Region of fortress cities - land keeping many secrets
Archaeological researches elucidated the fact that here people had lived since oldest, ancient epoch which is evidenced by the old settlements and burial places are kept till now.
Samtskhe-Javakheti is rich in oldest historic monuments and modern popular resort cities. Numerous monasteries and fortresses are of strategic meaning in the region. It is astonishing to see the city of Vardzia dated XII century, engraved in the rock which plays great role in political and cultural life. There is resort Borjomi in this region, known to everyone with its mineral water and ski-boarding resort Bakuriani. Between Borjomi and Bakuriani short railway line is lead out which small sized train “Kukushak” moves on. Just imagine the train traffic in most beautiful ravines and magic beauty of these ravines, short but unforgettable trip. It is Tsagveri and Likani to be mentioned from recreational complexes where the Palace of Romanovs is located and where Ioseb Stalin used to have rest often.
Vardzia (XII-XIII centuries) – monastery complex engraved in rock. “If enemy couldn’t have known the dislocation place for King Tamar, there were three hundred sixty-five rooms distinguished as King Tamar had ordered, so many rooms as the days are per year; each day each room was distinguished and construction ended in one year.”
Prison of Tmogvi (X century) – one of the fortresses which is hard to take over is built on rocky mountain. Due to the characteristic features of relief, its borders are erected to various heights. In sources it is firstly met in X century. It controlled the road coming from Asia to Georgia through the Gorge of Mtkvari.
Since October 24th 2007, Khertvisi together with Vardzia Monastery is included in the test list of World Inheritance of UNESCO.
History writer Leonti Mroveli who should rely upon the verbal tradition, states that in 20ies of IV century B.C. Alexander from Macedonia during his crusade to East visited Khertvisi together with other fortress cities of Georgia.
Borjomi Town – Borjomi is balneology and climatic resort. Here family members of Russian Emperor, state and cultural workers used to have rest: Maxim Gorki, Peter Chaikovsky, Ioseb Stalin, Giorgi Dimitrov and others. There is mineral water bottling factory is well known in Borjomi. Other small enterprises and cultural institutions are located here (Theatre, Museum of Local Areas).
Water “Borjomi”mineral water from volcanic origin goes up to surface from 8-10 km depth. In difference with the mineral water, it is late in cooling down under ground and comes out of surface in warm condition (38-41°С) which enriches by 60 various mineral compositions existing in mountains of Caucasus. The results of the Borjomi water analysis show that deeply mineralized, modern fresh and low mineralized waters play their role in its formation.
Borjomi mineral waters have been discovered yet in the beginning of first millennium A.D. This is evidenced by 7 stone baths discovered in XX century. As it seems the water of Borjomi of that period was used for exactly the baths and not for drinking purposes. Archaeological materials obtained in Borjomi evidences that mineral water was used till the end of XVI century. The clay pipes of medieval ages are found, which were driven to several springs in Borjomi. As a result of wars taking place in XVI-XVIII centuries the existence of springs was forgotten for many years and those places where these springs are, have been left.
Borjom-Kharagauli National Park – one of the largest national park in Europe, is located on the territory of Samtskhe-Javakheti, Imereti and Inner Kartli territories.
Park was founded in 1995 and it occupies 85 083 thousand hectares which are presented in well kept forest habitats, rare and unimaginable flora and fauna, self-being and splendid landscape.
The diversity of it geographic and ecological zones, rich wild universe and diverse plants cause interest in tourists and scientists. Historic monuments located on the enclosed territory make Georgian culture even more attractive for the visitors interested. Tourist paths and infrastructure are created in the Park, 12 tourist routes operate across which shelters for tourists are organized.
Bakuriani – well-known ski-boarding resort and center of international meaning is located 1700 meters from sea level, 30 km from Borjomi and 180 km from Tbilisi, capital of Georgia. Bakuriani is ski-boarding resort, main factors for treatment are: mountain air, long-term sunshine and X-ray beams of high activity; people here treat from lymphadenitis, chronicle non tuberculosis diseases of respiratory system and blood anemia. Real paradise of ski-sport Bakuriani – represents the winter sport center of international meaning. Skis, snowboards, snow motorcycles, horses, sledges – are wonderful for sportsmen or those who are fond of active relaxation. Bakuriani valleys are covered with pine forests. Botanic garden of Bakuriani is located on the nearby territories of the city.