Kartli

Core of Georgia – Land of First Europeans

This oldest region is called Heart of Georgia. Name “Kartli” is associated with the name of legendary ancestor of Georgian people Kartlos and Biblical Noah. In Georgian word Georgia (Sakartvelo) originates from exactly the word “Kartli.”

Old and new capitals (Mtskheta & Tbilisi) of Georgia is located in Kartli. Exactly on this territory unique archaeological burial places are located where the scull of “First European” has been found.

Kartli – is a historical region in central-to-eastern Georgia traversed by the river Mtkvari (Kura), on which Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi, is situated. Known to the Classical authors as Iberia, Kartli played a crucial role in the ethnic and political consolidation of the Georgians in the Middle Ages. Kartli had no strictly defined boundaries and they significantly fluctuated in the course of history. After the partition of the kingdom of Georgia in the 15th century, Kartli became a separate kingdom with its capital at Tbilisi. The historical lands of Kartli are currently divided among several administrative regions of Georgia.

The Georgians living in the historical lands of Kartli are known as Kartleli and comprise one of the largest geographic subgroups of the Georgian people. Most of them are Eastern Orthodox Christians adhering to the national Georgian Orthodox Church and speak a dialect which is the basis of the modern Georgian literary language.

History – The formation of Kartli and its people, the Kartveli is poorly documented. The infiltration of several ancient, chiefly Anatolian, tribes into the territory of modern-day Georgia and their fusion with the autochthons played a decisive role in this process. This might have been reflected in the story of Arian-Kartli, the semi-legendary place of the aboriginal Georgian habitat found in the early medieval chronicle Conversion of Kartli.

In the 3rd century BC, Kartli and its original capital Mtskheta (succeeded by Tbilisi in the 5th century) formed a nucleus around which the ancient Georgian kingdom known to the Greco-Roman world as Iberia evolved. The role of Kartli as a core ethnic and political unit which would form a basis for the subsequent Georgian unification further increased as a result of its Christianization early in the 4th century. Located on the crossroads of the Byzantine and Iranian influences, Kartli developed a vibrant Christian culture, aided by the fact that it was the only Kartvelian area with its own written language. With the consolidation of the Arab rule in Tbilisi in the 8th century, the political center of Kartli shifted to its southwest, but the Georgian literati of that time afforded to Kartli a broader meaning to denote all those lands of medieval Georgia that were held together by religion, culture, and language. In one of the most-quoted passages of medieval Georgian literature, the 9th-century writer Giorgi Merchule asserts: “And Kartli consists of that spacious land in which the liturgy and all prayers are said in the Georgian language. But [only] the Kyrie eleison is said in Greek, [the phrase] which means in Georgian “Lord, have mercy” or “Lord, be merciful to us”.

What to visit

Gori town

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main city in the region of Kartli. Ioseb Stalin was born here in this city. The great museum carrying his name is located in the city. The only monument and hut has been kept in Georgia, where he was born. There is wonderful nature in Kartli – there are lots of resort cities, including high mountainous city Surami carrying special importance. For protecting and keeping nature the Forest Reserves of Liakhvi, Algeti and Saguramo are created.

Dmanisi former settlement

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Museum-Reserve is presented in former settlement of medieval era and geologic layers dated back to 1.8 million years, where the clods of primary humans and animals are discovered. Since 1991 five skulls of hominid (primary human) were found since 1991 on the territory of Dmanisi former settlement. There is no other place in the world where so many clods had ever been discovered. These results caused great reaction from international social society, because firmly established opinion about re-settlement of the hominids from Africa was changed. The skulls and lower jaw have been discovered here and then reconstructed, further knowing them as Zezva and Mzia. They are kept at Tbilisi Occupation Museum.

J. Stalin Museum

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Museum of Ioseb Stalin, Leader of Soviet Union in Gori, Georgia was established in 1937. The museum is of historic classification. At about 60 000 works are kept in there. Museum complex unites Memorial House where Stalin was born, exposition building with tower and personal wagon of Stalin by which he travelled to Tehran, Yalta and Potsdam. Museum also keeps the personal belongings of Stalin.

Bolnisi Sioni

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(V century) – Georgian architect of earlier Feudal Era is distinguished for strict monuments of interior – main attention is paid to the internal special pictorial design. Bolnisi Sioni elucidates the next of kin of Georgian basilica with that one of other country with Christian world, as well as its clearly revealed characteristics. The meaning of facades is still f secondary meaning. Georgian inscription is kept at the wall of the temple which dates back to V century.

Uplistsikhe

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city engraved in rock, one of the oldest settlements of Caucasus and city center. Firstly we meet in VII century dated written sources. Group of Archaeological monuments are kept in Uplistsikhe and suburbs, from which oldest one belongs to Early Bronze Age and Mtkvar-Araksi Culture.