Top 50 Interesting Facts About Georgia and Georgians

Georgia stands as a distinctive jewel in Transcaucasia, sharing commonalities with its neighboring states yet radiating exceptional qualities through its customs, history, and culture. In this article, we’ve curated 50 captivating facts about this nation and its people, facilitating the creation of an initial impression and an engaging plan for your Georgian adventure.

50 Most Interesting Facts about Georgia and Georgians

Embark with us on a journey delving into the rich tapestry of Georgia’s history, traditions, and remarkable landmarks.

Historical Facts

1. The roots of Georgia’s history stretch back 1.5 million years, hosting the intriguing presence of the «Georgian Man.» As time unfolded, the ancestors of modern humans appeared in this fertile land some 50-70 thousand years ago.

2. Around eight millennia ago, the Kartvel tribes established their settlement, paving the way for the creation of their inaugural states in the second millennium B.C.

3. The IV century B.C. witnessed the emergence of the Iberian kingdom, etching its name in the annals of ancient historians. Iberia became synonymous with these lands.

4. The advent of our era marked the arrival of the Apostle Andrew in Georgia, laying the foundation for the Georgian Orthodox Church. By the first half of the IV century, Orthodoxy had ascended to the position of the state religion in Iberia.

5. The subsequent years saw the ebb and flow of dominion, with Byzantium, the Arab Caliphate, Seljuks, and Mongol hordes leaving their mark on the landscapes of Iberia. In the XV century, the once-united Georgia fragmented into separate principalities.

6. The late XVIII century witnessed Georgia falling under the protective wing of the Russian Empire, ultimately becoming an integral part at the dawn of the next century.

7. The year 1922 ushered Georgia into the folds of the USSR, with Georgians playing a pivotal role in the existence of this union. Prominent revolutionaries and leaders, including Stalin, hailed from Georgia.

8. The year 1991 saw Georgia boldly declare its independence. In the subsequent years, Abkhazia and South Ossetia proclaimed their separation, yet these lands officially remain integral parts of Georgia.

Georgia Today

9. Modern Georgia, a parliamentary republic, is divided into 9 provinces, 1 city of republican subordination, and 1 autonomous republic – Adjara.

10. The name «Georgia» finds its roots in the ancient historical region Gurjistan, meaning «Land of Wolves.»

11. Tbilisi, the capital founded in the V century AD, is home to over 1.2 million people, standing as the largest and most modern city.

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12. Georgia’s western border is caressed by the Black Sea, while it shares land borders with Azerbaijan, Turkey, Armenia, and Russia.

13. Occupying the 119th place globally in terms of area, Georgia spans 69.7 thousand square kilometers, with a population exceeding 3.7 million.

14. The lari, divided into 100 tetri, serves as the national currency with a floating exchange rate.

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15. Georgia’s economic landscape blends industry and agriculture, exporting cars, copper ore, and wine.

16. The average salary hovers around $250, varying by region and industry, with Tbilisi and Adjara leading at $300-350, and Guria at $220.

17. Georgian is the official language, but the nation embraces 23 languages of national minorities, including Armenian, Azerbaijani, and Russian.

18. Georgia, with over 87% of Georgians as the majority, is not truly multinational. Azerbaijanis form the largest minority at 6%.

19. Despite being a secular state, almost 85% of the population follows Orthodox Christianity, while around 10% adhere to Islam.

20. Positioned in the +4 UTC time zone, Georgia stands 4 hours ahead of Greenwich time.

Attractions of Georgia

22. Old Tbilisi and Narikala Fortress: The heart of Georgia, Old Tbilisi, captivates visitors with its charm, and the iconic Narikala Fortress, perched on the rocky bank of the Kura River, offers panoramic views of the city.

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23. Jvari Temple in Mtskheta: The 7th-century Jvari temple, situated in the Mtskheta region, is a testament to Georgia’s religious history. Built on the spot where St. Nina, the enlightener of Iberia, erected a cross, it holds deep spiritual significance.

24. Vardzia Cave Complex: Carved into rocks at 1300 meters, the Vardzia cave complex is a mesmerizing city of monastic cells, showcasing Georgia’s rich heritage and unique architectural wonders.

25. Ananuri Medieval Fortress: Along the Georgian Military Road, 70 kilometers from Tbilisi, the Ananuri fortress stands proudly with stone walls and towers, narrating tales of medieval Georgia.

26. Gelati Monastery near Kutaisi: Founded by David the Builder in the early 12th century, the Gelati Monastery near Kutaisi boasts exquisite mosaics, recognized as the finest in Transcaucasia.

27. Mount Kazbek: Rising to 5033 meters, Mount Kazbek is a natural marvel straddling the Georgian-Russian border in the Central Caucasus. An extinct stratovolcano, its last eruption dates back to 750 BC.

28. Ureki’s Magnetic Sands: Drawing tourists with tales of healing properties, Ureki’s black magnetic sands offer a unique natural attraction. Legends swirl around the mystical qualities of these captivating sands.

