Tbilisi is the capital and the largest city of Georgia, located in the eastern part of Georgia, lying on the banks of the Mtkvari river with a population of approximately 1.5 million people. Tbilisi was founded in the 5 th century by Vakhtang Gorgasali, the monarch of kingdom of Iberia. Historically Tbilisi has been home to people of multiple cultural, ethnic, and religious backgrounds.
Mtskheta, the ancient capital of Georgia is located 20 km from Tbilisi at the confluence of the two mountain rivers, the Aragvi, and the Mtkvari. Nowhere in Georgia is there such a quantity of sacred and cult places as in Mtskheta. This is the reason why this ancient city is also named “the Second Jerusalem”. It is there that St. Nino of Kappadokia brought the good message to. It is there that one of the greatest relics of the Christian world, the God’s Tunic, is kept.
One of the most ancient and esteemed temples – Svetitskhoveli Cathedral and ancient Dzhvari Monastery are located there. They became Unesco World Heritage sites in 1994.
Kutaisi is the legislative capital of Georgia, and its 3rd most populous city, located in the western part of Georgia, 221 kilometers west of Tbilisi. Kutaisi is lies along both banks of river Rioni. Archaeological evidence indicates that the city functioned as the capital of the kingdom of Colchis in the sixth to fifth centuries BC. From 978 to 1122 Kutaisi was the capital of the united kingdom of Georgia, and from the 15th century until 1810, it was the capital of the Imeretian Kingdom.
Batumi is the second largest city of Georgia, located on the coast of the Black sea in the country’s southwest. Situated in a Subtropical zone near the foot of the Lesser Caucasus mountains, Batumi is a popular tourist destination known for its varying weather–it is a bustling seaside resorts during warm seasons, but can get entirely covered with snowduring winter.
Telavi is the main city and administrative center of Georgia’s eastern province of Kakheti. Its population consists of some 21,800 inhabitants. The city is located on foot-hills of Tsiv-Gombori Range at 500–800 meters above the sea level. As a contemporary city Telavi was born in 1801. But its history goes back as deep as the roots of centuries-old elms. These trees (in Georgian “tela”) which are abundant there gave the city its name, according to many historians.
Telavi is the most ancient city of Georgia along with Tbilisi, Mtskheta and Kutaisi. It has been known since he 1st – 2nd centuries AD and for a long time was an important trading centre on the caravan route from Near East to Europe.
Akhaltsikhe is an administrative centre of the region Samtskhe-Javakheti, its population is about 20 thousand people. It is situated on the south-west of Georgia, not far from the border of Turkey, and has had a strategic significance lately as it was on the crossroad of highways. Even its name says of its military past: Akhaltsikhe means “new fortress” in Georgian and the recently restored Rabati fortress in Akhaltsikhe is the evidence to this.
The history of Akhaltsikhe is more than thousand years old. According to the written sources, the city was founded in the 12th century, though it is believed that the first large settlement already appeared here in the 10th century. It was then called Lomsia, and was the residence of Jakeli princes who were having intestine strives and were even infringing on the central power of Georgia. It was this Prince family who erected this new fortress here that had given the name to the city.