Reasons You Should Visit The Country Of Georgia Right Now

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Welcome to Georgia, a beautiful country that has as its capital, Tbilisi, an old city of winding streets, parks and churches.

Welcome to Georgia, a beautiful country that has as its capital, Tbilisi, an old city of winding streets, parks and churches.

Outdoor cafes litter Tbilisi’s Old Town.

Outdoor cafes litter Tbilisi's Old Town.

There are secret courtyards at every turn. And also cats. Lots and lots of adorable Georgian cats.

There are secret courtyards at every turn. And also cats. Lots and lots of adorable Georgian cats.

The city has seen some … interesting architectural developments lately. It is always changing.

The city has seen some ... interesting architectural developments lately. It is always changing.

But it knows how to preserve tradition. Underneath these domes lie Tbilisi’s sulphur baths, steamy and stinky and hundreds of years old.

But it knows how to preserve tradition. Underneath these domes lie Tbilisi's sulphur baths, steamy and stinky and hundreds of years old.

Outside Tbilisi lies the town of Mtskheta. It boasts the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, which dates back to the 11th Century.

Outside Tbilisi lies the town of Mtskheta. It boasts the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, which dates back to the 11th Century.

Down the road is Jvari, a 6th Century monastery. It’s one of many hill- and mountain-top structures that dot the country.

Down the road is Jvari, a 6th Century monastery. It's one of many hill- and mountain-top structures that dot the country.

Check out the view from Jvari.

Check out the view from Jvari.

Georgia is truly beautiful, but what it really is is delicious.

Georgia is truly beautiful, but what it really is is delicious.

Blazej Mrozinski / Via Flickr: blazejmrozinski

This is khatchapuri. It is bread and melted cheese and it is out of this world.

This is khatchapuri. It is bread and melted cheese and it is out of this world.

This is Adjaruli khatchapuri, named after a region of the country. In addition to delicious bread and cheese, an egg and brick of butter are also thrown in. Mix it all together, eat, and enter heaven.

This is Adjaruli khatchapuri, named after a region of the country. In addition to delicious bread and cheese, an egg and brick of butter are also thrown in. Mix it all together, eat, and enter heaven.

Or you can go for khinkali, a delicious dumpling best when smothered in pepper.

Or you can go for khinkali, a delicious dumpling best when smothered in pepper.

The fruit and vegetables are out of this world and salads come covered in walnut sauce. WALNUT SAUCE.

The fruit and vegetables are out of this world and salads come covered in walnut sauce. WALNUT SAUCE.

For dessert you can have churchkhela. Walnuts and other nuts are dipped into different fruit syrups — grape, pomegranate — and hung to dry. These are often sold by the side of the road.

For dessert you can have churchkhela. Walnuts and other nuts are dipped into different fruit syrups — grape, pomegranate — and hung to dry. These are often sold by the side of the road.

Back to the countryside. This is Kakheti, all mountains and churches and beautiful views.

Back to the countryside. This is Kakheti, all mountains and churches and beautiful views.

What it’s really known for, though, is wine. Saperavi is the best kind.

What it's really known for, though, is wine. Saperavi is the best kind.

In the morning, wash the hangover away by drinking Borjomi, a salty naturally fizzy mineral water.

In the morning, wash the hangover away by drinking Borjomi, a salty naturally fizzy mineral water.

There’s also the northern mountainous region of Kazbegi.

There's also the northern mountainous region of Kazbegi.

And out west you have the Black Sea city of Batumi, with its beachfront promenade.

And out west you have the Black Sea city of Batumi, with its beachfront promenade.

Tbilisi is a vibrant city. With artists, musicians and fashion designers galore.

Tbilisi is a vibrant city. With artists, musicians and fashion designers galore.

David Mdzinarishvili / Reuters

It’s also a city that embraces tradition. And furry hats.

It's also a city that embraces tradition. And furry hats.

David Mdzinarishvili / Reuters

And a dance called the lezginka, native to all the regions in and around the Caucasus Mountains.

And a dance called the lezginka, native to all the regions in and around the Caucasus Mountains.

In the past few years, Georgia has seen war, revolution, and dirty domestic politics. It has an engaged population unafraid to take to the streets to demand what they want.

In the past few years, Georgia has seen war, revolution, and dirty domestic politics. It has an engaged population unafraid to take to the streets to demand what they want.

Pool / Reuters

This massive sculpture, called Mother Georgia, stands high on a hill and can be seen from all over Tbilisi. Georgians love their country and their capital.

This massive sculpture, called Mother Georgia, stands high on a hill and can be seen from all over Tbilisi. Georgians love their country and their capital.

It’s not hard to see why.

It's not hard to see why.

Where is Georgia?

Georgia is a country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the south by Turkey and Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital and largest city is Tbilisi. Georgia covers a territory of 69,700 square kilometers (26,911 sq mi), and its 2015 population is about 3.75 million. This country is a unitary, semi-presidential republic, with the government elected through a representative democracy.

During the classical era, several independent kingdoms became established in what is now Georgia. The kingdoms of Colchis and Iberia adopted Christianity in the early 4th century, making previously dominant paganism, Zoroastrianism, and Mithraism gradually decline. A unified Kingdom of Georgia reached the peak of its political and economic strength during the reign of King David IV and Queen Tamar in the 11th–12th centuries. Thereafter the area was dominated by various large empires for centuries, including the Safavids, Afsharids, and Qajar Iranians. In the late 18th century, the kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti forged an alliance with the Russian Empire, and the area was annexed by Russia in 1801. The latter’s rule over Georgia was confirmed in 1813 through the Treaty of Gulistan with Qajar Iran. After a brief period of independence following the Russian Revolution of 1917, Georgia was occupied by Soviet Russia in 1921, becoming part of the Soviet Union as the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic. After independence in 1991, post-communist Georgia suffered from civil unrest and economic crisis for most of the 1990s. This lasted until the Rose Revolution of 2003, after which the new government introduced democratic and economic reforms.

Country is a member of the Council of Europe and the GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development. It contains two de facto independent regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which gained limited international recognition after the 2008 Russo-Georgian War. Georgia and a major part of the international community consider the regions to be part of Georgia’s sovereign territory under Russian military occupation.