GDM Rent Car is starting Weekly Rubric about most beuatiful places, regions and sightseeings around the Georgia. Firstly, we are starting to tell you about the Kakheti.
Kakheti is a region formed in the 1990s in eastern Georgia from the historical province of Kakheti and the small, mountainous province of Tusheti. Telavi is its capital. The region comprises eight administrative districts: Telavi, Gurjaani, Qvareli, Sagarejo, Dedoplistskaro, Signagi, Lagodekhi and Akhmeta. Kakheti is bordered by the Russian Federation to the northeast, Azerbaijan to the southeast, and Mtskheta-Mtianeti and Kvemo Kartli to the west. This region is 80km. far from capital city of Georgia, Tbilisi.
Kakheti is a true wine region and also offers several marvelous places to stay as well as many great places of interest, and it is the place for meat and wine lovers or anyone who loves fine food.
Where to stay? In Kakheti there is for many varied selection of hotels, motels and other modes to overnight here.
Let's Talk about Kakhetis most wonderful places.
Telavi is the main city and administrative center of Georgia's eastern province of Kakheti. City is located on the foothills of the Tsiv-Gombori Range at 500–800 m (1,600–2,600 ft) above sea level. The first archaeological findings from Telavi date back to the Bronze age.
During the so-called Golden Era of the Georgian State (12th–13th centuries), Telavi turned into one of the most important political and economic centers of the Georgian State. After the disintegration of the united Georgian Kingdom in the 15th century, the role of Telavi started to decline and the city eventually became an ordinary town of trade and crafts. Telavi regained its political importance in the 17th century when it became a capital of the kingdom of Kakheti. By 1762, it turned into the second capital (after Tbilisi) of the united Eastern Georgian Kingdom of Kartl-Kakheti. The reign of King Erekle II, who was born and died in this city, was a special epoch in the history of Telavi.
The complex, called Batonis Tsikhe- translated, like the Master’s Fortress, consists of the fence, “the Royal Palace,” dating XVIII century, Thron’s Churches, the ruins of former Philosophic-theological school, built by Erekle II, the King’s bathhouse, (which has painted walls) the unique gates of the west and east walls and also, art gallery.
King Erkle II Palace Museum
Alaverdi Cathedral- is the tallest construction (51 meters) among the Medieval Georgian architectural monuments. It is a cross-type, three arch construction. There are three entrances from three sides. There are many inscriptions on the walls of the cathedral. Alaverdi cathedral was one of the most important centers of Georgian literacy. Here was rewritten one of the oldest Georgia manuscripts - Alaverdi Gospels. On September 27, the day of the Holiday of Universal Exaltation of the Cross, is celebrated the Day of Alaverdi,- Alaverdoba.
The monastery was founded by the Assyrian monk Joseph (Yoseb, Amba) Alaverdeli, who came from Antioch and settled in Alaverdi, then a small village and former pagan religious center dedicated to the Moon. At a height of over 55 m (180 ft), Alaverdi Cathedral was the tallest religious building in Georgia, until the construction of the Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi, which was consecrated in 2004. However its overall size is smaller than the cathedral of Svetitskhoveli in Mtskheta. The monastery is the focus of the annual religious celebration Alaverdoba. Situated in the heart of the world's oldest wine region, the monks also make their own wine, known as Alaverdi Monastery Cellar.
Ikalto monastic complex, founded by St.Xenon of Ikalto, includes small churches Sameba (Holy Trinity) (the 6 th century), Perisuvaleba (the 8 th – 9 th centuries), Khvitmshobeli (the 9 th century).
All of them were restored in the 19 th century. In one of the churches is buried St. Xenon of Ikalto. The academy building is the newest (the 12 th century). Today only the fragments of it can be seen on the roadside hill. The building of academy was not restored its destruction by the hordes of shah Abas I in 1616.
The academy of Ikalto was founded at the monastery during king David the Builder by Arsen Ikaltoeli in the early 12th century. The Academy of Ikalto trained its students in theology, rhetoric, astronomy, philosophy, geography, geometry chanting but also more practical skills such as pottery making, metal work, viticulture and wine making and pharmacology.
Ancient academy of Ikalto is famous for the fact that Shota Rustaveli, the outstanding Georgian poet of the 12 th century, used to study there.
