Shida Kartli

Shida Kartli is spread in the very heart of Georgia, on the area of 6200 sq. km. the region includes six administrative and territorial entities as specified by the Georgian legislation: town of Tskinvali, municipalities of Gori, Kaspi, Kareli, Khashuri and Java.

Historical province of Kartli consisted of several parts and included Zemo (upper), Shua (middle) and Kvemo (lower) Kartli. Shida Kartli spread in the east up to river Aragvi and Tbilisi, in the North – up to the central range of Kavkasioni (Kavkasioni mountains), in the West up to the Likhi range, and in the South – up to Trialeti range and Paravani lake (Javakheti).

Today Shida kartli is an important transit joint wherefrom one can get to any corner of Georgia; its territory is crossed by international expressway and Rikoti tunnel connecting it with Imereti region. Rikoti tunnel constructed under Rocki pass in 1983 is one of tree backbone roads that connect Georgia with its big neighbor – Russia. Shida Kartli is crossed also by Transcaucasia central railway backbone.

There are natural architectural and cultural monuments on the territory of the region. Among them there are some outstanding ones: Sioni of Ateni, Church of Kuntsvisi, church of Samtavisi, Uplistsikhe, Rkoni Monastery, Gori fortress, surami fortress, tsromi church, Kvatakhevi..

 

Resort area of Abano

Location: Kareli municipality, riverbed of river Lopanistskali

Distance: 115 km away from Tbilisi, 25 km away from Kareli

Sea level: 680 m

Landscape: plain-hillocky

Climate: low mountain, moderately dry, winter moderately cold, with little snow, mean temperature in January – -1,2 degrees, summer warm, mean temperature in August 20,2 degrees centigrade

Average annual precipitation: 400-500 mm

Average comparative annual humidity: 74%

Duration of annual sunny light: 2200 h

Natural treatment factors: low mountain climate and sulpuric-hydrogen chloride-hydro-carbonate, calcium-sodium mineral water with general mineralization 0,7 g/dm3

Types of therapy: mineral water bath, passive climate therapy

Diseases for treatment: cardiovascular, respiratory and muskulotherapy system, as well as gynecological diseases, cystitis, and chronic prostatitis, functional disorders of nervous system.

Village of Abano is one of the oldest settlements in the heart of Kartli. The moniker `Abano` (bathhouse in Georgian) was given to the place thanks to curing properties of the mineral water used by the residents of this area for treatment of various diseases.

Bu the end of XVIII c. Abano along with other hamlets of the river Prone gorge became also totally uninhabited due to non-stop incursions of tribes from Northern Caucasus. However, it got on its feet and today it is famous for its curing waters and springs.

On the plain of Shida Kartli, in the Kareli municipality, there are some other resort areas. From this point the gorge of river Dzama is standing out. In the 40 km-long gorge of river Dzama there are several resort areas, more than 50 monuments of cultural heritage and natural sights.

 

Resort of Gorijvari

Location: foot-hill of the Northern slope of Trialeti range, right bank of river Mtkvari

Distance: 85 km away from Tbilisi

Sea level: 680 m

Climate: low mountain, moderately dry, winter moderately cold, with little snow, mean temperature in January – -1,2 degrees, summer very warm, dry, mean temperature in August 22,3 degrees centigrade

Average annual precipitation: 498 mm

Average comparative annual humidity: 74%

Duration of annual sunny light: 2300 h

Natural treatment factors: low mountain climate and sulfide, chloride-hydro-carbonate, sodium mineral water with general mineralization 0,9 g/dm3

Types of therapy: mineral water bath, passive climate therapy

Diseases for treatment: muskulosceletal system, pheriperial nervous system and gynecological diseaes.

Gori municipality is situated on the plain of Shida Kartli. The center of the region, town of Gori, for centuries was an important commercial hub as a point situated on the crossroads of strategic directions from Samachablo, Shida Kartli and Imereti. Its name derives from the rocky hillock in downtown where stands medieval fortress surviving up to the present.

