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UPPER SVANETI – Open air  museum

 

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.

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MESTIA

 

Mestia is ancient capital town of Upper Svaneti and watchtower capital of the world, is located high in the magnificent Caucasus at an elevation of 1,500 meters in the mountains Europe’s highest village. Despite its small size, the townlet was an important centre of Georgian culture for centuries and contains a number of medieval monuments - churches and forts - included in a list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

 

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NOKALAKEVI

 

This is place where an important ancient Georgian city was situated. Roman and Byzantine historians knew the city as Archaeopolis, but in the later Georgian chronicles it is called Tsikhegoji, "the fortress of Kuji", its eponymous and semi-legendary third-century BC founder. The capital of the western Georgian kingdom of Egrisi (Lazica) in the 4th-8th centuries AD, it served as a battlefield during the Lazic War (542-562) between the Byzantine and Persian Empires.

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CHURCHES AND MONASTETIES

 

Bedia Cathedral (XI c)-  located in the village of Agubedia. Several Dadiani rulers are listed as later patrons of this church. Architecturally, the domed cruciform structure stands out among its peers in several ways, such as the negligible Byzantine influence on its exterior and its unusually narrow interior.

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DADIANI PALACE

 

Three palaces form the modern museum complex, parts of which are also Blackernae Virgin Church and Zugdidi Botanical Garden. 

 

Queen’s Palace - In 1873, construction began following a design attributed to Edwig Jacob Rice. This is the best-known surviving structure built under the Dadianis’ royal patronage, and today it houses the Dadiani Palace Museum. By design, it resembles the Alupka Palace in the Crimea.

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KOLKHETI NATIONAL PARK

 

National Park  covers the eastern zone of the Black Sea coast and the basin of the Paliastomi Lake. The Park is established with the purpose of protection and surviving of wetland ecosystems. The park is consisted of separate territories – the districts. The Park is divided into the few natural geographical districts. Besides, the national park includes the sea water area located between the estuaries of the rivers of Rioni and Churia.

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UPPER SVANETI PROTECTED AREAS

 

The protected areas of Upper Svaneti are located in Upper Svaneti, on the territory of administrative region of Mestia, 600-5200 m above sea level and is represented by the following categories: Upper Svaneti National Park and Upper Svaneti Protected Landscape.

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