Samegrelo Region

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Samegrelo Region

This is Samegrelo… This is Big Georgia.

Where to start? It is difficult to find the beginning or determine the pattern to endless beauty that reigns here in Samegrelo. Therefore, there is no need to look for anything because everything here was created by God and accordingly, everything is unique and exceptional. Here, natural and manmade wonders compete with each other. It is as if the boundary between myths and reality, past and present is completely wiped out. Follow us along any road and you will see miracles. The walls of Rukhi Fortress are real enough but if you notice the shadow of Medea, do not think your eyes are deceiving you – just believe it. Did you notice the feast at Nokalakevi? It is King Parnavaz who is visiting Kuji and discussing the unification of Georgia. This was the case in the past and this is the case today as well.

It is a different life – sad and sweet, like a Megrelian lullaby, like a religious gospel, where the love of the homeland can be felt. This is Georgia – the real, big Georgia.

Samegrelo (Samargalo in Migrelian language and sometimes also called Megrelia or mingrelia) is a historical and geographical province in western Georgia, surrounded by Rioni, Tskhenistskali and Enguri rivers, as well as the black Sea. The name originated from the historic of Egrisi. Georgian written sources first mention the name Samegrelo in 12th century. Initially the province was identified with the whole of western Georgia (much like Abkhazeti or Imereti), but in 13th-15th centuries, it assumed a narrower meaning. The province is populated by anethnic subgroup of Georgians – Megrels (Megrelians), largely concentrated between the rivers of Psirtskha (Anakodiis Tskali) and Tskhenistskali. The central city of the province is Zugdidi.

In the late Middle Ages, Odishi principality was created on this area and the province was often mentioned by that name, although various foreign sources often used variations of the name Samegrelo. From the beginning of the 19th century though, Samegrelo was once again and finally established as the only reference to the province. In the beginning of the 17th century, as a result of Abkhaz feudals growing influence, the borders of the principality were first moved to Kelasuri River, later to Galidzga River and finally to Enguri River.

According to the current administrative-territorial division, Samegrelo is a part of Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti region and includes Abasha, Zugdidi, Martvili, Senaki, Chkhorotsku, Tsalenjkha and Khobi municipalties, as well as the city of Poti.

Samegrelo is rich in architectural and historical monuments.

Samegrelo Cuisine

Samegrelo cuisine is famous for its cheese – Sulguni. Many dishes are made of it. Traditional dishes are: Ghomi (mush), Elarji (sulguni mashed in ghomi), Gebzhalia (cheese roll seasoned with mint), Jurjani (seasoned guts), roasted pig seasoned with Ajika, Megrelian Khachapuri, etc.

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