Travel information, Geography, History
Mtskheta-Mtianeti region bordered by Russian Federation Republics of North Ossetia, Ingushetia and Chechnya from the north and Georgian regions of Kakhetiand Shida Kartli from the east and south.
Region unites the following municipalities: Akhalgori, Dusheti, Mtskheta, Kazbegi and Tianeti.
The administrative center is Mtskheta, the ancient capital city of Georgia.
Mtskheta-Mtianeti is one of the most picturesque and diverse lands in Georgia. It hosts 3500 and 5000 m high snowy peaks of the Greater Caucasus and mountain passes, beautiful gorges, secluded lakes and alpine valleys. The Caucasus Mountains in Khevi and Khevsureti are particularly scenic. Steep slopes descending into the Aragvi valley are one of the most unmatched beauties encountered anywhere in the world. Jvari – one of the passes over the Caucasus range – is located on the picturesque Georgian military road and historically served to link Georgia with the North Caucasus.
Mtskheta was both the ancient capital of the country and the cradle of Georgian civilization. Oldest settlements in Mtskheta and the area designated as Greater Mtskheta are traced back to the Early and Middle Bronze Ages (III-II millennia BC). Its advantageous location on the hub of international trade routes alongside Aragvi and Mtkvari rivers facilitated overall development of the town. Mtskheta was not only the political center of the country. It was also the place that can be regarded as cradle of Georgian Christianity and religious hearth of the Georgian lands until the 12th. c.AD. The whole Mtskheta-Mtianeti region served and still serves to protect both the northern border and hold the century-long traditions and customs of the country.
The climate in the lowlands of Mtskheta-Mtianeti Region is moderately humid, with mildly cold winters and long, warm summers. Average annual temperature ranges 11 C to below zero in Januaries.
The highlands are characterized by moderately humid climate usual in mountains with no summer. Climate in the areas above 3300-3400 m are characterized with abundant snow and glaciers. Up to the elevation of 2350 m average annual temperature is up to 0 C and significantly lowers above the mark. Most precipitation occurs in spring, especially in May. Winters are marked with a lot of snow in virtually all the region. While the height of snow cower is insignificant in the lowlands, it can go up to 3.5 m in some parts of the mountains. Kazbegi area that is located at 2600-3600 m above the sea never experiences real summer. The lands above 3600 m are covered with eternal snow and glaciers and the precipitation here is mainly snow. Annual level of precipitation ranges between 650-1000 mm and snow usually covers the land during 5-7 months a year.
Mtskheta-Mtianeti offers to its gests wide range of remarkable places, historical and cultural monuments. Region is special by its surprisingly combined landscape of mountains and plains, what makes it more attractive and multicoloured. Mtskheta, the ancient capital of Georgia, is now the administrative center of Mtskheta-Mtianeti Region. Numerous historical monuments are scattered around this small picturesque settlement of about 10 thousand inhabitants, and have caused Mtskheta deserve its title as one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites and the most important travel destinations in Georgia. Mtskheta is advantageously positioned in only 20 km from the capital Tbilisi.
The Monastery of Jvari and the Cathedral of Svetitskhoveli makes amazing views of city and underlining its religion importance. There are Ananury Temple, Jinvali reservoir, popular and well developed sky resort Gudauri. The very popular for visiting place is Kazbegi or also named as Stepantsminda. Wonderful nature, the saint trinity temple of Gergeti in the neighbouring distance from glacier top covered by eternal snow will not leave anybody indifferent. This indescribable harmony of nature and man creation will attract you to visit it again and again.
One of the great characterised samples of region is the village of Shatili. This khevsurian settlement is presenting a synthesis of wonderful nature and architectural mastery.
Visiting the Mtskheta-Mtianeti will give you the trip fool of unforgettable impressions and pleasure.
- Kazbegi is one of the highest mountains not only in Georgia, but also throughout the entire Caucasus. Its peak is always covered in snow. The mountain is over 5,000 meters high. The Holy Trinity Church (12th-13th centuries) is situated at an elevation of 2,200 meters ot far from Mount Kazbek in the village of Gergeti. The wall of the bell tower features primitive pictures of animals and human figures, inside the church are frescoes, paintings, and icons. There is also an observation deck which affords a magnificent view of the peak of Kazbek and the valley glaciers.
- Ananuri is a fortress situated on the banks of the Aragvi River, not far from the Zhinvali Reservoir and about 70 km from Tbilisi. It was built by the Aragvi princes and its earliest parts date from the 13th century. The fortress is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The fortress consists of two fortifications joined by a crenellated curtain wall. The upper fortification with a large square tower is well-preserved. Within the complex are two churches. The older Church of the Mother of God dates back to the first half of the 17th century.
- Shatili is a medieval Khevsur fortified settlement. This unique complex, a “village-fortress,” protected the northeast borders of the country. It consists of terraced structures, since the roofs of the houses are flat. The complex comprises living quarters and 60 watchtowers. In the event of an enemy attack, the residents could moved about inside the settlement without having to leave it. Most of the buildings have four stories. Large horned cattle and horses were kept on the first floor, the second floor housed goats and sheep, the third floor was used to store hay and straw, and the people lived on the fourth floor. Shatili was repeatedly attacked by hostile tribes, but no one succeeded in capturing it.