Georgian history goes back to the 12th century BC when the first proto-Georgian tribes began to appear but what is now known as Georgia wasn’t established until the 4th century BC, historically known as the classical era. Numerous independent kingdoms were formed on the territory, dividing it into states. The Georgian Orthodox Church is one of the world’s most ancient Christian Churches, adopted in the beginning of the 4th century by kingdoms of Colchis and Iberia. Historically, traditional Georgian churches were built as basilicas before the 9th century, when the Cross-dome architecture emerged. Through the country, you can find diverse architectural styles influenced by a number of civilizations. For example, most of the town of Shatili in Khevsureti is an impressive Georgian medieval architectural destination. The Old Town of the capital city, Tbilisi, on the other hand, was built in the 19th century Hausmann style. From the late 11th century, Georgian culture began evolving, celebrating the Golden Age of literature, arts, philosophy, architecture, and science. The period known as early Renaissance span from late 11th century until the 14th century, leaving impressive cultural and architectural heritage.
In the State Museum of Georgia artifacts dating back to 2nd-millennium bc can be appreciated, as for example an impressive grail made of high-carat gold set with gems. One of the most famous Georgian artists is Niko Pirosmani, a “primitivist” painter of the late 19th and the early 20th century. The artist included the traditional wine-making in his art as it is a big part of the Georgian culture.
Georgian music is most known for its early development of polyphony, which is based on three vocal parts, a unique tuning system, and a harmonic structure. Each region has its own traditional folk music influenced by the Persian style. Since 2001, Georgian polyphony has been included in UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Influenced by Middle Eastern, Western Asian and European culinary techniques, Georgian cuisine is a rich interplay of culinary ideas developed through centuries by merchants and travelers. The infamous “supra,” is a local tradition of dining and socializing that includes a wide assortment of dishes accompanied by a large amount of wine. The most important role is held by a “tamada” - a toastmaster, who leads the feast and offers toasts by standing up on his feet with the rest of the men. The tamada can can “transfer” the toast to another man at the table, but the prime toasts are always proposed by “tamada.”
Georgian ancient and traditional wine-making is a part of UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List. Based on archaeological findings Georgian viticulture traces back to at least 6000 BC, which makes it the oldest wine producing regions in the world. The traditional method of making authentic Georgian wine involves “Kvevri” clay jars that are buried in the ground for up to 50 years.