Kakheti (Georgian: კახეთი [kʼɑxɛtʰi]) is a region (Georgian: Mkhare) formed in the 1990s in eastern Georgia from the historical province of Kakheti and the small, mountainous province of Tusheti. Telavi is its capital. The region comprises eight administrative districts: Telavi, Gurjaani, Kvareli, Sagarejo, Dedoplistsqaro, Signagi, Lagodekhi and Akhmeta. Kakheti is bordered by the Russian Federation to the Northeast, Azerbaijan to the Southeast, and the Georgian regions of Mtskheta-Mtianeti and Kvemo Kartli to the west.
The Georgian David Gareja monastery complex is partially located in this province and is subject to a border dispute between Georgian and Azerbaijani authorities
Mtskheta (Georgian: მცხეთა [is a city in Mtskheta-Mtianeti province of Georgia. One of the oldest cities of Georgia, it is located approximately 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of Tbilisi at the confluence of the Aragvi river.
Due to its historical significance and several cultural monuments, the “Historical Monuments of Mtskheta” became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. As the birthplace and one of the most vibrant centers of Christianity in Georgia, Mtskheta was declared as the “Holy City” by the Georgian Orthodox Church in 2014
Tbilisi is the capital of the country of Georgia. Its cobblestoned old town reflects a long, complicated history, with periods under Persian and Russian rule. Its diverse architecture encompasses Eastern Orthodox churches, ornate art nouveau buildings and Soviet Modernist structures. Looming over it all are Narikala, a reconstructed 4th-century fortress, and Kartlis Deda, an iconic statue of the “Mother of Georgia.”
David Gareja is a rock-hewn Georgian Orthodox monastery complex located in the Kakheti region of Eastern Georgia, on the half-desert slopes of Mount Gareja, some 60-70 km southeast of Georgia’s capital Tbilisi. The complex includes hundreds of cells, churches, chapels, refectories and living quarters hollowed out of the rock face. The complex was founded in the 6th century by David (St. David Garejeli), one of the thirteen Assyrian monks who arrived in the country at the same time. The complex now day is one of the most popular attractions for tourists coming to Georgia.
Uplistsikhe is an ancient rock-hewn town in eastern Georgia, some 60 kilometers from Tbilisi. Uplistsikhe is identified by archaeologists as one of the oldest urban settlements in Georgia. The town’s age and importance led medieval Georgian written tradition to ascribe its foundation to the mythical Uplos, son of Mtskhetos, and grandson of Kartlos. The central part of Upliscikhe is the largest, contains a bulk of the Uplistsikhe rock-cut structures, and is connected to the southern part via a narrow rock-cut pass and a tunnel. Narrow alleys and sometimes staircases radiate from the central “street” to the different structures. The Uplistsikhe cave complex has been on the tentative list for inclusion into the UNESCO World Heritage program since 2007.
Kutaisi is Georgia’s second largest city located 220 km to the west of Tbilisi. Kutaisi was the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Colchis. Archaeological evidence indicates that the city functioned as the capital of the kingdom of Colchis as early as the second millennium BC. It is widely believed by historians that when Apollonius Rhodius was writing about Jason and the Argonauts and their legendary journey to Colchis, Kutaisi/Aia was the final destination of the Argonauts and the residence of King Aeëtes. The Kutaisi Cathedral, more commonly known as Bagrati Cathedral is the 11th-century cathedral church in the city of Kutaisi. The cathedral, now in ruins, is regarded as a masterpiece in the history of medieval Georgian architecture. In 1994, the Bagrati Cathedral, together with the Gelati Monastery, was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list as a single entity.
The cave city of Vardzia is a cave monastery dug into the side of the Erusheli mountain in southern Georgia near Aspindza on the left bank of the Mtkvari River. It was founded by Queen Tamar in 1185. The monastery was constructed as protection from the Mongols. and consisted of over six thousand apartments in a thirteen story complex. The city included a church, a throne room, and a complex irrigation system watering terraced farmlands. The only access to the complex was through some well hidden tunnels near the Mtkvari river. An earthquake in Samtskhe destroyed approximately two thirds of the city in 1283, exposing the caves to outside view and collapsing the irrigation system.
Batumi is a seaside city on the Black Sea coast and capital of Adjara, an autonomous republic in southwest Georgia. Batumi, with its large port and commercial center, is also the last stop of the Transcaucasian Railway and the Baku oil pipeline. It is situated some 20 km (12 mi) from the Turkish border, in a subtropical zone, rich in agricultural produce such as citrus fruit and tea. The most visit attractions in and around Batumi are Gonio fortress, a Roman fortification on the Black sea, 15 km south of Batumi, at the mouth of the Chorokhi river; Batumi Botanical Garden, started by professor Krasnov; aquarium and dolphinarium. The old part of Batumi just renewed is also one of the main attractions for tourists.
Gergeti Trinity Church is a popular name for Holy Trinity Church near the village of Gergeti. The church is situated on the right bank of the river Chkheri at an elevation of 2170 meters, under Mount Kazbegi. The Gergeti Trinity Church was built in the 14th century. In times of danger, precious relics from Mtskheta, including Saint Nino’s Cross were brought here for safekeeping. During the Soviet era, all religious services were prohibited, but the church remained a popular tourist destination. The church is now an active establishment of the Georgian Orthodox and Apostolic Church. The church is a popular waypoint for trekkers in the area, and can be reached by a steep 3 hour climb up the mountain, or around 30 minutes by jeep up a rough mountain trail.
Mount Kazbek is one of the major mountains of the Caucasus located on the border of Kazbegi District of Georgia and North Ossetia. It is the third highest mountain in Georgia (after Mount Shkhara and Janga) and the seventh highest peak in the Caucasus Mountains. The summit lies directly to the west of the town of Stepantsminda and is the most prominent geographic feature of the area. The name in Georgian, Mkinvartsveri, translates to “glacier” or “Ice Mountain”. Mount Kazbek is associated in Georgian folklore with Amirani, the Georgian version of Prometheus, who was chained on the mountain in punishment for having stolen fire from the gods and having given it to mortals.
Sighnaghi is a town in Georgia’s easternmost region of Kakheti located about 100 km eastern from Tbilisi. The territory of the modern-day town was known as Hereti in the Middle Ages, and as Kiziqi after the 15th century. In 1762, King Heraclius II of Georgia sponsored the construction of the town and erected a fortress to defend the area from marauding attacks by Dagestan tribesmen – Sighnaghi (literally, “harbor” in Turkish) . Sighnaghi and its environs are home to several historical and cultural monuments. The town is walled with the remnants of 18th-century fortifications. The venerated Bodbe Monastery is located 2 kilometers from Sighnaghi and is a place of pilgrimage due to its association with St. Nino, the 4th-century apostle of Georgia.
Surrounded by 3,000-5,000 meter peaks, Svaneti is the highest inhabited area in the Caucasus. Four of the 10 highest peaks of the Caucasus are located in the region. The highest mountain in Georgia, Mount Shkhara at 5,201 meters (17,059 feet). Svanetia is known for their architectural treasures and picturesque landscapes. The Botany of Svanetia is legendary among travelers. The famous Svanetian towers erected mainly in the 9th-12th centuries, make the region’s villages more attractive. In the province are dozens of Georgian Orthodox churches and various fortified buildings. Architectural monuments of Upper Svanetia are included in a list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.