Territory

Wonders of Georgia

Gergeti Trinity Church
Gergeti Trinity Church. / Jelger, Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0

WorldBlue  Highlights

There are few small countries in the world with such a distinct culture and richness of natural and man-made wonders as Georgia. Here evolved distinct writing system (in fact – several writing systems), own styles in architecture and art.
The most amazing wonders of Georgia are:

  • Churches – Georgia has its own distinct type of church architecture, with the most similar style of church architecture in the neighboring Armenia. This style is extensively used for more than one millenia and in many ways it defines the man made landscape in Georgia.
  • Medieval villages with tower houses – tower houses in these villages were built to provide protection from the blood-feud and other hostilities.
  • Abysses in Abkhazia – three of the world’s deepest caves are located in Abkhazia and the deepest one – Krubera Cave – is explored to the depth of dizzying 2,197 m!

Map with the described wonders of Georgia

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WorldViolet Top 25 wonders of Georgia

Geological wonders

Krubera Cave

Abkhazia

Deepest known cave in the world, 2,197 meters deep. This extensive cave system is also quite long – 16,058 m.

Krubera Cave
Illyuzia – Mezhonnogo – Snezhnaya Cave system (Snowy Cave)

Abkhazia

An enormous cave system, 1,753 m deep and 24,080 m long. One of the most complex caves for explorers.

Sarma Cave

Abkhazia

The second deepest known cave in the world – 1,830 m deep and 6,370 m long.

Archaeological wonders

Uplistsikhe

Shida Kartli

Rock-hewn town, one of the oldest urban settlements in Georgia that started to develop in the Early Iron Age and was inhabited until the 14th century. Rock cut architecture unites features of Anatolian and Persian architecture. On the summit stands Christian basilica that was built in the 9th – 10th centuries.

Uplistsikhe, Georgia
Shaori megalithic fortress

Samtskhe-Javakheti

Mysterious megalithic structure – fortress at the height of 2,750 m. Similar structures are Abuli fortress (roughly in 1,500 BC) and Saro fortress.

Shaori megalithic fortress
Armazi

Mtskheta-Mtianeti

Ruins of the original capital of early Georgian kingdom of Kartli (Iberia), founded in the 3rd century BC, flourished in the early centuries AD and was ruined by Arabs in the 730s. The fortified citadel of Armazi is called Armaz-Tsikhe. There evolved special system of writing – Armazi script.

Armazi

Architecture wonders

Ananuri

Mtskheta-Mtianeti

Twin castles that were built by dukes of Aragvi, built and rebuilt in the 17th – early 19th century. Both castles are connected with a massive curtain wall. The castle complex includes several churches. Church of Assumption (1689) includes fine frescoes.

Ananuri Fortress, Georgia
Katskhi pillar

Imereti

Tall limestone stack – monolith with church ruins on it. This stack rises 40 m tall and it is very hard to reach its summit. Nevertheless, on the top of this monolith in the 9th or 10th century was built a hermitage – monastery.

Katskhi Pillar
Jvari Monastery

Mtskheta-Mtianeti

One of the oldest Georgian Orthodox monasteries, built in 586 – 605 AD. This monastery was built on the mountaintop in the site of a former pagan temple and it is considered to be the most sacred place in Georgia. One of the earliest examples of the four-apsed church, characteristic in Georgia and Armenia.

Jvari Monastery
David Gareja monastery complex

Kakheti

An amazing complex of cells, churches and other structures that were hewn in the cliff face. The development of monastery started in the 6th century.

David Gareja Monastery, Georgia
Mestia

Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti

Small town, once an important center of culture in this region. Here are located several medieval churches and many tower-houses – fortresses (Ushguli).

Mestia
Bagrati Cathedral (Kutaisi Cathedral)

Imereti

This cathedral is a masterpiece of Georgian architecture. It was built in the early 11th century (most likely in 1003) and rebuilt in 2012. Cathedral was built in the times of King Bagrat III, the first king of united Georgia. Cathedral has beautiful mosaics and wall paintings.

Bagrati Cathedral
Gelati Monastery

Imereti

A complex of monastic buildings that includes Church of the Virgin (built in 1106), and other old churches. Since medieval times monastery houses Academia – one of the main culture and intellectual centers in Georgia. There are stored numerous manuscripts from the medieval times.

Gelati Monastery
Gori Fortress

Shida Kartli

Impressive medieval citadel, built on a cliff towering above Gori city. Hill has been fortified already several millenia ago, the current structure was built in medieval times.

Gori Fortress
Dartlo

Kakheti

Picturesque vilage in the exotic region of Tusheti. In the village have been preserved medieval tower houses, including an especially tall tower with six floors.

Dartlo
Vanis Kvabebi

Samtskhe-Javakheti

Cave monastery that was developed from the 8th century AD. The monastery consists of a maze of tunnels in several layers, two churches, and defensive wall.

Vanis Kvabebi
Samtavro Church

Mtskheta-Mtianeti

Large, impressive church, constructed in the 11th century. The monastery was established considerably earlier – in the 4th century.

Samtavro Church
Old Tbilisi

Tbilisi

The oldest part of Tbilisi – the capital of Georgia since the beginnings of a unified state in the 11th century AD. This part of the city contains numerous monuments of architecture, streets here are narrow, covered with cobblestone, houses have ornate balconies.

Old Tbilisi
Gergeti Trinity Church

Mtskheta-Mtianeti

Medieval church in mountains, at the height of 2,170 m. Constructed in the 14th century AD.

Gergeti Church and Mount Kazbegi, Georgia
Svetitskhoveli Cathedral

Mtskheta-Mtianeti

One of the principal Georgian churches. It is venerated as the location of Christ’s mantle. Built sometimes around 1020.

Svetitskhoveli Cathedral
Shatili

Mtskheta-Mtianeti

A picturesque village in mountains. The village represents a complex of fortified buildings with some 60 towers.

Shatili
Adysh (Adishi)

Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti

A picturesque village with many architectonic landmarks, such as Church of the Deliverer (the 10th – 11th century), other medieval churches, and tower houses.

Adysh (Adishi)
Nikortsminda Cathedral

Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti

An ornate medieval cathedral that was constructed in 1010 – 1014. Inside are frescoes that were made in the 17th century.

Nikortsminda Cathedral
Nokalakevi (Archaeopolis)

Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti

Impressive ruins of the fortress – settlement of Byzantium. This settlement was inhabited since the 8th century BC but the enormous fortress was built in the 4th – 6th century AD.

Nokalakevi
Ateni Sioni Church

Shida Kartli

Church from the early 7th century, an early example of tetraconch planning. Walls are adorned with the first known inscriptions in Nushkuri – early Georgian alphabet, inscriptions were made in 835 AD. Here are also first known examples (from the 980s) of Mkhedruli – current Georgian script. Next to the church are ruins of the medieval fortified town Ateni.

Ateni Sioni Church

WorldYellow Recommended books

Edge of Empires: A History of Georgia


Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, Georgia is a country of rainforest and swamps, snow and glaciers, and semi-arid plains. It has ski resorts and mineral springs, monuments, and an oil pipeline. It also has one of the longest and most turbulent histories in the Christian or Near Eastern world, but no comprehensive, up-to-date account has been written about this little-known country—until now.

Georgia (Bradt Travel Guide)


This new edition of Bradt’s Georgia, the only dedicated guide to the country, has been thoroughly updated throughout, with greatly expanded coverage of Batumi, Adjara, and Svaneti. The capital, Tbilisi, has seen huge changes in the past decade with some conspicuous new projects such as the Peace Bridge, the Opera House, and Saakashvili’s Presidential Palace.


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