Visit Georgia

Sakartvelo” – so Georgians mention their native country, where word “Kartvel” means Georgian. Georgian language and written language is one of the oldest one among 14 others throughout whole world.

Legend About Georgia

“When God divided earth between people, Georgians were late. Everything was already divided. God asked them the reason for being late. Georgian explained that they felt hungry on their way; they ate bread and raised toast to God. God liked these words very much and gave small Garden of Eden keeping for himself to Georgians for taking care and saying glory to him.”   

General information

Georgia  known until 1995 as the Republic of Georgia, is a country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the south by Turkey and Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital and largest city is Tbilisi. Georgia covers a territory of 69,700 square kilometres (26,911 sq mi), and its 2017 population is about 3.718 million. Georgia is a unitary parliamentary republic, with the government elected through a representative democracy.

Georgian culture

Georgian culture evolved over thousands of years from its foundations in the Iberian and Colchian civilizations.Georgian culture enjoyed a renaissance and golden age of classical literature, arts, philosophy, architecture and science in the 11th century.Georgian culture was influenced by Classical Greece, the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the various Iranian empires (notably the Achaemenid, Parthian, Sassanian, Safavid and Qajar empires), and later, from the 19th century, by the Russian Empire.

Georgian religion

Today 83.4 percent of the population practices Eastern Orthodox Christianity, with the majority of these adhering to the national Georgian Orthodox Church.The Georgian Orthodox Church is one of the world’s most ancient Christian Churches, and claims apostolic foundation by Saint Andrew.In the first half of the 4th century, Christianity was adopted as the state religion of Iberia (present-day Kartli, or eastern Georgia), following the missionary work of Saint Nino of Cappadocia. The Church gained autocephaly during the early Middle Ages; it was abolished during the Russian domination of the country, restored in 1917 and fully recognised by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in 1989.

The special status of the Georgian Orthodox Church is officially recognised in the Constitution of Georgia and the Concordat of 2002, although religious institutions are separate from the state, and every citizen has the right of religion.

Main religions:

Orthodox Christian (83.4%)
Muslim (10.7%)
Armenian Apostolic (2.9%)
Roman Catholic (0.5%)
Others (2.5%)
Religious minorities of Georgia include Muslims (10.7 percent), Armenian Christians (2.9 percent) and Roman Catholics (0.5 percent).0.7 percent of those recorded in the 2014 census declared themselves to be adherents of other religions, 1.2 percent refused or did not state their religion and 0.5 percent declared no religion at all.

Georgian language

Georgian is a Kartvelian language spoken by Georgians. It is the official language of Georgia. Georgian is written in its own writing system, the Georgian script. Georgian is the literary language for all regional subgroups of Georgians, including those who speak other Kartvelian languages: Svans, Mingrelians and the Laz.

 

Georgian dialects: Dialects of Georgian are from Imereti, Racha-Lechkhumi, Guria, Adjara, Imerkhevi (in Turkey), Kartli, Kakheti, Saingilo (in Azerbaijan), Tusheti, Khevsureti, Khevi, Pshavi, Fereydan (in Iran), Mtiuleti and Meskheti.

 

The history of the Georgian language can conventionally be divided into:

Early Old Georgian: 5th–8th centuries
Classical Old Georgian: 9th–11th centuries
Middle Georgian: 11th/12th–17th/18th centuries
Modern Georgian: 17th/18th century – present

Georgian writing system

Georgian has been written in a variety of scripts over its history. Currently the Mkhedruli or “Military” script is almost completely dominant; the others are used mostly in religious documents and architecture.

Mkhedruli has 33 letters in common use; a half dozen more are obsolete in Georgian, though still used in other alphabets, like Mingrelian, Laz, and Svan. The letters of Mkhedruli correspond closely to the phonemes of the Georgian language.

According to the traditional account written down by Leonti Mroveli in the 11th century, the first Georgian script was created by the first ruler of the Kingdom of Iberia, Pharnavaz, in the 3rd century BC. However, the first examples of a Georgian script date from the 5th century AD. There are now three Georgian scripts, called Asomtavruli “capitals”, Nuskhuri “small letters”, and Mkhedruli. The first two are used together as upper and lower case in the writings of the Georgian Orthodox Church and together are called Khutsuri “priests”.

In Mkhedruli, there is no case. Sometimes, however, a capital-like effect, called Mtavruli, “title” or “heading”, is achieved by modifying the letters so that their vertical sizes are identical and they rest on the baseline with no descenders. These capital-like letters are often used in page headings, chapter titles, monumental inscriptions, and the like.