|Georgia||Introduction||Back to Top|
Georgia (republic) (in Georgian, Sakartvelo), officially Republic of Georgia, republic in the Transcaucasia region of western Asia, bordered by the Black Sea on the west, Russia on the north, and Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Turkey on the south. Formerly the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), Georgia includes two autonomous republics-Abkhazia and Adzharia (Ajaria)-and one autonomous region-South Ossetia. Tbilisi is the capital and largest city.Official Name - Republic of Georgia
|Georgia||Provinces||Back to Top|
53 rayons (raionebi, singular - raioni), 9 cities* (k'alak'ebi, singular - k'alak'i), and 2 autonomous republics** (avtomnoy respubliki, singular - avtom respublika); Abashis, Abkhazia or Ap'khazet'is Avtonomiuri Respublika** (Sokhumi), Adigenis, Ajaria or Acharis Avtonomiuri Respublika** (Bat'umi), Akhalgoris, Akhalk'alak'is, Akhalts'ikhis, Akhmetis, Ambrolauris, Aspindzis, Baghdat'is, Bolnisis, Borjomis, Chiat'ura*, Ch'khorotsqus, Ch'okhatauris, Dedop'listsqaros, Dmanisis, Dushet'is, Gardabanis, Gori*, Goris, Gurjaanis, Javis, K'arelis, Kaspis, Kharagaulis, Khashuris, Khobis, Khonis, K'ut'aisi*, Lagodekhis, Lanch'khut'is, Lentekhis, Marneulis, Martvilis, Mestiis, Mts'khet'is, Ninotsmindis, Onis, Ozurget'is, P'ot'i*, Qazbegis, Qvarlis, Rust'avi*, Sach'kheris, Sagarejos, Samtrediis, Senakis, Sighnaghis, T'bilisi*, T'elavis, T'erjolis, T'et'ritsqaros, T'ianet'is, Tqibuli*, Ts'ageris, Tsalenjikhis, Tsalkis, Tsqaltubo*, Vanis, Zestap'onis, Zugdidi*, Zugdidis
|Georgia||People||Back to Top|
The population of Georgia is 4,989,285 (2001 estimate), giving the country an average population density of 72 persons per sq km (185 per sq mi). Some 60 percent of the country’s inhabitants live in cities. Population is concentrated mainly along the coast of the Black Sea and in river valleys, especially the valley of the Kura River, where Tbilisi, the capital and largest city, is located. The next largest city, K’ut’aisi, is located on the upper Rioni River. Other important urban centers include Bat’umi and Sokhumi, which are the capitals of Ajaria and Abkhazia, and Rustavi, located on the Kura downstream from Tbilisi.
The Georgian language is a member of the Kartvelian (South Caucasian) family of languages. It has its own alphabet, which is thought to have evolved about the 5th century AD, and there are many dialects. A number of other Caucasian languages are spoken by minority groups; many are unwritten. Many Georgians are members of the Georgian Orthodox church, an autocephalous Eastern Orthodox church. In addition, there are Muslim, Russian Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic, and Jewish communities.
|Georgia||History||Back to Top|
500s bc, western Georgia was colonized by Ionian Greeks; its western part was known as Colchis and the eastern region as Iberia. Christianity was introduced in the early 4th century ad. The Persian and Byzantine empires then fought for control over Georgia until the 7th century, when the region was conquered by the Arabs. In the 11th century King Bagrat III united the Georgian principalities into one kingdom, with the exception of Tbilisi, which was an emirate (territory ruled by an emir, or Turkish prince) under the control of Seljuk Turks. In 1122 King David II, one of Bagrat’s descendants, expelled the Turks and recovered Tbilisi. Under Queen Tamar, whose rule straddled the 12th and 13th centuries, the Georgian kingdom reached its zenith and grew to include most of Caucasia.
The latest findings of archaeology make it possible to trace the origins of human society on the territory of modern Georgia back to the early Paleolithic and Neolithic periods. A number of Neolithic sites have been excavated in the low-lying Kolkhida (Colchis) Lowland, in the Khrami River valley in central Georgia, and in South Ossetia; they were occupied by settled tribes engaged in cattle raising and agriculture. The cultivation of grain in Georgia during the Neolithic Period is attested by finds of saddle querns and flint sickles; the earth was tilled with stone mattocks. The Caucasus was regarded in ancient times as the primeval home of metallurgy. The start of the 3rd millennium BC witnessed the beginning of Georgia's Bronze Age. Remarkable finds in Trialeti show that central Georgia was inhabited during the 2nd millennium BC by cattle-raising tribes whose chieftains were men of wealth and power. Their burial mounds have yielded finely wrought vessels in gold and silver; a few are engraved with ritual scenes suggesting Asiatic cult influence.
