Bagrati Cathedral: a landmark of Georgian architecture

Posted By : Georgian Tour/ 219

In this episode of ‘Postcards’, we discover Bagrati Cathedral, the symbol of the city of Kutaisi, nearly 250 kilometres west of Tbilisi.

It was built under the first Kingdom of Georgia, a period of political and economic strength for the country.

“The cathedral is one of the main tourist attractions of the city,” said ‘Postcards’ reporter Claudio Rosmino.

“It is named after King Bagrat III, who commissioned its construction in the early years of the 11th century. Since then, it has become a landmark of Georgian architecture.”

The cathedral suffered heavy damage throughout the centuries and was gradually renovated from 1952 to 2012.

“Bagrati Cathedral is in a 3,500-year-old city, one of the oldest in the world,” explained Sulkhan Kuprashvili, a professor of history from Kutaisi State University.

“The construction of this church started a golden age for Georgia. For centuries, Bagrati has remained a symbol of the country with its high standards of education and culture.”

Bagrati Cathedral is now of only limited use for services of worship.

 

Source: Euronews.com

Khinkali: Georgian dumplings like a work of art!

Posted By : Georgian Tour/ 185

o holiday in Georgia is complete without trying khinkali, one of the most traditional dishes in the country.

With the help of a specialist chef, ‘Taste’ reporter Claudio Rosmino discovered its history, how to prepare it and the special technique to enjoy what is basically a big, tasty dumpling, filled with meat.

Khinkali was traditionally the food of shepherds in the mountains but then it became popular nationwide.

Usually, you eat it in specialised restaurants, like the one visited in Tbilisi by ‘Taste’.

Reporter Claudio met Malkhaz Tsikolia, the head of the kitchen at the ‘Tsiskvili restaurant’, and asked him about where khinkali comes from.

“Khinkali is a Georgian dish produced many years ago in the mountain regions,” the chef explained.

“It quickly became the favourite dish of the whole country and nowadays people from many other nations visit Georgia to taste real khinkali.”

So how is Khinkali cooked and what ingredients is it made of?

“First we make the dough,” said Malkhaz.

“Then we insert minced beef and pork and some spicies. You seal the dough with the meat inside. You put it in boiling water and in seven minutes it is ready.”

Khinkali is something of a work of art because of its fascinating shape. A delicate touch is required in its preparation. Not everyone has got it – as Claudio discovered when he tried!

There are several varieties of khinkali, with pork, beef or lamb, but there are also vegetarian versions with cheese or mushrooms.

While the cooking is quite fast, preparing the ingredients requires several distinct stages.

In the kitchen, everyone must be coordinated, like in an orchestra, in order to produce hundreds of these traditional Georgian dumplings per day.

And when it comes to eating, the challenge is not to spill any of the tasty juice. The aim is to have as little juice as possible fall onto the plate. And for that you really need to master a special method, which chef Malkhaz demonstrated for Euronews.

“First of all, you take a bite,” he said.

“Then you drink the juice – and it’s really very good!”

 

Source: Euronews.com

Tbilisi’s old town: a bridge between ancient and modern times

Posted By : Georgian Tour/ 194

In Georgia’s capital city Tbilisi modernity and ancient history are separated by just a few meters. Walking through the city centre is an experience made of contrasts and beautiful discoveries in a town which has been at the crossroads of Europe and Asia for centuries.

The cohabitation between history and modernity is perhaps best illustrated by the Peace Bridge that connects the newer parts of the capital to the ancient ones.

According to legend, in the fifth century, King Vakhtang Gorgasalince founded the future capital of united Georgia during a horse hunt. Abanotubani is the place where the royal falcon fell, leading to the discovery of hot springs that nowadays are public bathhouses that use the sulphurous waters.

« It is exactly in this place that king Vaktang found his falcon boiled in a hot spring. He put his hand into the water and discovered it was warm and he said: ‘I will found a city here and we will name it Tbilisi, which means the warm city,» explains Vlasi Vatsadze a local tourist guide.

