UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Georgia


Currently Georgia has four major monuments enlisted among UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Below on this page and at the map we describe and located all enlisted sites.
Here is a link to official UNESCO page: https://whc.unesco.org/en/statesparties/ge

Monuments of Mtskheta

The historic churches found in Mtskheta, the former capital of Georgia, showcase exceptional medieval religious architecture in the Caucasus. These churches reflect the high artistic and cultural achievements of this ancient kingdom.

Situated in Central-Eastern Georgia, at the confluence of the Aragvi and Mtkvari Rivers, about 20 km northwest of Tbilisi, current capital, the Historical Monuments of Mtskheta stand as key symbols of medieval Georgia. Notable among them are the Holy Cross Monastery of Jvari, Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, and Samtavro Monastery.

The churches in this complex preserve remnants of earlier structures on the same sites, along with ancient wall paintings. For instance, the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in the heart of the town includes the cathedral church, the palace, and the gates of the Katolikos Melchizedek from the 11th century, erected on the grounds of earlier churches dating back to the 5th century. The cruciform cathedral features a lofty cupola, interior wall paintings, and intricate sculpted decorations from various periods in its extensive history.

The Samtavro Monastery contains a small domed church initially constructed in the 4th century, undergoing multiple renovations since then. The main church of the monastery was built in the early 11th century and houses the tomb of Mirian III, the king of Iberia responsible for establishing Christianity as Georgia's official religion.

These monuments of Mtskheta encompass archaeological remains of immense significance, showcasing the advanced culture in building art, masonry, pottery, metal casting, and processing. They represent over four millennia of social, political, and economic evolution within this mountainous kingdom. Additionally, they hold significant associations with revered religious figures like Saint Nino, whose remarkable deeds are recorded by Georgian, Armenian, Greek, and Roman historians. The 6th-century church in the Jvari Monastery remains the most sacred site in Georgia.

For more information about ancient capital of Georgia see out page Mtskheta
Photo Credit: Amos Chapple  © OUR PLACE The World Heritage Collection

Gelati Monastery

The Gelati Monastery represents medieval Georgia's prosperous period known as the 'golden age', which flourished during the reigns of King David IV 'the Builder' (1089-1125) and Queen Tamar (1184-1213). King David initiated the monastery's construction in 1106 near his capital, Kutaisi, situated on a wooded hill by the river Tskaltsitela. By 1130, during the rule of his son Demetré, the main church was finished. Additional churches were later added during the 13th and early 14th centuries. Intricate mural paintings dating from the 12th to 17th centuries adorn the monastery, alongside a 12th-century mosaic in the main church's apse, portraying the Virgin with Child surrounded by archangels. The monastery's architectural excellence, exceptional ornamentation, expansive size, and well-defined spatial design collectively showcase the artistic style of Georgian architecture during its 'Golden Age'. Its nearly undisturbed setting illustrates the deliberate integration of architecture with the surrounding landscape.

Beyond its religious function, Gelati was also a hub for learning and scholarship. The Academy established within its premises held significant importance as one of ancient Georgia's key cultural centers.

For more information about Gelati Monastery see out page about Kutaisi

Upper Svaneti and village Ushguli

The remote landscape of Upper Svaneti, protected by its isolation, showcases a stunning view of Caucasus Mountains. It includes small villages, forming a community, where towers dominate the scene. These villages sit on mountain slopes, surrounded by gorges, valleys, and snowy mountains. The most remarkable aspect is the many towers in the settlements.

Chazhashi village, part of the Ushguli community where two rivers meet, holds over 200 medieval tower houses, churches, and castles. The way the land is used and how people live there shows how the Svan people have continued their traditional ways in harmony with nature. These tower houses date back to ancient times, reflecting the economic and social traditions of the Svan communities.

For mote information visit our page about Svaneti

Photo credit: Amos Chapple © OUR PLACE The World Heritage Collection

Kolhic Rainforest and Wetlands

The area lies within Georgia, spanning the Autonomous Republic of Adjara along with the regions of Guria and Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti. It consists of seven connected parts within an 80 km stretch along the eastern coast of the Black Sea, exhibiting a wide range of ecosystems. These landscapes span from sea level to over 2,500 meters above sea level, offering a comprehensive representation of Colchic ecosystems. The primary ecosystems here are ancient Colchic rainforests and wetlands, specifically percolation bogs and various mire types unique to the Colchic mire region, distinct within Europe and Eurasia.

The Colchic Rainforests and Wetlands are remnants that have endured the ice age's cycles. These dense and damp broad-leaved rainforests host an array of flora and fauna, boasting a high abundance of species endemic to the region. This diversity is a result of uninterrupted evolution and species development spanning millions of years within the Colchic Pliocene refuge. The peatlands in the Colchis mire region, closely connected to lowland Colchic rainforests, mirror the mild and exceptionally humid conditions prevalent there. These conditions support percolation bogs, the basic form of mires unique to the Colchis mire region. Alongside percolation bogs, the Colchic wetlands encompass a complete range of mire development stages.

For more information visit our page about National Parks

Photo credit: Paata Vardanashvili © Agency of Protected Areas