weather. Tourists can find stunning antique jewellery, old sepia photographs, silver cutlery items, soviet-era medals and uniforms and other vintage items, as well as art shops selling oil paintings. People can spend more than a few hours purely exploring and wandering around the market and it will not disappoint.
For the Visa entry to Georgia, you can find all required information on our site of MFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia). Click on the link below to find more:
Safety in Georgia
The tourist security level in Georgia is so high that tourists can have a walk in the streets of the lovely city of Tbilisi or travel across the country. According to a survey conducted by the experts of the European Union, Georgia has won the title of one of the safest countries in Europe. Of course, as in any other country, no one is completely safe from petty pickpockets and robbers that’s why you should not disregard the standard safety rules. Important documents or other valuable items are best to be left in special safes at the hotel.
Weather in Georgia
The greatest seasons to visit Georgia are spring and autumn, particularly from mid-May to mid-June and from mid-September to mid-October. The best period for a beach holiday and hiking in high mountains is, of course, the summer, from June to August. The average temperatures in summer are from 20 °C to 24 °C and winter temperatures are from 2 °C to 4 °C.