Much of the Old town was restored in 2009. The “New Life for Old Tbilisi” project has rehabilitated the historical district with its pastel-coloured houses and monuments.

Source: Euronews.com

Passenger traffic at Georgian airports increases 25%

Posted By : Georgian Tour/ 185

Georgian airports have served 3,375,959 passengers during the last eight months, which is a 25 per cent increase in comparison to last year, an official statement of United Airports of Georgia says.

Tbilisi International Airport served 461,051 passengers in August: a 12 per cent increase y/y.

Growth in the first eight months of this year was 24 per cent higher than the same period last year.

Passenger traffic in Kutaisi International Airport increased by 44 per cent in August 2018 y/y.

Over the last eight months Kutaisi International Airport has served 382,325 passengers, which is a 35 per cent increase.

Batumi International Airport served 121, 298 in August 2018 which is 12 percent more than the same period for last year. As for the first eight months of this year, passenger traffic in Batumi International Airport increased by 24 per cent.

Georgia’s rural airports in Mestia and Ambrolauri together served 5 ,520 passengers in the first eight months of 2018.

Georgia 4th among world’s fastest-growing tourism destinations

Posted By : Georgian Tour/ 207

Georgia has taken the fourth position as the world’s most fast-growing tourism destinations in the World Tourism Organisation’s (UNWTO) 2017 report.

The report reads that in 2017 the number of tourists particularly increased for trips to Egypt, Togo, Vietnam and Georgia.

For Egypt, the number of tourists increased by 55 per cent.

In Togo, by 46 per cent.
In Vietnam by 29 per cent.
In Georgia by 27.9 per cent.
Georgia stands above France, Spain, Turkey and other countries where the tourism field is especially well-developed in terms of pace of growth.

This is the first time that Georgia has taken a leading position as a quickly growing tourist country in the UNWTO report. In 2016 Georgia was the first in Europe as a tourism destination, now we are in the top five as the world’s fast growing tourism destinations, which is a great achievement,” head of the Georgian National Tourism Administration Giorgi Chogovadze said.

The report reads that international tourist arrivals grew by seven per cent in 2017, the highest increase since 2010.

The UNWTO is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.

Euronews: Traditional Georgian Ballet is the Classics plus Folklore

Posted By : Georgian Tour/ 198

Euronews correspondent Wolfgang Spindler went to Tbilisi to find out more about traditional Georgian ballet.

The Sukhishvili Georgian National Ballet combines traditional Georgian dances, ballet, and elements of modern dance. With fast turns and acrobatic jumps, the dancers can easily captivate an entire audience, young and old. The ensemble has performed at some of the world’s most prestigious performance spaces.

The company began 70 years ago when Iliko Sukhishvili and Nino Ramishvili, a husband and wife team, created their own dance ensemble. Since then, they have survived the Stalinist terrors, the Cold War, and the collapse of the USSR to build international recognition. Today, it’s the grandchildren who are in charge. Iliko Sukhishvili the younger is the Artistic Director, and his sister Nino is the General Director and Costume Director.

The group’s repertoire includes dances from the various regions in Georgia, featuring traditional costumes from these same regions. Some dances from mountainous regions are reminiscent of fights, or agility and courage competitions.

You can see a performance of the Sukhishvili Georgian National Ballet at Rike Park in Tbilisi every Saturday through August 25.

Source: Euronews.com

New air connection between Tbilisi and Racha region

Posted By : Georgian Tour/ 197

Regular air flights between Tbilisi and the high-mountain region Racha launched in January of this year, reports “Sputnik Georgia” with reference to Georgia Airports Union. Flights will operate by Serviceair company on aircrafts placing 17 passengers.

Airplanes will depart from Natakhtari aerodrome located near Tbilisi on Sundays and Wednesdays at 14.30 and arrive at the airport of Ambrolauri at 15.00. Regular half an hour flights will allow reaching Racha from Tbilisi anytime of the year.

