There are about 300 mountain, seaside climatic, balneological and mud resorts in the republic. Near Batumi there is a magnificent botanical garden.
There are over 10 thousand monuments of archeology, history, architecture, art in Georgia, there are numerous historical documents, manuscripts and natural monuments. The oldest architectural monuments preserved in Georgia date back to the 1st millennium BC – the 1st century AD. This is the acropolis in Mtskheta, the royal residence in Armaziskhevi. The examples of Georgian architecture of the early Middle Ages are the fortress city of Ujarma (5th century), settlements with fortresses of Nakalakevi, Shorapani and Skanda, temples in Kartli (5th-6th centuries). Fortifications belong to the XI-XII centuries in Dmanisi, Samshvilde, the temples of Bagrat in Kutaisi, Bolnisi Zion (V century), Jvari (VI century), Svetitskhoveli (XI century) in Mtskheta, the cave city of Vardzia (XII century).
According to loverists, there are 118 museums in Georgia. The most famous is the State Museum of Georgia, transformed in 1919 from the Caucasian Museum (founded in 1852), which contains exhibits demonstrating the development of the civilization of Georgia and the Caucasus as a whole. Very interesting are the Historical and Ethnographic Museum with a collection of ancient Georgian dwellings and the State Museum of Arts of Georgia with its “golden fund”.
This museum has five main sections: ancient Georgian art (with the famous enamels of the Khakhul triptych and the central enamel icon of the Mother of God), Russian, Soviet, Western European and Eastern art.
Tbilisi (“tbili” – warm, there are warm springs near the city) is one of the most ancient cities in the world, it is 1500 years old. The city is filled with a unique national flavor, almost all the buildings in the historical center of the city and at the foot of Mtatsminda are historical or cultural monuments, in the very center of old Tbilisi there are the Georgian Orthodox Church, the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Synagogue and the Muslim mosque. Not far from the city is the Tbilisi Natural National Park.
Lakes are famous natural monuments. Ritsa, Paleostomi, Aletkel, the Plateau of Dinosaurs in the Kutaisi region and a giant cave complex in the region of N. Athos. Eastern Georgia (Kakheti) is the main wine-growing region in Georgia. The pearl of Kakheti can be called the Alazani Valley, in which such famous wine-growing regions as Kindzmarauli, Tsinandali, Gurjaani, Akhasheni and others are located.
Georgia: Money and currency of Georgia
Lari (international designation – GEL), equal to 100 tetri. In circulation are banknotes in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 lari, gold coins in denominations of 500 and 1000 lari, as well as 5, 10, 20 and 50 tetri. The exchange rate of the Georgian lari against the US dollar was 1.77 in July 2006 ($1 equals 1.77 lari).
Banks are usually open on weekdays from 09:00-09:30 to 17:30-19:00. US dollars, euros and rubles are widely used. In Abkhazia and South Ossetia, it is much easier to deal with rubles than with any other currency. Currency exchange can be done in banks and specialized exchange offices located almost everywhere. There is also a private currency exchange market, but using the services of private money changers involves some risk.
In Tbilisi, it is possible to use VISA, Eurocard/Mastercard and Cirrus/Maestro credit cards in large hotels and supermarkets. Major banks accept traveler’s checks. In private shops, hotels and in provincial areas, their use is almost impossible.
Georgia: Culture of Georgia
After the collapse of the USSR, the new government replaced the old communist holidays with patriotic and religious ones, such as Independence Day and St. George. Many Georgians celebrate Christmas and Easter.
Holidays and weekends:
- March 3 – Mother’s Day
- March 8 – Women’s Day
- May 9 – Victory Day
- May 26 – Independence Day
- November 23 – St. George