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Mestia , Northwestern Georgia

Mestia  is a small town ( Daba) in northwestern Georgia and is located at an altitude of about 1500 a.s.l. in the Greater Caucasus. It is located in the region of Minrelia and Upper Svaneti and is the capital of the historical region of Svaneti.

Despite its small size, the village of Mestia (the ancient name is Seti) has been the cultural and religious center of mountainous Svanetia for centuries.Historically and ethnographically, it has always been considered a main community  of the  province of Svanetia. Its population is mainly Svan, a cultural and linguistic subgroup of the Georgians. Despite its small size, it was an important center of Georgian culture for centuries and contains a number of medieval monuments, such as churches and stone towers, included in a list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Unique icons and manuscripts are preserved in the town’s Historical-Ethnographic Museum ,Mestia is also a center for alpine tourism and mountaineering, from here, ascents to the peaks of Ushba, Dzhangi-tau, Shkhara, etc.On December 1, 2010, the Khatsvali ski resort was opened here.

Access : Coordinates: 43.045556, 42.729722 / Mestia located on the southern slope of the Greater Caucasus, 128 km northeast of Zugdidi.Mestia has a small airport that connects Tbilisi (Queen-Tamar Airport).

Highlights :

  • The city landscape is dominated by defensive stone towers of the type seen in Ushguli (“Svan towers”). A typical Svan fortified dwelling consisted of a tower, an adjoining house (machub) and some other domestic structures surrounded by a defensive wall.
  • In the village there is a historical and ethnographic museum, where unique icons and manuscripts are kept, a house-museum and a bust of a native of Mestia, the famous climber M. V. Khergiani (buried here).
  • Modern architecture: Between 2009 and 2012, the Berlin group of architects Meyer, built a number of modern buildings in the deconstructivist style in and around Mestia, including: town hall , a modern variant of a defense tower. Airport,  The small terminal building is shaped like an airplane.
  • Top sights in Mestia : The Hatswali ski resort is about 10 km away from Mestia. There is an elevator in operation. A single journey costs 5 GEL, a day ticket 25 GEL. / The ski resort of Tetnuldi is about 45 minutes from Mestia. There are three lifts in operation and two under construction. A single journey costs 5 GEL, a day ticket 25 GEL. There is a ski rental right at the valley station for 25 GEL.

Go next : The small town of Jvari / Mazeri – A Svaneti mountain village / Ushguli , a Caucasus village community in the Svaneti region of Georgia. Ushguli is known for its defense towers, which have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996.

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