Georgian Spirit and Traditions

29. Pride and Patriotism: Ordinary Georgians are characterized by deep pride and patriotism. Their passionate love for the homeland is rooted in a rich history, and notions of honor hold profound significance, sometimes evidenced by historical blood feuds.

30. Emotional Intensity: Georgians are inherently emotional people, easily moved to both offense and profound love and friendship. Despite outward calmness, this emotional depth can surface unexpectedly.

31. Unmatched Hospitality: Hospitality is a cornerstone of Georgian character. While urbanization may have altered dynamics in cities, rural areas maintain the tradition of welcoming guests like family, offering assistance and warmth.

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32. Festive Toasts and Gatherings: Georgian feasts are vibrant affairs, characterized by crowds, local wine, and a plethora of toasts. Toasts are deeply ingrained, almost a ritual, seen as a form of prayer before partaking in a meal.

33. Culinary Richness: Georgian cuisine, renowned for its diversity, features meat, vegetables, and flavorful spices. From shish kebabs to khachapuri, khinkali to kharcho soup, Georgian dishes tantalize the taste buds.

34. Sacred Family Traditions: Family holds paramount importance in Georgian society. Strong familial bonds and a sense of sacred kinship prevail. An offense against one family member is perceived as an offense against the entire clan.

35. Generational Unity: While city life may lead to separate living arrangements, rural areas witness the gathering of 3–4 generations under one roof, emphasizing the importance of familial ties.

36. Patriarchal Dynamics: Georgian families adhere to a patriarchal structure, with men as breadwinners and women managing household affairs. Even during celebrations, women often sit separately.

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37. Respect for Elders: Reverence towards the older generation is ingrained in Georgian culture. Elders hold honored positions at feasts, their words carry weight, and a daughter-in-law’s respect for her mother-in-law is deemed essential.

38. Affection for Children: Georgians display genuine affection towards children, even those unfamiliar. It is customary to lovingly stroke a child’s head and offer sweet treats.

39. Attitude Towards Foreign Women: Georgian men exhibit a vigilant and respectful demeanor towards foreign women, particularly when accompanied by a man. Unaccompanied women may attract attention and even courtship.

40. Rhythmic Celebrations: Festivities in Georgia are incomplete without lively dancing and music. Men’s dances are dynamic, while women’s dances exude grace. Kartuli, or lezginka, a traditional dance, has historical ties to weddings.

41. Nature-Inspired Folk Music: Georgian folk music, echoing the sounds of nature, incorporates instruments like the duduk whistle, zurna flute, and doli drums. Waves, rivers, winds, and mountain echoes infuse life into this rich musical tradition.

Georgia’s Natural Splendor

42. Diverse Landscape: Situated in the western expanse of Transcaucasia, Georgia boasts breathtaking landscapes. Almost half of its terrain is embraced by the majestic Caucasus Mountains, while the other half unfolds into expansive lowlands.

43. Majestic Peaks: The apex of Georgia, Mount Shkhara, resides in the north, towering at an elevation of 5068 meters within the Greater Caucasus range. Nearby, the renowned Kazbek stands just a few meters lower.

44. Varied Climates: Georgia experiences a predominantly mild subtropical climate, transitioning to a temperate climate in the east. The country displays average humidity, notable temperature variations between seasons, and climate nuances dictated by altitude.

45. Coastal Charm: To the west, Georgia is caressed by the Black Sea, graced with a 310-kilometer coastline. This sea, warm in summer, is famed for tempestuous storms during winter.

46. River Networks: Most rivers in Georgia flow into the Black Sea, while a quarter belong to the Kura basin, directing their waters to the Caspian Sea. The Rioni River, spanning 375 kilometers, stands as the longest in the country.

47. Lakes and Reservoirs: Georgia boasts over two dozen lakes, including artificial reservoirs like the Tbilisi Sea. Paravani, the largest natural lake, covers an area of 37 square kilometers.

48. Cascading Waterfalls: Georgia is adorned with picturesque waterfalls, among them the Samtsvera, essentially the dam of an abandoned reservoir. The Toba cascade, with a total height of 234 meters, claims the title of the highest waterfall.

49. Cave Marvels: The mountainous terrain conceals hundreds of caves, some of which harbor traces of ancient human settlements. Notable among them is the extensive Prometheus Cave or Kumistavi Cave, stretching 11 kilometers.

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50. Biodiversity: Georgia’s flora and fauna showcase remarkable diversity. From broad-leaved and coniferous forests to alpine meadows, the country is home to wolves, bears, red deer, and the endangered ante-Asian leopard.

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Friends! If you have more captivating facts or insights about Georgians and Georgia, feel free to share them in the comments. Your contributions help paint a richer picture of this fascinating country, its people, and their unique cultural heritage. Thank you for being a part of this exchange of knowledge!

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