23 February 2015

#814 Tbilisi, Georgia


Svaneti or Svanetia (Suania in ancient sources) (Georgian: სვანეთი Svaneti) is a historic province in Georgia, in the northwestern part of the country. It is inhabited by the Svans, an ethnic subgroup of the Georgians.

Preserved by its long-lasting geographical isolation, the mountain landscape of the Upper Svaneti region is an exceptional example of mountain scenery with medieval villages and tower houses.

The property occupies the upper reaches of the lnguri River Basin between the Caucasus and Svaneti ranges. It consists of several small villages forming a community that are dominated by the towers and situated on the mountain slopes, with a natural environment of gorges and alpine valleys and a backdrop of snow-covered mountains. The most notable feature of the settlements is the abundance of towers.

The village of Chazhashi in Ushguli community, situated at the confluence of the lnguri and Black Rivers, has preserved more than 200 medieval tower houses, churches and castles. The land use and settlement structure reveal the continued dwelling and building traditions of local Svan people living in harmony with the surrounding natural environment. The origins of Svaneti tower houses go back to prehistory. Its features reflect the traditional economic mode and social organization of Svan communities. These towers usually have three to five floors, and the thickness of the walls decreases, giving the towers a slender, tapering profile. The houses themselves are usually two-storeyed; the ground floor is a single hall with an open hearth and accommodation for both people and domestic animals, the latter being separated by a wooden partition, which is often lavishly decorated. A corridor annex helped the thermal insulation of the building. The upper floor was used by the human occupants during summer, and also served as a store for fodder and tools. A door at this level provided access to the tower, which was also connected with the corridor that protected the entrance. The houses were used both as dwellings and as defence posts against the invaders who plagued the region.

The property is also notable for the monumental and minor arts. The mural paintings are outstanding examples of Renaissance painting in Georgia.


Date of Inscription on the List of UNESCO WHS: 1996


Date of Issue: December 22, 2014 | Europa CEPT 2013 'The Postman Van'

Aitäh, Meelis !

Sent on: February 16, 2015
Received on: February 23, 2015

1 comment:

kingway Kinga said...

Georgia - gratulation!