Are you looking for an exotic destination this year? Consider Georgia. No, we don’t mean the state in the United States. We’re talking about the small Eurasian country that, up until 1991, was part of the former Soviet Union.
If you’re wondering what it has to offer, we’ve got ten fun facts about Georgia here to stoke your interest.
1. It Is the Birthplace of Wine
While Georgia may not be considered a top-shelf wine producer, it has been producing wine for at least 8,000 years.
Nevermind that its initial production was the completely accidental result of grape juice being poured in a shallow pit and then buried underground until it fermented and turned into wine.
2. They Have Three Alphabets
Depending on the region, Georgian script once consisted of Asomtavrul, Nuskhuri and Mkhedrul alphabets.
Today, Georgians use the 33-letter Mkhedruli alphabet that has no capital letters. In addition, the Georgian language has no gender, so everyone is referred to as “that.”
3. Stalin Called It Home
Given Stalin’s extremely checkered past, this may not be a key selling point.
But if you’re into Soviet history, then you’ll want to visit the Stalin Museum in Gori. Don’t miss the death mask room where you can view Stalin’s death mask perched on an alter-like podium.
4. It Has Europe’s Highest Settlement
Head on up to Ushguli to check out the ancient villages situated in the mountainous region of Svaneti.
At about 2,100 meters, this region is recognized as the highest settlement in Europe. Not only does it offer stunning landscapes, but it’s remoteness allows you to experience indigenous traditions and cuisine.
5. It Is Loaded with Ecological Diversity
Though Georgia is far from a large country, it does have 12 different climate zones and 49 types of soil.
So whether you’re looking for a subtropical, alpine or even semi-desert climate, you’ll find it there.
6. It Is Known for Its Polyphonic Folk Music
Georgia is known for its choral folk music, which can’t be explained. It’s something you simply must hear.
There are three different types of polyphony and your location in the country dictates which one is dominant.
7. Claims One of the Oldest Jewish Communities
Georgian Jews have lived in the Caucasus for over 2,600 years – making it one of the oldest Jewish communities in Europe.
The Ashkenazi Jews came to the country later in the 19th century. Today, there are approximately 3,000 Jews who call Georgia home.
8. It Has Three UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Currently, Georgia has three cultural sites listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list. The aforementioned region of Svaneti is one of them.
The other two are the gargantuan cathedral complex Gelati Monastery, and the ancient city and former capital city Mtskheta.
9. It Is a Prime Helicopter Skiing Destination
If you have an adventurous streak and are hungry to try helicopter skiing, the open slopes of Georgia’s winter resort Gudauri are where you need to go.
But even if you prefer your skiing without the helicopter, Gudauri still offers great slopes for more conventional skiing and snowboarding.
10. It Is Not Actually Called Georgia
Georgians call their country Sakartvelo – which translates to “land where Kartveli lives.”
St. George is believed to be the patron saint for Georgia though, so the name Georgia likely came from the Christian reformers in the Middle Ages.
Inspired By These Fun Facts about Georgia?
This is just the beginning of fun facts about Georgia. So if we’ve piqued your interest, take some time to research this amazing country.
And be sure to browse our online magazine for some more healthy lifestyle tips!