21 December, 2021

Mestia in a Day

Category: Interesting Places

Svaneti is one of the special places in Georgia with outstanding characteristics, ancient culture, language, and sights. The trip to Svaneti starts from Mestia. Mestia is the administrative center of the municipality located in the Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti region of western Georgia. Svaneti has stunning nature - the spectacular peaks (Shkhara is the highest one: 5201 m), the villages on them, the alpine, blue lakes among the rocks, reflecting the sky like a mirror.

Mestia is rich in cultural heritage sites, Svan towers (close to the house or standing separately), and temples. And that's not all: every year, before the spring, the Svans celebrate the ancient, folk holiday Lamproba, asking for good weather and productivity. The holiday is celebrated only in Svaneti.

In addition to the great culture and history, which in combination with nature creates an impressive spectacle for vacationers, hikers, locals, and tourists, Mestia has also become a favorite spot for fans of ski resorts. Hatsvali and Tetnuldi ski zones are arranged here.

However, what you should do when you have a short time and want to see many sights? You can not climb Ushba in one day, or visit the beautiful Koruldi Lakes despite the simple route. That's why we offer you the list of places to visit in one day and return home full of emotions.

სვანეთის ისტორიულ ეთნოგრაფიული მუზეუმი, Historical Ethnographic Museum

Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography

If you have not seen the Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography, you may have heard about it. It was built in 1936, in Mestia.

The museum has 4090 exhibits - starting from the Adysh Gospels, ending with samples of old Svan fabric and pottery. Here are preserved archaeological excavations, unique works of Georgian engraving, icons, ancient manuscripts, early and late medieval military equipment, samples of iron, silver, brass, jewelry, tableware, textiles, ethnographic items depicting the life of old Svaneti, and others.

In addition to the exhibits mentioned above, the museum's collections include a variety of materials and movable monuments preserved in the churches of the historic communities of Kala, Ipari, Mulakhi, Latali, and Pari; The museum also includes the ancient residential complexes with towers in the historical parts of Mestia, Lekhtagi and Lanchvali, the museum-reserve with residential buildings and an exhibition in one of the towers, in the village of Chajashi, Ushguli community. The collection preserves both unit discoveries and hoards of Svan, Georgian, and foreign coins.

In 2015, an educational center and a media library were added to the museum. The museum has a temporary exhibition space too, with different exhibitions and 6 halls for permanent expositions. The museum's educational center aims to introduce and popularize Georgian cultural monuments, art, and science. The programs include excursions to the museum, cognitive games, lectures, meetings with scientists, famous people, public figures, film screenings, theatrical performances, etc.

The museum is open every day, except Mondays, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Mikheil Khegiani House Museum (Mestia), მიხეილ ხერგიანის სახლ მუხეუმი

Mikheil Khergiani Museum

Mikheil Khergiani House-Museum is a museum of a Georgian mountaineer, Merited Master of Sports of the USSR, nicknamed the "Tiger of the Rocks", located in Mestia. The memorial house museum was opened in Khergiani's native house in 1985.

The museum exhibits the personal belongings of the famous mountaineer, international sports athlete Mikheil Khergiani (1932-1969). These belongings are clothes, mountaineering equipment, photos, awards, gifts - including a recording of a song by Vysotsky, which he dedicated to Khergiani, etc.

Ushguli Lamaria

Mestia is one of the remarkable monuments of Georgian architecture and ethnography. Svan temples are famous for their paintings and unique examples of icons. Ushguli Lamaria is one of the most famous religious sites. Ushguli Lamaria is the Church of the Mother of God, which is located in Svaneti, in the Ushguli community of the Mestia municipality, north of the village of Zhibiani, on a high hill. The church is surrounded by a fence and a fortified tower. It is a basilica of the 9th-10th centuries with a protruding trihedral apse. The temple has an entrance from the west and a chapel - from the southwest. The iconostasis is made of masonry, and its vaults, which are supported by stone columns, start from the floor and have endings with minimalist decorations. Ushguli Lamaria is one of the most important monuments of Svaneti with a great cultural and historical value.

