THE HISTORY

Georgian history has been rich and eventful, to put it mildly. The spectacular discovery of the skeletal remains of a homo erectus in the southeast of the country in 2000 has pushed the clock of human habitation in Georgia back to its start 1.7 million years.

In more recent history, Georgia has been the target of numerous attempts at imperial conquest. As Georgians grew accustomed to having to defend their way of life, the cultural traditions of Georgia and its sense of identity deepened and became entrenched as an instinctive response to foreign threats. In the twelfth century AD under the rule of King David Aghmashenebeli (“The Builder”) and his descendants, Georgia experienced a remarkable Golden Age during which literature, art, poetry, music, and science flourished. During this era, the kingdom was united, expansion was unprecedented, and external threats were successfully held in check.

Intenecine fights and foreign invasions eventually brought this period to an end, however, and Georgia came under the rule of several powerful outside actors. The most recent of these was the two-hundred-year period of Russian domination that began in 1801, firstly as an imperial, then as a communist occupation. Georgia only regained its independence with the collapse of the Soviet bloc at the end of the last century.

After an initial period of political upheaval, civil war and economic collapse, the country has finally achieved the political and economic stability required to grow and develop in the free-market system. The “Rose Revolution” of November 2003 saw the end of the last remnants of the Communist system. The path towards peace, democracy, and closer integration with both Europe and the West now seems to have been opened up.

History is present at every corner in Georgia. Wherever you go in this amazing country, you will experience the lasting legacy of a very rich past shared with some of the greatest civilizations the world has ever seen.