Under Reconstruction

Official web site of the President of Georgia

About Georgia

Capital- Tbilisi
Area - 69,700 km²
Climate – diverse: sediment– a small amount, air – dry.
Population  - 3 720.4   (as of 2016)

 
National currency - GL
 
Location - Georgia is located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, in particular, in the Caucasus. To the west it is bordered by the Black Sea, to the north – the Russian Federation, to the south-east – Azerbaijan, to the south – Armenia and Turkey.


History
 
Georgia is the country of ancient civilization. This area was inhabited 1.7-1.8 million years ago. This fact is proved by Homo erectus (human) skull and Anthropos lower jaw discovered in Dmanisi territory, in the south-east of Georgia, in 1999. Nowadays Dmanisi people are regarded as the oldest inhabitants of Eurasia and even called “The first European”.


 

An important trading route passed the territory of Georgia, which is known by the name of “Silk Road”. This road connected India and Mid Asia to Europe. On one hand, it supported to social-political and economic development of the country, and on other hands, due to good strategic location, it used to be the object of attack from the invaders and be under the influence of others, loss the territories, but Georgian people always found the forces to release from the rule of foreign tribes. Many great Empires were ruined, but Georgia still stands on his feet and continued struggle for protection of its own interests. Georgian heroes are sacrificing themselves for integrity of their native land.
 
The first political figure in Georgian history was the King Parnavaz the first (BC 304-239), who implemented series of state and religious reforms. His name is linked with the introduction of written language in Kartli. He is called as the first ruler of Iberia and creation and popularization of Georgian written language is linked to them. According to the opinion in Georgian studies, Parnavaz introduced Georgian alphabet in 285-284 BC.
 
Christianity – Dissemination of Christianity in Georgia is started from Century I, when by request of holly virgin the apostles, St. Andrew the first-called, Simon the Canaanite and Mathias visited for preaching. Though, Christianity was announced as a state religion in Georgina only in 326.  This fact is linked with the names of King Mirian and Queen Nana, who were baptisized after entrance of St. Nino from Cappadocia (Georgian church  announced King Mirian as a saint).
 
Vakhtang the I known as Vakhtang Gorgasali. The date of his reign is not specified till now. Majority of historians states the end of 40s of Century as a possible date.  The date of his death is also hypothetical and it is considered as 502. In 60-70s of V century Vakhrang Gorgasali was able to unite West and East Georgia with support of Persians. He founded current capital of Georgia, Tbilisi. Autocephaly “Self- parishing”of Georgian church is linked with Vakhtang Gorgasali. By the assignment of catholicons institute Vakhtang strengthened the independence of the country and governance of king. 
When the struggle for kingdom- principalities moved on decisive phase, Bagrat III became a king, who completed started affairs and became the first king of united Georgia. In the historical sources he is named as “the King of Abkhazians, Georgians, Rans and Kakhs”.
 
In the history of Georgia, one of the most distinguished and a successful king was David IV the builder (1089-1121). During his reign the enemies tried to establish peaceful and good neighbourghood relationship. He was able to defeat the enemy and expel Turk-Seljuk in the hardest and unfair fight in Didgori (August 12, 1121) in a very difficult period for the country. He implemented military and church reforms, etc. (Georgian church announced David IV as a saint).   
 
King Tamar (1184-1213), the first women ruler in the history of Georgia and the period of her reign is known by the name of “Golden Age”. During her reign Georgia became stronger and one of the strongest state in the Caucasus. Tamar was called as “The king of kings and queen of queens of Abkhazian, Georgians, Rans, Kakhs and Armenians, Shirvans and Shahanshata and Owner of all Eastern and Western owners”. Due to regular military campaigns Georgian Kingdom subordinated east and west Caucasus trading roads under its control. Tamar together with Greeks created Trebizond Kingdom on the Black Sea south coast populated with Lazian-Chanetian Tribes. During the period of Tamar, Georgia tried to substitute the Empire of Byzantium and played the role of the defender of Western culture. (Georgian church announced Tamar as a saint).   
 
During Tamar period the poem “The Night in Tiger’s Skin” having the world importance was written, which is the national and cultural monuments of mid centuries. There is very poor information on its author, Shota Rustaveli. For Georgians „The Night in Tiger’s Skin” has the special importance and it is still regularly readable book in many families. „The Night in Tiger’s Skin” is translated into more than 50 languages and is acknowledged as the world culture masterpiece.
 
