General Information about Georgia
Georgia is one of the oldest countries in the Middle East located between Black sea, Russia, Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan. Its people, language and culture are unique and very old. Georgia is also one of the first Christian countries in the world. For example Armenia adopted Christianity in 301, Rome in 313, Georgia in 337. Christianity was professed in Georgia yet in 1-st century by the Andrew the first called.
Population of Georgia is about 5 million of which 70% are Georgians. Along Georgians in the country live Azerbaijanis, Armenians, Osetians, Russians etc. In general Georgia is multi-national, multi-religious, multi-cultural country where alongside live almost 100 nationalities, many religions and confessions. The main religion in Georgia is Orthodox Christianity.
Thanks to latest archeological discoveries Georgia is truly believed to be a home of first humans in Europe. In Dmanisi (South Georgia) were found male and female human skulls as old as 1.8 million years. World’s leading paleontologists assume that these humans are one of the first who came from Africa.
Georgian language is very old and belongs to Iberian-Caucasian group of languages. Georgian script is believed to be as old as 22 centuries. First Georgian inscription found dates to 4-th century. It is an inscription on stone in Bolnisi (south-east Georgia). First written manuscript that survived to present times is a hagiographic novel of Jacob Curtaveli “Martyrdom of Saint Shushanik” dated to 5-th century. Georgian script overcame 3 stages until it gained its current shape. These stages were Asomtavruli, Khucuri and modern Mkhedruli. Georgian alphabet is a valuable treasure for Georgian People and is one of the fourteen existing in the world.
Climate in Georgia is diverse and varies from mild subtropical from west to semi-continental in east. A mount Mtirala (in Georgian weeping mountain) in Ajaria gets highest level of precipitation in Europe (about 3 thousand mm per year). While in east Georgia we found places of very low precipitation level – below 100 mm per year. Such weather conditions form areas called semi-deserts. Georgia has complex relief and is generally a mountainous country. Thanks to its location Georgia is rich of water recourses and water power potential is extremely high. One of the largest Water Power Plant is Engury Power Station producing almost half of the country’s electricity. Georgia is covered by lush forests. 40% of its territory is forest. Hence the abundance of flora and fauna species in Country. Therefore Georgia has big eco-tourism potential.
Legend – How Georgia was given to Georgians.
Upon creating world God decided to give various lands to all nations. Georgians only came when all the lands were given out. Why are you late? Asked God. Georgians answered that they were having a fist and making toast for glory of Lord. God was pleased to hear this answer and decided to reward Georgians for their faithfulness. He granted Georgians with a small land - paradise on the earth that he was keeping for himself. So this is how Georgians got this small paradise on the earth. This is a legend. In fact the name Georgia derived from Greek word “Geo” which in Greek means land. This is probably because our ancestors for ages were land workers pursuing agriculture and especially wine making.
Viticulture is an inseparable part of Georgia’s life. Georgians were making wine a long time ago. Archeologists find remains of ancient wine cellars all over in Georgia. Latin word “Vino” is thought to come from Georgian word “Ghvino”. There are a lot of original grape sorts in Georgia that are unique and are not found elsewhere in the world. Several Georgian wine brands such as Khvanchkara, Saperavi, Tsinandali etc. are well known abroad.