Georgia and Tbilisi: "strength in unity"
Georgia is a modern state in the South Caucasus situated on the coast of the Black Sea between the northern slopes of the Lesser Caucasus and the southern slopes of the Greater Caucasus range which forms the country’s border to the north. Georgians are ancestors of the Kartvelian people and constitute the ethnic majority of the population. They inhabit the Central and Western parts of the Caucasus mountains. The official language of Georgia is Georgian, which is one of the most ancient actively used languages on the planet; more than 5 million people speak this language all over the world. The Georgian language is believed to have remained almost unaltered for more than 1200 years.
Georgian history covers several thousand years, starting with the Early Paleolithic Age and finishing in the modern day. The first state mentioned on the territory of Georgia is the Kolkhid kingdom situated on the eastern coast of the Black Sea. It played a significant role in the formation of the Georgian nation. Greek chroniclers in the middle of the 1st millennium BC believed the hard-to-reach Kolkhid and Caucasus mountains represented the end of the world, indeed it was for Kolkhid that the Argonauts set off in their quest for the Golden Fleece. Today, Georgia, along with other regions of the Caucasus, is included among those places where the most ancient memorials of human civilization have been found and it is also thought to be the birthplace of metallurgy.
In terms of government, Georgia is a democratic presidential republic with a one-chamber parliament; however, in accordance with changes made to the Georgian constitution, in 2013 presidential duties will be transferred to Parliament and Georgia will become a parliamentary republic. The statehood of Georgia is significantly consolidated by feelings of deep patriotism and cultural unity among the Georgian nation. The motto on the emblem of Georgia says "Strength in unity".
The official state religion in Georgia is Orthodox Christianity and there are a number of sacred Christian holy places which are visited by thousands of pilgrims each year. According to legend, Georgia was that same place where the Virgin Mary was sent for an apostolic sermon, in order to bring the teachings of Jesus to new lands. That is why Georgia is considered to be the chosen country of the Mother of God, who is also the nation’s patron. Even with the enormous presence of Christianity, which has engaged public awareness activities throughout the state’s history, members of other religions are treated with patience and due respect.
Georgia’s capital and largest city is Tbilisi (Tiflis), an important industrial, social and cultural center for the country and a spectacular example of different nations and cultures, religions and ethnic groups mixing together. Tbilisi is one of the few places in the world where you can find synagogues, churches and mosques side by side. The city takes its name from nearby warm sulfur springs; translated from Georgian "Tbilisi" literally means "warm". The history of the city can be learnt by its architecture, such as the tremendous architecture of the historical old town with its narrow streets and numerous churches, the National Park of Tbilisi, the Turkish sulfur sauna, and the thousands of intact sculptures and monuments which neighbor modern buildings as a Cathedral of Holy Trinity and the World’s Bridge.
Georgia is a country with an ancient and distinctive culture: the music, songs, architecture, painting and literature of the Georgian nation are truly unique cultural achievements in world history and the famous Georgian hospitality and intense spirituality of the Georgian people will make your stay in Georgia completely unforgettable!