The Georgian town of Sighnaghi is located in the eastern part of Kakheti, and is known as the City of Love. Sighnaghi was also one of Georgia’s many stops along the ancient Silk Road. Sighnaghi is just over an hour away from Tbilisi, which makes it a good escape from the busy life of the city. Many day trips and short excursions travel to Sighnaghi.
The town has recently undergone significant restoration and infrastructural improvement, rendering Sighnaghi a must-see destination in Georgia. Casino gambling, high end hotels and dining, fine wines and a stunning view of the Alazani Valley make Sighnaghi one of Georgia’s most attractive small towns.
The town sits atop a bluff overlooking the Alazani Valley, which is one of Georgia’s most famous wine-producing regions. Sighnaghi is a great place to start a wine tour in Georgia’s prime wine country, especially since several vineyards and wineries are just a short drive from the town’s center. The surreal views of the Greater Caucasus Mountains add an extra level to the scenery.
Gremi - the Georgian Orthodox Cathedral is located in Kakheti, in Kvarelimunicipality village, in the citadel of the east of Gremi, on a high hill. It was built by the King of Kakheti, Levan in 1565. The paintings were finished in 1577.
The history of Gremi, as a city, begins from XV century, when the first king of Kakheti George (1466-1476) turn it into the capital of Kakheti Kingdom. This status was maintained by Gremi for over two centuries. There were active bookish activities here and caravan roads as well. That is why it became the center of political, economic and cultural life of Kakheti.
The architectural complex of Gremi consists of various buildings.There are the Archangel domed church, a three-story palace-bell tower, agricultural buildings, a curtain wall and the secret exit to the river Intsobi. There are also baths, market and caravansary. There are 2 056 exhibits in the museum. Some of the items found in Gremi are kept in the National Museum of Georgia. Museum-Reserve also represents a series of paintings- portraits of kings.
David Gareja is a rock-hewn Georgian Orthodox monastery complex located in the Kakheti region of Eastern Georgia, on the half-desert slopes of Mount Gareja, some 60–70 km southeast of Georgia's capital Tbilisi. The complex includes hundreds of cells, churches, chapels, refectories and living quarters hollowed out of the rock face.
Part of the complex is located in the Agstafa rayon of Azerbaijan and has become subject to a border dispute between Georgia and Azerbaijan. The area is also home to protected animal species and evidence of some of the oldest human habitations in the region.
The complex was founded in the 6th century by David (St. David Garejeli), one of the thirteen Assyrian monks who arrived in the country at the same time. His disciples Dodo and Luciane expanded the original lavra and founded two other monasteries known as Dodo's Rka (literally, "the horn of Dodo") and Natlismtsemeli ("the Baptist"). The monastery saw further development under the guidance of the 9th-century Georgian saint Ilarion.
Kvareli is located in Kakheti, at the left bank of river ALazani, from the west side there is river Duruji, and from the east- river Bursa. Kvareli is known as the “eye of Kakheti”. So, if you decide to visit Kvareli, I advise you to see one of the natural remarkable sights: “the huge stone”. It is situated at the north of Kvareli, on the left bank of river Duruji. It is interesting, as the weight of Stone is 160 tonnes. It is a result of river Duruji flooding (in 1889). The flooding repeated several times, so later, they built there 5,5 kilometers length and 7 metre height stone dam. And exactly that dam is nowadays one of the most popular tourist places in Kvareli. There is also very famous seawall, which was built to suspend this wild river.
There is also Kvareli balneological resort at 8 kilometers from Kvareli. The resort is adorned with cute cottages. You can visit that resort to cure your health and rest, as there are two types of mineral waters.
Kvareli Lake Resort is adapted for all types of leisure-seekers, including hiking for active types and fishing for guests favoring more sedate recreation. There is a track around the lake, on which the guests can ride bicycles rented in the hotel. A wide range of boats and catamarans are available for hire, while water skiing is an option as well. Spa and fitness facilities are also on offer
There are many wineries in Kvareli; however, the most favorite place for tourists is a winery “Khareba”, which offers a unique experience – tour in the mysterious tunnel (Gvirabi). This tunnel was opened in 1962 for the World Wine Congress and it is almost 8 km length.