There are several health and balneological resorts of various profile and diverse natural healing factors on the territory of municipality, including: Biisi (arthrological, gynecological and neurological profile hot mineral waters), Peli (health resort, recommended for patients with asthma, allergy, functional heart diseases, low arterial pressure), Ateni (health resort of preventive and cardiological profile in the basin of river Tani), as well as Sakavre, Boshuri, Bobnevi..

Gorijvari is several km away from Gori, settled on the Gorijvari mount. Its natural treatment factors include sulphuric-hidrogen, sulfide mineral water. In the 1980-ies a lot of people from different corners of the country used to visit this place for vacations and to improve health conditions. Nowadays only bathhouse is under operation in Gorijvari.

Other than mineral waters, miraculous properties of healing patients were ascribed to St. George Church because of St. Georges head which was buried in the foundation of it, as it was passed on from old times. On the spot of the church, in age-old time, stood pagan item of warship, and on this spot St. Nino who enlightened and baptized Georgia in the beginning of IV century, , erected a cross. After that this area started to be called Gorijvari. On the St. George Feast Days – on May 6 and November 23- celebrations called `Gorijvaroba` are held. These days a lot of worshippers ascend the mount.

Biisi waterfall. Gorge of river Tana. Waterfall freezes in wintertime. In the beginning of Febryary a festival of climbing up on the ice is usually organized here in which the best mountain climbers and amateurs participate.

 

Resort of Surami

Location: foot-hill of southern slope of Likhi range

Distance: 7 km away from Khashuri, 50 km away from Gori, 115 km away from Tbilisi

Sea level: 750 m

Landscape: hillocky

Climate: moderately continental, winter cold, with little snow, mean temperature in January – 9 degrees, summer warm, mean temperature in August 20,2 degrees centigrade

Average annual precipitation: 781 mm

Average comparative annual humidity: 70%

Duration of annual sunny light: 2300 h

Natural treatment factors: low mountain climate and slightly sulfide-hydro-carbonate-sodium mineral waters with general mineralization 0,6 g/dm3

Types of therapy: passive climate therapy and mineral water baths

Diseases for treatment: chronic diseases of bones, functional disorders of pheriperal nervous system, skin, cardiovascular and nervous system.

Likhi, the same Surami range divides Georgia in two parts – Western and Eastern Georgia.  Here passes the main expressway of the nation, as well as Tsipi railway and Rikoti auto tuunels. On the southern slopes of the range, several km away to the south-west from Khashuri is situated health and spa resort of Surami

Surami presumably was founded in II c. BC since the antique times, during centuries, thanks to convenient geographic location, Surami has been a point and important town on the ancient trade route – Great Silk Road. From the end of XIX across territory of Surami has run Poti-Tbilsi railway line which lost its function after construction of a tunnel under Surami slope. Today railway line is used for local transit only.

Surami is children profile resort. Its natural treatment factors are dry, subtropical air and deciduous forest spreading around the resort on 120 ha mixed with embedded coniferous forest tract. There are also many mineral water springs in the settlement. As a resort Surami has gained its name since the end of the XIX century. Since 1948 it gained the staus of a resort of local importance where several sanatoria and rest-houses were operated. It is worth mentioning that in 1938 childrens orphanage was opened in Surami where 300-400 children who lost parents in the second World War found their shelter.

Surami fortress. XI c. located on the bank of river Suramula, in the southern part of the settlement. Complex includes wall, fortress, tower. Palace and St. George Church dating XI-XII.

 

Kvishkheti

Location: slope of the Likhi range, left bank strip of river Mtkvari

Distance: 10 km away from Khashuri, 50 km away from Gori, 120 km away from Tbilisi

Sea level: 750 m

Landscape: plain-hillocky

Climate: Slow mountain subtropical, winter moderately cold, with little snow, mean temperature in January – -1,9 degrees, summer warm, mean temperature in August 20,7 degrees centigrade

Average annual precipitation: 567 mm

Average comparative annual humidity: 70%

Duration of annual sunny light: 2100 h

Natural treatment factors: low mountain subtropical climate and slightly sulfide carbonate-sodium mineral waters with general mineralization 0,14 g/dm3

Types of therapy: thalassotherapy, magnetite sand baths

Diseases for treatment: cardiovascular, respiratory, food digestion and urinary and sexual system diseases, diabetes and ray exposure.