In 1762 Erekle II of the Bagratids reunited the eastern Georgian regions of Kartli and Kakheti, forming a new Georgian kingdom that covered much of present-day Georgia. In the late 1700s King Erekle turned to Russia for protection against foreign conquest, primarily by Iran, and in 1783 he accepted Russian suzerainty in return for Russia’s guarantee to maintain his kingdom’s borders. Nevertheless, Iranian forces sacked Tbilisi in 1795. In 1801 Russia deposed the Bagratid king and annexed the eastern Georgian kingdom to the Russian Empire. Russia annexed the western Georgian region of Imereti in 1810 and the remainder of western Georgia between 1829 and 1878. The Russian Empire collapsed in the Russian Revolution of 1917, and an independent Georgian state was established in May 1918. The Mensheviks, or moderate socialists, initially controlled the Georgian government.
|Georgia||Culture||Back to Top|
Georgia is a land of ancient culture, with a literary tradition that dates to the 5th century AD. Kolkhida (Colchis) early housed a school of higher rhetoric in which Greeks as well as Georgians studied. By the 12th century, academies in Ikalto and Gelati, the first medieval higher-education centres, disseminated a wide range of knowledge. The national genius was demonstrated most clearly in Vepkhis-tqarsani (The Knight in the Panther's Skin), the epic masterpiece of the 12th-century poet Shota Rustaveli. Major figures in later Georgian literary history include a famed 18th-century writer, Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani, and the novelist, poet, and dramatist Ilia Chavchavadze. The 19th-century playwright Giorgi Eristavi is regarded as the founder of the modern Georgian theatre.
Among other prominent prerevolutionary authors were the lyric poet Akaki Tsereteli; Alexander Qazbegi, novelist of the Caucasus; and the nature poet Vazha Pshavela. The novelist Mikhail Javakhishvili and the poet Titsian Tabidze were executed during the Stalin era, and the poet Paolo Iashvili was censured by the government and committed suicide. Giorgi Leonidze and Galaktion Tabidze were well-known poets, and Konstantin Gamsakhurdia was celebrated for his historical novels.
The ancient culture of the republic is reflected in the large number of architectural monuments, including many monasteries and churches; indeed, Georgian architecture (with Armenian) played a considerable role in the development of the Byzantine style. Georgia has a long tradition of fine metalwork. Bronze, gold, and silver objects of a high technical and aesthetic standard have been recovered from tombs of the 1st and 2nd millennia BC. Between the 10th and 13th centuries AD, Georgian goldsmiths produced masterpieces of cloisonné enamel and repoussé work, notably icons, crosses, and jewelry.
|Georgia||Land||Back to Top|
fertile plain of the Kolkhida Lowland—ancient Colchis, where the legendary Argonauts sought the Golden Fleece—the Georgian terrain is largely mountainous, and more than a third is covered by forest or brushwood. There is a remarkable variety of landscape, ranging from the subtropical Black Sea shores to the ice and snow of the crest line of the Caucasus. Such contrasts are made more noteworthy by the country's relatively small area.The rugged Georgia terrain may be divided into three bands, all running from east to west.
|Georgia||Economy||Back to Top|
The breakup of the Soviet Union severely dislocated the economy of Georgia by disrupting established trade patterns. Three separate armed conflicts and several years of political instability created even more serious damage. The country’s gross domestic product (GDP), which measures the total value of goods and services produced, declined between 1990 and 1995 by the greatest amount of any former Soviet republic. Georgia became increasingly dependent upon foreign financial and humanitarian aid. But beginning in the mid-1990s, increasing political stability allowed Georgia to make significant progress toward renewing economic growth. Several attributes brighten Georgia’s long-term economic prospects. The country’s warm climate and position on the eastern shore of the Black Sea make the country suitable for agricultural and tourism development. It also straddles the best transportation routes across the Caucasus Mountains. Abundant rivers flowing from the mountains provide water for crop irrigation and hydroelectric production.
The interior of Georgia has coal deposits (notably at Tqvarch'eli and Tqibuli), petroleum (at Kazeti), and a variety of other resources ranging from peat to marble. The manganese deposits of Chiat'ura rival those of India, Brazil, and Ghana in quantity and quality. Its waterpower resources are also considerable. The deepest and most powerful rivers for hydroelectric purposes are the Rioni and its tributaries, the Inguri, Kodori, and Bzyb. Such western rivers account for three-fourths of the total capacity, with the eastern Kura, Aragvi, Alazani, and Khrami accounting for the rest. Oil deposits have been located near Bat'umi and Pot'i under the Black Sea.
Georgia's economy has traditionally revolved around Black Sea tourism; cultivation of citrus fruits, tea, and grapes; mining of manganese and copper; and output of a small industrial sector producing wine, metals, machinery, chemicals, and textiles. The country imports the bulk of its energy needs, including natural gas and oil products. Its only sizable internal energy resource is hydropower. Despite the severe damage the economy has suffered due to civil strife, Georgia, with the help of the IMF and World Bank, has made substantial economic gains since 1995, increasing GDP growth and slashing inflation. The Georgian economy continues to experience large budget deficits due to a failure to collect tax revenues. Georgia also still suffers from energy shortages; it privatized the distribution network in 1998, and deliveries are steadily improving. The country is pinning its hopes for long-term recovery on the development of an international transportation corridor through the key Black Sea ports of P'ot'i and Bat'umi. The growing trade deficit, continuing problems with tax evasion and corruption, and political uncertainties cloud the short-term economic picture.