Tsinandali is a village in Kakheti, Georgia, noted for the estate and its historic winery which once belonged to the 19th-century aristocratic poet Alexander Chavchavadze (1786–1846). It is situated in the district of Telavi, 79 km east of Tbilisi.
Alexander Chavchavadze inherited this village, lying in the Alazani River vally, from his father, Prince Garsevan. He refurbished the estate, constructed a new Italianate palace and built a decorative garden in 1835. It was the place where Chavchavadze frequently entertained foreign guests with music, wit, and – most especially – the fine vintages made at his estate marani (winery). Familiar with European ways, Chavchavadze built Georgia’s oldest and largest winery where he combined European and centuries-long Georgian winemaking traditions. The highly regarded dry white Tsinandali is still produced there.The village and the Chavchavadze estate were further famed by a surprising raid by the troops of Imam Shamil, a Muslim leader of the northeast Caucasian opposition to the Russian expansion, on July 2, 1854. The attack was commanded by Ghazi-Muhammad, Shamil’s son. Avenging the Chavchavadze family for their contribution to the Russian success in the Caucasian War, the mountaineers pillaged the estate and kidnapped the wife of Alexander’s son, Prince David Chavchavadze, her widowed sister, Varvara Orbeliani, who were both grand-daughters of George XII of Georgia, their children and several relatives. This event sent waves of shock not only into Russia, but the West as well. On March 22, 1855, after complicated negotiations, the hostages were exchanged for Shamil’s captive son Jamal al-Din and 40,000 silver rubles as part of a deal involving a general exchange of prisoners.
After David Chavchavadze’s death, due to the failure to pay the debt to the Russian Public Bank, the estate passed to the property of the Imperial family. The Tsinandali garden was renovated in 1887 and passed to the state n 1917. In 1947, the estate was organized into a museum
The history of the Tsinandali Estate, as one of the most important centers of cultural life in Georgia, extends more than two hundred years into the past. In the time of Alexander Chavchavadze it was a must destination for musicians, writers, poets and other prominent foreigners visiting Georgia, as well as for local public figures. Its cultural traditions are still upheld in our own day. Since 2007 the Tsinandali Estate has been under the patronage and care of the Silk Road Group. Over the last decades the Company has invested tens of millions of GEL in the rehabilitation and development of the historic site and its adjacent areas. Thanks to the efforts of the Silk Road Group, the restored Alexander Chavchavadze Museum and its historic park continue to tell their story to contemporary and future generations of visitors.
Dishes and Winery
Autumn is just around the corner and thus the time of harvest is getting closer, especially of grapes. In Georgia grapes are harvested between late August and the middle of November. There is no set date when the harvest will actually commence. The main thing is not to miss the precise moment when the grapes are full of miraculous nectar and not let them get over ripe and even worse, to wither. The process of grape gathering is called Rtveli in Georgia and mainly takes place in the kakheti region.
Rtveli is a traditional vintage and rural harvest holiday in Georgia accompanied by feasts, musical events and other celebrations. The tradition of Rtveli dates back to ancient times, having its roots in the festivity of mid-Autumn abundance and variety. It is a big occasion in Georgia when the whole nation comes together to honor ancient traditions of winemaking.Rtveli usually lasts for several days, with people starting work in the early morning hours and ending the day with a feast to the accompaniment of vintage-themed folk songs.
Kakhetian Mtsvadi is a barbecued meat on a stick but with a difference - the stick is from a grapevine and gives a distinctive flavour. Properly made mtsvadi is an extraordinary dish. Preparing it is an entire ritual. Mtsvadi made outdoors, on an open fire is very special and completely different from that made at home using a frying pan or an electric cooker. This is in the Georgian genes. We have enjoyed it since ancient times and mtsvadi is subconsciously bound to our distant ancestors’ ritual of roasting meat over a fire after a hunt. By the way, it is known that Erekle ll, one of Georgia’s greatest kings, was especially fond of eating mtsvadi in the mountains.
Khashlama is boiled meat with greens, spices and local vegetables, topped with fresh herbs. In Kakheti this would be made with veal, in Tusheti with lamb.
Now, we hoe that was beautiful and unforgettable experience from us about this beautiful region in the Europe. via our comfortable rent service, transport in kakheti with GDM's high classes cars will be no problem and also enjoyable.
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