11 Fun Facts about Georgia For Travellers
Georgia is an absolutely fascinating and a highly underrated country and it offers a variety of things to see and do for each type of traveller from amazing food to great adventures. I compiled a list of interesting things about Georgia that will put the country firmly on your list. let’s go!
Check Out my country Guide for Georgia for all your questions.
It is not Georgia, It is Sakartvelo
For Georgians, their country’s name is Skartvelo and not Georgia. The name Georgia perhaps came from the love of St Georgia (the patron saint of Georgia) by Christian reformers. The name Skartvelo has some details which I found online as
“The name consists of two parts: Kartveli, which refers to an inhabitant of the core central Georgian region of Karli-Iberia, and the circumfix sa-o is a usual geographic for indicating the “land where Kartveli live.” “
It is the 2nd Official Christian Country in the World
Georgia was the second country in the world after Armenia to adopt Christianity as its religion in the 5th century. Georgians also absolutely and vehemently love Siant Georgia, their flag looks like a grad party of St George’s crosses. There is also a statue of him slaying a dragon in the Freedom Square of Tbilisi.
Georgia is Where all Europeans Come From
You know most Europeans are ‘Caucasian’ racially, they come from Caucuses. They have found skulls some 1.8 million years old of a couple Mzia and Zezva and the consensus is that humans travelled from Africa to Europe through Caucuses and Georgia. Mother Georgia!
Georgian is a Unique Language, Truly
Georgian is one of the 14 truly unique languages with a distinctive alphabet. No one speaks it other than Georgians and the script, while originally, used for three languages Asomtaruli, Nuskhuri and Mkhedruli. These days it is only Mkedruli.
Georgia is the Birthplace of Wine Making
Do you like wine? I mean who doesn’t! Shouldn’t even have bothered asking. Georgians have been making wine since 8000 years now and they are credited with coming up with this delicious drink. Georgia produces some great wines and most of them are available at amazing prices. You literally are spoilt for choice here when it comes to food and drinking.
Georgians Take Feasts and Drinking Very Seriously
Supras or feasts are an important part of Georgian culture. There is a strict code that dictates the mannerism regardless of the size or occasion of the feast.
At the beginning of each feast, the guests elect a tamada or toastmaster who introduces each toast. Being a tamada is a sign of great respect in Georgian society and you must be articulate with words as well as in possession of an iron liver because you must also drink a lot without showing any signs of being drunk or inebriated.
Tamada starts the toast by introducing the theme and everyone drinks, this continues in counter-clockwise fashion until the round is completed and it is tamadas turn again and it goes on and on until the feast finishes. The feats arent about drinking only though and part of me understands the reason behind quite carb-heavy items in Georgian cuisine.
If you like food and drinking this is a chance for you to change your career path.
Stalin was Georgian
I am not sure this is a positive for Georgia but Joseph Staling was born in Gori in Georgia in 1878. He rose to power eventually becoming the head of USSR and has the blood of millions on his hands. There is a controversial Stalin Museum in Gori if that’s your thing.
Georgia Offers Amazing Nature
Georgia is one of the most diverse countries in the world in terms of ecology. It has 12 different climate zones from semi-desert to tropical. It is also an underrated ski destination with Gudauri offering amazing slopes for heli-skiing.
The deepest vertical cave in the world also lies in Georgia. it is called Veryovkina Cave
The highest permanent settlements in Europe is also located in Georgia. The villages of Bochorna and Ushguli are more than 2000 metres above sea level.
Need some more reasons to be impressed?
￼Georgia has A LOT of Touristy Sites & Monasteries
Georgia has a lot to offer in terms of tourism sites. It has two of the oldest cities of Europe; Kutaisi which was the capital of Colchis and Mtskheta, the older capital of Georgia before Tbilisi.
It also has three UNESCO World Heritage sites and 16 sites on the tentative list. Georgia is also full of gorgeous monasteries in idyllic settings, perched above beautiful hills overlooking valleys. I also wondered about being a monk whilst there. YES, they are that gorgeous.
Georgians are Musical
Somewhere in space the spacecraft Voyager is hurtling towards a star and it has a special item as part of its package; the Georgian folk song; “Chakrulo”. As if that wasn’t enough, UNESCO Intangible Heritage list also contains the Georgian Polyphonic folk music. There is also a great underground music scene in Tbilisi for everyone with lot of international music as well.
Some of the Oldest Jewish Communities are in Georgia
Georgians Jewish communities are some of the oldest in the world. One group has resided here since 2600 year ago and the recent communities of Ashkenazi Jews arrived in the 19th century. There are numerous synagogues spread throughout the country along with churches and monasteries.