|Georgia||Communications||Back to Top|
domestic: local - T'bilisi and K'ut'aisi have cellular telephone networks; urban telephone density is about 20 per 100 people; rural telephone density is about 4 per 100 people; intercity facilities include a fiber-optic line between T'bilisi and K'ut'aisi; nationwide pager service is available international: Georgia and Russia are working on a fiber-optic line between P'ot'i and Sochi (Russia); present international service is available by microwave, landline, and satellite through the Moscow switch; international electronic mail and telex service are available
|Georgia||Politics||Back to Top|
Citizen's Union of Georgia or CUG [Eduard SHEVARDNADZE]; Georgian United Communist Party or UCPG [Panteleimon GIORGADZE, chairman]; Industry Will Save Georgia or IWSG [Georgi TOPADZE]; National Democratic Party or NDP [Irina SARISHVILI-CHANTURIA]; Socialist Party or SPG [Temur GAMTSEMLIDZE]; Union for "Revival" Party or AGUR [Alsan ABASHIDZE]; United Republican Party or URP [Nodar NATADZE, chairman]
|Georgia||Government||Back to Top|
Georgia is a democratic republic with a strong executive presidency. In August 1995 a new constitution replaced the 1992 decree on state power, which had been instituted as an interim constitution after Georgia declared its independence. The new constitution reestablished the presidency, which had been created in 1991 but was abolished after the country’s first president, Zviad Gamsakhurdia, was ousted in 1992. According to the 1995 constitution, the president, who is head of state, is directly elected to a maximum of two five-year terms. The president is authorized to appoint a council of ministers headed by a minister of state. The council of ministers is ultimately accountable to the president.
|Georgia||Legal||Back to Top|
Legal system: based on civil law system Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal Executive branch: chief of state: President Eduard Amvrosiyevich SHEVARDNADZE (previously elected chairman of the Government Council 10 March 1992; Council has since been disbanded; previously elected chairman of Parliament 11 October 1992; president since 26 November 1995); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government head of government: President Eduard Amvrosiyevich SHEVARDNADZE (previously elected chairman of the Government Council 10 March 1992; Council has since been disbanded; previously elected chairman of Parliament 11 October 1992; president since 26 November 1995); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 9 April 2000 (next to be held NA 2005) election results: Eduard SHEVARDNADZE reelected president; percent of vote - Eduard SHEVARDNADZE 80% Legislative branch: unicameral Supreme Council (commonly referred to as Parliament) or Umaghiesi Sabcho (235 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms) elections: last held 31 October and 14 November 1999 (next to be held NA 2003) election results: percent of vote by party - CUG 41.85%, AGUR 25.65%, IWSG 7.8%, all other parties received less than 7% each; seats by party - CUG 130, AGUR 58, IWSG 15, Abkhaz deputies 12, independents 17, other 3 Judicial branch: Supreme Court (judges elected by the Supreme Council on the president's recommendation); Constitutional Court
|Georgia||organization||Back to Top|
BSEC, CCC, CE, CIS, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ITU, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
|Georgia||Defence||Back to Top|
Military branches: Ground Forces, Navy, Air Force and Air Defense Forces, National Guard, Security Forces (internal and border troops)
Military manpower - military age: 18 years of age
Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 1,296,199 (2001 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service: males age 15-49: 1,024,574 (2001 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually: males: 41,561 (2001 est.)
|Georgia||International Disputes||Back to Top|
limited cultivation of cannabis and opium poppy, mostly for domestic consumption; used as transshipment point for opiates via Central Asia to Western Europe and Russia
costa rica map
dominican R. map
el salvador map
puerto rico map
hong kong map
south korea map
sri lanka map
american samoa map
new zealand map
czech rep. map
saudi arabia map
Burkina Faso Map
Cape Verde Map
Congo, Rep Map
Cote d'Ivoire Map
D.R. Congo Map
Eq Guinea Map
Sao Tome Map
Sierra Leone Map
South Africa Map
|canada||cayman islands||chile||colombia||costa rica||cuba|
|curacao||dominica||dominican R.||ecuador||el salvador||falkland|
|maarten||kitts & nevis||lucia||martin||vincent||suriname|
|trinidad||turks and caicos||uruguay||usa||us virgin islands||venezuela|
|north korea||pakistan||philippines||singapore||south korea||sri lanka|
|vietnam||american samoa||antarctica||australia||cook islands||micronesia|
|caledonia||new zealand||niue||mariana islands||palau||pitcairn|
|vanuatu||wallis and futuna||albania||andorra||armenia||austria|
Write your own experience on Europe Travel includes each countries and cities, map, car rental, airfare, attractions, and hotels.
MapZones™ is created and maintained by Panalink Internet Services and is a trade mark of Panalink Technologies. Copyright © 1995-2002 Panalink Internet Services. All rights reserved worldwide. Email: mailto:email@example.com?subject=Mail from HomePage. Disclaimer.