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About Kvemo Kartli
Kvemo Kartli is situated in the southern part of eastern Georgia. The region is divided into 7 administrative-territorial units. From the east the region is bordered by Kakheti, from the north- by Shida Kartli and Mtskheta -Mtianeti, from the west- by Samtskhe- Javakheti, and from the south- by Armenia and Azerbaijan. The region lies within the boundaries of semi-desert, dry subtropical and high-mountain alpine zones. From historical point, Kvemo Kartli is aboriginal Georgian soil and a region noted for its natural affluence and beauty. The region’s territory keeps the remnants and tracks of all periods of mankind’s history. In Dmanisi settlement the world acknowledged unearthing of the ancient station of hominids and the remains of humans, as the outstanding archeological discovery. Near here was also discovered the unique Gold mines, dating the second half of IV millennium BC. Overall, there are more than 650 historical monuments, 300 of them have been included in various tourist routes...
In Dmanisi municipality there is more than a hundred churches and ruin of fortresses and settlements, caves and cavities, boulder monoliths. The town used to be encircled by a high fence. Inside the fortress there is a three-nave Basilica -Dmanisi Sioni. Fortress hosts also a church and a belfry from late feudal times. On the territory of the ruins were discovered : wide tunnel leading down to the river, shops, baths, encampments, cellars, mosque with a minaret and Madras.
The dwellings of wealthy Danisi residents were decorated with colorful stones. But, most of all, why everyone has heard of Dmanisi, is the remains of human bodies- lower jaw, teeth. In 1992 archeologists discovered here those remains, and the German paleontologists proved, that these remains are 1,800,000 years old. Therefore, these are the remains of the oldest human beings on the Eurasian continent. Scholars created plaster casts of Dmanopithec- a man and a woman were given Georgian names Zezva and Mzia. they are even called Homo Georgikus. Nowadays, this casts are kept in Tbilisi, at the Georgian State Museum. In Dmanisi first archeological research works started back in 1936 and are underway up to the present. Many cultural layers of various periods were discovered. Since 2007 Dmanisi archeological monuments were included in the trial list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Georgia’s Preserved Territories were expanded in 2013, when Dashbashi and Samshvilde canyons were added to their list. Its riverbed was formed in the volcanic rocks. Underground water outlets and waterfalls, natural and human-made caves multiply on the slopes. Canyon is the best object for educational and scientific tours. Dashbashi canyon is distinguished by natural variety and impressive scenery. Here one can come across both natural caves and those underscored by humans. The gorge is a natural habitat for a plethora of wildlife species.
Manglisi Sioni is an important Georgian architectural monument and one of the oldest Christian centers in Georgia. The first church in Manglisi was built in the IV century, and from the V century, it is a center of Episcopacy. There is a trace of Russian architecture in the decor of the cathedral. As for Bolnisi Sioni, it is one of the oldest Christian churches in Georgia. It is distinguished with its architecture, and ornaments.
15 km to the south- west from Tbilisi there is the Cross-Dome Type Cathedral of Betania.
Betania was considered lost for many years and was discovered anew in the XIX century. I should mention, that the best specimens of XII-XIII century Georgian mural paintings are present here. There is a figure of Christ Pantokratoros in the arch of the altar, on the walls of the apse there are images of Prophets and so on… The outstanding specimens of secular paintings are the portraits of the Royal family, depicted on the southern wall.
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