It is to remind that Ambrolauri runway was launched on 6 October, 2016. The length of the aerodrome is 1,1 km and 30m in width.

How to Drink Wine the Right Way, According to Science

Posted By : Georgian Tour/ 206

Drinking wine is more than simply consuming a beverage; it’s an entire experience. Although there are thousands of different types of wines, there are a few key elements to include in the wine experience that will make all of your wine drinking much more enjoyable. If you learn about the different components of wine – such as bodyfinish, and flavor intensity – you’ll be able to find the perfect wine for you.

Get a recommendation. If you’re a new wine drinker, go to a store that specializes in wine to ask for help in selecting the wine that is right for you. If there isn’t a specialty wine store near you, don’t panic. Most liquor and grocery stores have a large variety of wine, so you should have no problem finding the right wine for you.

  • Explain to the wine expert or store employee what flavors you enjoy so that they can help you choose the best wine.
  • If you’re planning to have wine with food, tell them what food that will be on the menu so that they can help you pick the right wine.

Choose a wine. Knowing what qualities you’re looking for in a wine is very important, as there are numerous types of wine. Do you want a full-bodied or light-bodied wine? Body equates to how heavy the wine actually feels in your mouth. Or do you prefer a dry or sweet wine? In wine-speak, dry is the opposite of sweet. Do you want a crisp or soft wine? A wine with refreshing acidity is crisp, whereas a wine that feels smoother is considered soft.

  • The most popular red wines include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Pinot Noir.
  • Try a white wine. Popular white wines include Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, and Sauvignon Blanc.

Pour 1-2 ounces of wine into your glass to taste it before deciding on a full glass. It’s common to try a few sips of wine before committing to a glass. Proper wine tasting is a great way to determine whether or not you like the overall flavor of the wine.

Experience the aroma. Swirl the wine in your glass to expose it to a larger surface area. This increases wine’s contact with air and intensifies its aroma. Swirl your wine by holding the glass by the base or by the stem. Smell your wine as you swirl it to take in the aromas. Common aromas include different fruits, spices, herbs and flowers.

  • Be sure to smell the wine several times, swirling before each smell. A complex wine will offer multiples scents, and taking in each scent will intensify the wines flavor.
  • The overall taste of a wine is a combination of smells and flavors, so it’s important that you don’t skip the smelling stage.

Taste the wine. Taste your wine in small sips. Roll the wine across your taste buds by lightly swishing it around your mouth. Hold the wine in your mouth for 5-10 seconds before swallowing to really absorb the flavor. After swallowing, notice the aftertaste, or finish. High quality wines tend to have a more defined the finish. A good finish will linger on your palate for quite some time.

Here you are! 1 or 2 glasses is enough to feel the taste and to be on a good mood.

Why is Saperavi a unique variety of vine and is it only found in Georgia?

Posted By : Georgian Tour/ 191

Georgia is one of the main hubs for forming various classical vines. An important book called, “Georgian Amphelography”, was published in 1960, where Georgian grape varieties were discussed. The complete amphelographic included a description of 57 standard and perspective varieties. The book contains in total 525 varieties of vines.

After final verification, 414 varieties of Georgian vine description were included in the amphelographic book.

Among them is Saperavi, a unique grape variety that originates in Georgia. Biological features and morphological signs of this breed identify Saperavi as the oldest breed. None of the Georgian varieties have the same number of additional names as Saperavi. This can be explained by the fact that Saperavi is an old breed. The most famous and varied types of Saperavi are Budeshuri, Otskhanuri Sapere, Meskhi Saperavi, Ateni Saperavi, Saperavi Pachkha, and many more.