Several layers of paintings have been preserved in the temple. Though, only the painting of the iconostasis belongs to the period of construction of the temple. The theme images of the interior, fragments which are visible under the layers of later paintings date back to the end of the 10th century and the beginning of the 11th century. The painting of the crucifix on the northern wall is worth noticing, in which, the people's hands are enlarged, to emphasize their gestures. The faces are also expressive. In their features, the characteristic of the Svan painting is already manifested. The next layer of painting dates back to the 12th century. The images of the riding warriors of St. George and St Theodore, presented on the western wall, belong to this stage. The church was last painted in the 13th century. The painting of the apse belongs to this period. The vault features the prayer composition traditional for Svaneti. On the wall of the altar are depicted the Fathers of the Church, and at the very top of the church - compositions of the Nativity and the Transfiguration.

Ushguli church of the Mother of God is rich in scratched inscriptions - graffiti, which have historical significance. These inscriptions are created by worshippers and are texts of prayers for forgiveness. Graffiti is made on various Georgian alphabets of all periods: Asomtavruli, Nuskhuri, and Mkhedruli.
The Lamaria church is the main holy place of the Ushguli community. On August 28, a holiday dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin, in Svan "Lamarioba" ("Mariamoba") is held here.

კალას წმ. კვირიკესა და წმ. ივლიტას სახელობის ეკლესია, church

St. Cyricus and St. Julitta Church of Kala (Lagurka)

The Church named after St. Cyricus and St. Julitta (in Svan Lagurka), is located in the village of Kala, in the Mestia region, 1870 meters above sea level. It is a hall-type church; in the Middle Ages, it was a monastic complex. Lagurka was painted in 1112 by the court painter Theodore. The painting mainly consists of faces and scenes from the lives of Saints Cyricus and Julitta. Before that, in 1096, the same artist Theodore painted the Church of the Archangel in Ipari. The entire treasure (X-XII-XIII centuries) of the Kala community, as well as icons, are stored here. It also houses an icon decorated with enamel, which the Svans call “Shaliani”.
The laconic scheme of the images of church painting partially reflects local traditions. The frescoes are monumental and their disposition on the walls perfectly corresponds to the architectural division of the interior. The painting of Lagurka with the expression, expressiveness of the images, and the interpretation of the themes of the scenes are unique not only in the context of Georgian monumental painting of this period but also for medieval painting in general.

hatsvali ski resort, mestia

Hatsvali Cable Car

You can arrive in Hatsvali, 8 km from Mestia, passing through a pine forest. From here it is possible to ascend to Mount Zuruldi by a one and a half kilometer long cable car. A 2400-meter ski trail opens here in Winter. You can enjoy the unique landscapes of the huge Mount Ushba, the white slopes of Tetnuldi, and the Caucasus Mountains from Zuruldi, at any time of the year. Hatsvali and Mestia are connected by both a road and a 6-seater cable car, though you can only arrive here by car.
Hatsvali resort is open all year round. In total, there are 5 ski runs, and their total length is 7 kilometers. The longest trail is about 3 kilometers long. Here you will find trails of any complexity.
The resort is most inactive in October and November. During these months, the cable car may not operate. In winter, all the cable cars of the resort work, while in the summer - only the one located on Zuruldi.

ზიპლაინი მესტიაში


Zipline has become increasingly popular in the last few years. It is one of the means of extreme entertainment and is a moving roller on a stretched steel cable that allows you to access, from one point to another. Currently, there are 18 operating zip lines in the country.
The largest 800-meter zipline is located in Sairme.
Zipline was recently opened in Mestia, in August 2021, at 1500 meters above sea level. Its length is 50 meters. Lovers of extreme sports can find means of entertainment in Mestia too.
The zipline is open to anyone, every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. However the admission depends on the weather.

Tags: #Svaneti #mestia #zip-line #უშგული #ლამპრობა #ლამარია #ჰაწვალი

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