Giorgi V the Brilliant  (1318-1346) inherited politically split and economically weak country. He actually restored Georgia from ruins and returned the past glory, saved Georgian nation from extinction. Georgian nation gave him the name “Brilliant”. 
 
Initially, he strengthened the country internally and was able to join Western Georgia, followed by termination of the homage to Moguls and finally their banishment from the country. Giorgi V struggled for strengthening of central government. He  implemented financial (he cut the money known by the name of “Giorgauli Tetri”) and legal reforms. It was by his leadership when the legal monuments, “Khalmtsipis Karis Garigeba” and ”Dzeglisdeba” were created.  
 
He used to have very careful politics. He had a very good relationship with Western and Eastern  rulers. During his reign international authority of Georgia was increased. Egyptian Sultan returned Jvari Monastery turned into mosque to Georgians, Georgians had the right to enter the Jerusalem by open flags riding. In 1330 by the request of Papione XXII the catholic center was moved from Smyrna to Tbilisi.  
Reign Period of Vakhtang VI (1675-1737) is distinguished as the beginning of literature and intellectual development and restoration.
 
The uncle and his teacher, Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani has special contribution in personal development of Vakhtang, who developed the concept of growing up a prince given in the “Sibrdzne Sitsruisa” (the Wisdom of Lie” especially for him. He led printing of “the Knight in Tiger’s Skin” in 1712. Vakhtang VI created the “board of Scholars”, being responsible to write the history of Georgia. He issued the manual of chemistry: The book of blending of oils and creation chemistry”. The manuscript of Zaza Panaskerteli was improved, an Astronomical book “Ziji” (Astrology) and “Creation knowledge Book” were translated from Persian. He issued Persian-Georgian dictionary, translated “Apogtegmata” of Socrates words and the biographies of Roman emperors from Russian. He translated the Indian literature monument “Kilila and Damana” from Persian. 
 
Erekle  II (1720-1798), the king of Kartli and Kakheti, tried his best to strengthen the country, but the intrigues of royal door, rival of feudals, violated integrity of the kingdom due to multiple princes and finally attacks of Persians did not allow him to achieve it. The king was forced to establish connection with Russian Empire and sign “The Giorgievsky Treaty” (1783). Russian side violated the treaty conditions very soon and after death of the king had started abolishment of Georgian kingdom and achieved it in the shortest period due to unequal distribution of the power. Since then Georgian territory became the province of Russia.   
 
Independence of Georgia – After overthrow of monarcy in Russia, the idea of independence of Georgia appeared, which was fulfilled on May 26, 1918. The coalition government of Democratice Republic of Georgia was established, Noe Ramishvili was selected as the first head who was substituted by Noe Zhordania since July 24.
 
Annexation of Georgia – Independence of Georgia did not last for a long time, as in February 25, 1921 Russian Red Army entered in the country. Georgian party opposed the rival. The first founder of Georgian University, Ivane Javakhishvili called students for defence of the native land. Cadets struggled at Kojori and Tabakhmela, though due to unequality of the forces independence of Georgia was thrown down.  The government of an independent Georgia immigrated. Georgia became a soviet country.
 
Post-Soviet Period – in the second half of the 80s of XX century the movement against soviet governance became active. In April of 1989, by the demand of independence of Georgia, In Tbilisi the actions were held, on April 9 Soviet Army raided the action and 16 people were died.
 
After collapse of Soviet Union, Georgia announced independence and one of the leaders of national movement, Zviad Gamsakhurdia was elected as the first president of the country.
 
That time, after 90s, there were conflicts in two regions of Georgia, in Abkhazia and Samachablo (the South Ossetia). For that period the ethnic problems were named as the reason for the conflict, though later on it was proved that the party of conflict was neither Abkhazia, nor Tskhinvali region (the South Ossetia), but Russia, supporting separatism in the region.
 
In August, 2008 Russia attacked Georgia again and occupied upper Abkhazia and former South Ossetia territories being under jurisdiction of Georgia. Currently, Russia is called as an occupant in the official documentation of various international organizations and other state. Currently, 20% of Georgian territory is occupied.  

 
Zviad Gamsakhurdia was substituted by Edward Shevardnaze on the position of President, who arrived in Georgian in 1992 and led the country till 2003.
 
