Georgia About is a fantastic blog about all things Georgian, I highly recommend it. This post about Svaneti is awesome!
Svaneti (Georgian: სვანეთი) is situated on the southern slopes of the Greater Caucasus mountains in the northwestern part of Georgia. It is the highest inhabited part of the Caucasus.
The characteristic landscape of Upper Svaneti is formed by small villages situated on the mountain slopes, with a natural environment of gorges and alpine valleys and a backdrop of snow-covered mountains.
Svaneti is known for its wonderful scenery and its architectural treasures, including dozens of churches and the famous Svanetian towers erected mainly in the 9th-12th centuries.
The towers were built as protection against invaders and raiders. For many centuries the Svans (Georgian: სვანი) have been in contact with the northern Caucasian tribes on the other side of the mountains and with the Ossetians to the east. Though trading took place, these relations were often hostile, with raiding parties from one or the other group attempting to seize the other’s property.
The towers also protected families during the blood-feuds…
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