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KARTLI – HEART OF GEORGIA

 

Kartli is the central, the biggest and the most important region of Georgia. Even the Georgian name for  country (Sakartvelo) is derived from this region and both the ancient and the new capitals of Georgia - Mtskheta and Tbilisi - are located here.

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UPLISTSIKHE - an ancient rock-hewn town

Built on a high rocky left bank of the Mtkvari River, it contains various structures dating from the Early Iron Age to the Late Middle Ages, and is notable for the unique combination of various styles of rock-cut cultures from Anatolia and Iran, as well as the co-existence of pagan and Christian architecture.

 

Uplistsikhe is identified by archaeologists as one of the oldest urban settlements in Georgia. Strategically located in the heartland of ancient kingdom of Kartli (Iberia), it emerged as a major political and religious center of the country. 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

 

DMANISI - fortress and archaeological site

 

The hominid remains discovered in Dmanisi  (1.8 million years old) are the oldest found outside of Africa

The town of Dmanisi is first mentioned in the 9th century as a possession of the Arab emirate of Tbilisi, though the area had been settled since the Early Bronze Age. An Orthodox Christian cathedral – “Dmansis Sioni” – was built there in the 6th century. Located on the confluence of trading routes and cultural influences, Dmanisi was of particular importance, growing into a major commercial center of medieval Georgia.

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KINTSVISI MONASTERY

 

The Kintsvisi Monastery complex consists of three churches, of uncertain origin. Particularly remarkable is the figure of a sitting angel (the so-called “Kintsvisi Archangel”) from the Resurrection composition pointing at the open sarcophagus in a gracious manner, represented above the kings' figures, between two windows. These murals date to before 1205 and rank, due to the lavish use of lapis-lazuli to color their backgrounds, among the most beautiful paintings of that period. Kintsvisi Archangel", complete with scarce and expensive natural ultramarine paint, evidences increasing sophistication and resources of Georgian masters following the reign of George III.


The site is currently listed by the World Monuments Fund as a field project.