In November of 2003 people protested faked parliamentary elections who were led by the leaders of opposition Zurab Zhvania, Nino Burjanadze and Mikheil Saakashvili. November 23 entered in the history of Georgia by the name of “the Rose Revolution”. “National Movement “gained Parliamentary Majority.   

On January 4, 2004 early presidential elections were held where Mikheil Saakashvili won by 96 % of votes. 

In October 1, 2012 the first parliamentary elections were held, where the opposition coalition “Georgian Dream “won. On October 27, 2013 Giorgi Margvelashvili was elected as a president in the presidential election by 62.18% of votes.  
 

Culture


Georgia is the country of an ancient and rich culture, which is indicated by cultural sites and various art works created in ancient period. Still BC, in Georgian states (Iberia, Colchis) jewelry and architecture was developed, (Vani, Uplistsikhe), Georgian tribes produced metal in neolith era. According to Greek sources and myths, Colchis was rich in gold.
 

During various time, Georgian cultural traditions were merged with foreign traditions enriching local culture more.
Georgia is distinguished with diversified architectural buildings being the treasure of the country. There are multiple architectural temples in big or small towns, in the villages, having complicated details and amazing frescos. The churches and monasteries built in the first millennium are still preserved, indicating that that time construction technology was well-developed.  

 At the end of 19th century development of modernization influenced Georgian architecture. The streets in Tbilisi and Batumi were created in this style, merged with the impressive construction built in Soviet Epoch
 
Eastern and western civilizations played a great role in the formation of Georgia culture. By merging of those two civilizations Georgia created individual national culture. In this process iconography, fine art and enamel contributed much. As for cloisonné Enamel, this direction was emerged in Georgia and our country is considered as the land of origin.
 In the 19 -20 centuries Georgian Arts used to receive education in Paris and Saint-Petersburg.  Due to them the new phase was started in Georgian Art. Elene Akhvlediani, Lado Gudiashvili and Davit Kakabadze introduced cubism and impressionism style in Georgian dine art. It has to be noted the widely recognized artist, Primitivism, Niko Pirosmani here, whose works are very popular in the world.   
 
Folk music is an important part of Georgian culture which is unique all over the world. Polyphony is characterized for Georgian folklore which is the top of folk music thinking. There are the plasts of archaic music.  
 
It is not accidental, that UNESCO recognized Georgian polyphonic songs as a world non-material cultural monument and included it in the cultural inheritance list, and approved universal importance of Georgian traditional polyphony once again.    
 
The interest towards traditional Georgian polyphony is growing more and more: In 2003 the research center of traditional polyphony was established in Vano Sarajishvili State Conservatory of Tbilisi, which organizes the international symposiums once per two years.
 
Famous scientists, folklorists, ethno-music scientists, composers and musicians recognize that there is no similarly developed polyphony in the world. 
 
An American folklorist Alan Lomax called Georgia as a world folk music capital. Americans, by his advice, sent “Chakrulo” by performance of Ilia Zakaidze and Rostom Saginashvili, together with the Symphony # 9 by Beethoven and song of birds, to Space for introduction with world civilization. 


Russian music scientists Boris Asapiev mentioned: “Georgian folk polyphonic culture is recognized as a historic contribution to a great treasure of mankind. It surprises and makes us to bow to Georgian nation musical genius”.
 
Georgian folk music includes both vocal and instrumental music. Instrumental music is presented by string, wind and percussion instruments. In addition to traditional three part music, there are one, two and four part songs as well. Four part music is met in western Georgia, in Gurian and Adjarian folk music.    
 
Georgian musical folklore is characterized by dialectic diversification. Each dialect is special by its specific music language, though at the same time it is based on general Georgian musical thinking system.
 Georgian folk music is characterized by diversity in genres. In particular, it includes ritual-dancing, cult, domestic, labour, lyric, etc. 
by opinion of the scientists, Georgia is one of the first countries not only orthodox, but in entire Christian world, which founded polyphonic song in church music.
 
Georgian spiritual music initially was based on Byzantine music. Greek Church song was monophonic; while three part music was acceptable for Georgian musical thinking. In order to make acceptable for parish the church song became three part since coming of Christianity in Georgia, giving to it special particularity.
 
For centuries, Georgian church song achieved high level of development. According to various researches, it is defined, that this is professional art and not the part of folk work.  
 