Khashuri municipality is spread in the central part os Georgia, on the plain of Sida Kartli. Territory of municipality expands to the east up to Doglauri Valley, and from the rest of three parts I t is surrounded by mountains of middle height (900-1000 m) from the North – by Southern slopes of Kavkasioni, from the west – by Likhi range, from the South – by Trialeti, or Northern slopes of Lesser Kavkasioni.

Administrative center of the region, town of Khashuri, first was mentioned in the document dating back to 1963. Then Khashuri was a small village. In XIX century, after construction of Poti-Tbilisi railway, it became an important railway hub. In 1921 Khashuri was announced to have the status of a town.

There are two resorts of republican importance in the municipality. Surami and Kvishketi. Irrespective of the fact that both administratively report to Khashuri municipality, they are usually mentioned in the group of Borjomi resorts.

Health and balneological resort of Kvishkleti surrounded by coniferous, spruce and mixed tree forest is located 10 km away from Kvishketi, on the Eastern slope of Likhi range. Unique healing properties of Kvishketi climate create warm humid air body coming from the Black Sea merging on the territory of the resort with mountain air. There are mineral water outlets on its territory used to cure carious diseases. Kvishketi is especially wholesome for children with respiratory tract diseases.

There are several monuments of cultural heritage in Kvishketi. Among them are: Church of the Holy Easter, Mtatsminda Church, Church of Transfiguration, Church of St. George, Church of St. Elia. Every year on Thursday following Feast of the Ascension, Kvishketi celebrates popular festival called `Mtatsmindoba`

 

Resort of Khovle

Location: Lowland of Shida Kartli, gorge of river Khevkhmela

Distance: 26 km away from Kaspi, 30 km away from Gori, 60 km away from Tbilisi

Sea level: 780 m

Landscape: plain-hillocky

Climate: low mountain, moderately dry, winter moderately cold, with little snow, mean temperature in January -1,2 degrees, summer warm, moderately dry, mean temperature in August 20,5 degrees centigrade

Average annual precipitation: 400-600 mm

Average comparative annual humidity: 74%

Duration of annual sunny light: 2400 h

Natural treatment factors: low mountain climate and slightly sulfide sulpuric-hydro-carbonate, sodium mineral waters with general mineralization 0,8 g/dm3

Types of therapy: mineral water baths, passive climate therapy

Diseases for treatment: cardiovascular, respiratory and musculoskeletal systems and gynecological disease, functional disorders of nervous system, cystitis and chronic prostatitis, endocrine obesity.

Kaspi municipality located on the plain of Shida Kartly, on the both banks of river Mtkvari, is bordered from the nortn by southern ramifications of Kavkasioni mountains, from the south – by Trialeti range. Rivers Mtkvari, Ksani, Lekhura, Kavtura and Tezami flow on the territory of the district.

There are several resorts and resort areas in the Tezami gorge: Akhalkalaki (1040 m above sea level) high mountain climate is wholesome for prevention of respiratory diseases; Gostibe (1500 m above sea level) – is recommended for health improvement and treatment of bronchial asthma; Garikula (470 m above sea level) is good for respiratory tracts; Rkoni (950 m sea level) – for general health improvement of children and adults. Routes of the Tezami gorge include several historical monuments and are very popular among walking tourist lowers.

One more resort area in this municipality, village of Khovle, first of all is known for its historical heritahe. Near the village, on the Khovle mount, scholars unearthed ancient settlement ruins dating II-I millennium BC. Khovle is a spa resort of arthrological profile. There are several outlets of sulpuric mineral waters on its territory. In the 1980-ies of the last century resort of local importance status was operated here.