Georgia is a small country that stretches from the Black sea to the Caspian Sea and covers a territory of about 69,700 sq. km. Georgia spreads out over the south slopes of the Greater Caucasus Range. The Caucasus range has some mountains that are over 5000 meters high and many of those mountains are covered by glaciers. Many streams originate from these glaciers and they flow through deep gorges towards the south, where most of them meet with the two biggest Georgian rivers, the Mtkvari and Rioni rivers. The gorges gradually level and transfer to valleys and plains, where the Colchis, Kartlis, and Alazani valleys are located. South Georgia is surrounded with a mountain system which consists of volcanic mountain ranges, depressions, and plateaus.
Georgia is a country of mountains and valleys. The nature in different parts of the country is very different from each other, and always peculiarly attractive.
Georgia is rich in rivers and lakes where many species of fish live. About 2 million hectares of the country’s territory is covered by forests. A great part of the territory is held by vineyards and citruses. The fauna is very interesting. There is the well known Georgian black bee, which is characterized by its high productivity. Georgia fascinated the famous traveler Marco Polo and he once said, “Georgia has a lot of peerless silk, golden cloths . Nowhere on earth are there such falcons. There are many fish in the lake and game in the woods ... many mountains and valleys…” (1254-1324).
The country is famous for its mineral springs and healing mud.
Georgia is a country of ancient history and culture. Historical records of Georgia go back almost 4 thousand years. The Georgian language is attributed to the Iberian-Caucasian language family and forms a separate group of the Kartvelian languages. The unique Georgian alphabet was introduced in the fifth century BC. Georgia is one of the first countries where Christianity was declared the state religion in the first half of the fourth century. Georgian chants are world famous and outstanding. In 1974, the Americans sent a satellite into space with their choice of the top 25 melodies in the world, among them was the Georgian folk song “Chakrulo”.
Archaeologists have discovered that the first people who lived on Georgian land are from pre-historic time. Here they have passed through all stages of human development. Scientists discovered a skull in Dmanisi , which is the oldest found in Europe. It belongs to the people who lived here 2 million years ago. They also found a tooth of the unicorn that lived millions of years ago in Georgia. Scientists believe elephants, short-naked giraffes, and tigers also lived in Georgia.
Georgia has had a turbulent history due to its location between the Greater and Lesser Caucasus Ridges. These huge natural barriers that spread from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea connect the lands in the north and south by several passages. That’s why Georgia had attracted numerous invaders over the centuries. During its history, Georgia was often the setting of confrontation for the Persians, Ottomans, Byzantine and Roman Empire. In the 19th century Russia annexed Georgia. Finally, Georgia gained its independence in 1991.
Today, despite many challenges Georgia is moving forward. Its history is always being written and it will continue to be written by the new generations.