Georgian church song is only three part music. Georgian philosopher, clergyman and Neo-Platonist Ioane Petritsi of XI-XII centuries, used the example of Georgian three part music for explaining the concept of trinity to a new Christian parish, as three voices are coming together harmonically, so inseparable is three ipostasis of Trinity. 
 
According to the researches of Ivane Javakhishvili, even in the 10th century, there was Georgian musical written language. Though, unfortunately, it has not been survived up to now. One of the sources is the collection of church songs of Michael Modrekili, where the musical marks are accompanied to the song texts.
 
In the XIX centuries an intensive recording of the church songs have been started intensively, what saved hundreds of unique examples. Those songs are kept in the phono archive of Tbilisi State Conservatory.  
 
Vano Sarajishvili Tbilisi State Conservatory is operating since 1917. The status of state conservatory was assigned to the educational establishment since 1924. Among the first teachers of the conservatory were the students of Liszt, Veniavsky, Marmontel, Tchaikovsky, Mosheles, Kulaus and the founders of Julliard School.
 
One of the symbols of original culture of Georgia of multiple ages is an Academic Theater of Tbilisi Zakaria Paliashvili Opera and Ballet, opened by the grand ball in 1851. In the South Caucausys it was the first Opera Theater hosting 800 spectators, and distinguished by the architectural form among European theaters by façade and interior. From the day of opening theater hosted the opera and ballet groups from western European and other countries. Among the artists who visited the theater were Monserat Caballier, Ferruccio Furlatino, Jose Carreras, Manuel Beltran, Barry Anderson, Elena Obraztsova;Dancers Andrei Uvarovi, Sergey Philin, Igor Zelensky, Ankhel Corella, Maria Alexandrova, Sebastian Kloborg, etc.   
 
Since 2004 Tbilisi Ballet Company is led by world famous the Prima Ballerina, Nino Ananiashvili who enriched classic choreography with various choreographic styles and directions.
 
In 1960, the Kutaisi branch of Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theater established as an independent opera theater, called after the great Georgian composer, Meliton Balanchivadze. In 2010, as a result of rehabilitation of façade and interior of the building was entirely changed. Balanchivadze Kutaisi Opera State Theater and music hall is a little analogue of new Vienna Opera.  
 
Batumi Art Center, opened on August, 2011 is distinguished with special architectural style. Acting seven fountains decorating building exterior and interior and creates the fabulous world. The design and architecture belongs to Georgian architect, Lado Khmaladze.  
 
Vaso Abashidze music and drama state theater counts 85 years. The theater founded in 1926 is still very popular and is the participant of Edinbourgh and Jerusalem festivals, which was invited to Minuch. In 2010 it presented William Shakespear piece “Macbeth” on Croatia Internatinoal Festival and was awarded in nine nominations. In two years, the theater will be located in the newly constructed building next to the Rike Square and will become one of the most prominent and favourate places of local residents and the guests of capital.  The design of the building of the Music and drama theater belongs to an Italian Architect, Maximiliano Puxas.
 
Shota Rustaveli State Drama Theater, located on the main avenue of the capital was founded in 1878. Many elements of rococo are used for decoration of façade and interior. The performances staged on its stage are famous worldwide. Rustaveli Theater participated in Edinburgh, Avignon, Servantino, Athens, Berlin, Milan, Jerusalem, Adelaide, Istanbul, Chekhov, Reykjavík, Bratislava, Shakespear XI and international festivals.
 
National dance is the integral part of Georgian culture. Each part of country has its specific dance demonstrating the traditions, particular and local character. Georgian folk dance is kind of show with swords in the air, "flying" warriors, "coquettish" girls, extraordinary costumes and a unique rhythm- spectators are never bored with watching on them. Georgian dance groups are famous in the world. For instance Georgian National Ballet-  An ensemble “The Sukhishvilis” counting about hundred year of its functioning, thereis the world famous ensembles “the Erisioni”, “the Rustavi”, “the Nabadi”and many others.
 
Georgian folk dances have special costumes, being the ancient national clothes. There is the headscarf being inseperable part of it. Traditional Georgian clothes have specific element of each part of Georgia. Each pattern is different and is sewed by the special technique. There are ethnographic peculiarities, geographic localtion and accordingly climate conditions in each of them. Archeological material proves that Georgians used flax, hemp and wool fibers, for production of clothes and buttons, Pins, buckles, tarragon and others were used for tying and decoration from ancient time.