Information about the time and place of the origin of Saperavi have not been preserved, but based on different data it can be determined by approximation. According to Ivane Javakhishvili, primarily the Saperavi vine originated in the old Georgian province of Shavshet-klarjeti, from which it then spread to Eastern Georgia via Kartli (discovered seeds in Uplistsikhe and Samtavro, dated around 9th-10th Century and also patterns on old cellars in Kaspi).This took place in the vineyards of Kakheti by the end of the 17th century.

The growing of the Saperavi vines spread from Georgia to almost all neighbouring countries: Azerbaidjan – from Saingilo, mostly in the regions such as Kakhi, Zakatala, Shamkori, Ghanja; Armenia – in the districts of Alaverdi, Shamshadin and Ijevani. However, the Saperavi vine is less common in Armenia. Since 1927, Saperavi cultivation has been extensive in the former Soviet farm at Ararat. Saperavi was introduced in Dagestan from the region of Kakheti, mostly in the districts of Darubandi and Makhachkala.

In the Middle Asian countries Saperavi was brought together with European varieties by 1860, and in France it is fetched by French habitant of Kutaiasi Longale, who was sending Georgian breeds to ampheliographist Pule.

The reason why Saperavi is widely grown and cultivated in different countries is down to its high agricultural and technological properties (productivity, quality, frost-resistant). According to the chemical analysis, Saperavi belongs to a saint wine vines’ group. It is among the world’s best red wines. The high quality of Saperavi Wine is often acknowledged by official tasting commissions. Director of Nikitin Garden, Hartvis, G. Tsabel and others give it a high rating. The prominent French amphelographist Odari wrote: “Everything gives me the right to think that Saperavi is the best of all grapes to make red wine.”

The best Saperavi wine is made from grapes, harvested in the middle of the Kakheti region, especially in Kvareli and Mukuzani. These are truly the pride of Georgian wine. The most popular wines made from Saperavi grapes are “Saperavi”, “Kindzmarauli”, “Kvareli”, and “Mukuzani. The best dessert wines from Saperavi grapes are seen in the Crimea and Uzbekistan. In some places the wine is a dark ruby-colour, a pomegranate colour, or can even be a blackcurrant colour. But in every case it is accompanied with a strong flavor and a harmonious sensation of its components. According to the Ukrainian winemaker, Okhremenko, the “softness of the wine is integral with the the character of wine its originality and integrity.”

Source: www.allwine.ge

Georgian alphabet in the metro of Frankfurt

Posted By : Georgian Tour/ 218

Frankfurt U-Bahn has been decorated with the posters of Georgian alphabet. The posters are the reminder of the fact that Georgia is the honorary country of Frankfurt Book Fair 2018. Every year, the fair chooses a country as guest of honour.

The chosen country has a chance to introduce all its cultural and intellectual treasure to the international audience. The honourary country has a special opportunity of putting out its works through the major theatres, concert halls, galleries, cinemas, libraries and

Georgia decided to represent the country through the characters of Georgian alphabet at the fair. The concept of the project is “Georgia made by characters”. Cultural events of 72 Georgian writers and German translations of about 200 Georgian literary works will also be represented at the fair.

The beauty and uniqueness of the Georgian alphabet are recognized all over the world. Georgian scripts are among the only 14 existing scripts worldwide. Georgian scripts include three writing systems: Asomtavruli, Nuskhuri and Mkhedruli. The three systems show three levels of development of the Georgian alphabet. It is worth to admit that today all of them are still in use. The third system – Mkhedruli or designated for wider society is used as a literary language. The first two are used in church services – all of the books used in church and liturgy are written with the Nuskhuri and Asomtavruli script. Although the systems differ in appearance, all three are written in the lower case (in other words no capital letters are used).

Their letters share the same names and alphabetical order and are written horizontally from left to right. Mkhedruli is now the standard script of modern Georgian. The Georgian alphabet was announced as one of the world’s most beautiful scripts by www.matadornetwork.com (a collection of millions of travelers across the globe with an unquenchable thirst for adventure and exploration).

The fair is going to commence on the 9th of October.