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Geschichte

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The recorded history of Georgia dates back more than 4,000 years. The culture of Georgia has evolved over the country's long history, providing it with strong literary tradition. The unique Georgian alphabet, which is among the fourteen existing ones in the world dates back to the5th century BC.

The Georgian Apostolic Autocephalous Orthodox Church is one of the world's most ancient Christian Churches, founded in the 1st century by the Apostle Andrew. In the first half of the 4th century Christianity was adopted as the state religion. This has provided a strong sense of national identity that has helped to preserve Georgian distinctiveness despite repeated periods of foreign occupation and attempted assimilation.

 

4 Georgia has historically found itself on the margins of great empires – its territory a desirable land for the great Asian empires in the course of centuries. Despite numerous invasions and wars Davit Aghmashenebeli (the Builder, 1089-1125), Georgia's greatest and most prominent king, managed to unite Georgia in XII century. The reign of Davit Aghmashenebeli and King Tamar (1184-1213) has passed into history as an epoch of state reconstruction, cultural efflorescence, social-economic resurgence and construction of churches and monasteries.

Hardly any other country except for Georgia has experienced such a great number of assaults and still been able to preserve intact so many of its characteristic. Numerous churches and fortifications bear witness to the country’s restless historic past.

The last conqueror, Russia, started annexation of Georgia in 1801. Georgia spent almost 200 years of its recent history being part of the Russian empire: first as Russia's province (guberniya), then as a Soviet republic. Independent for three years (1918-1921) following the Russian revolution, it was forcibly incorporated into the USSR. In 1991, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Georgia declared independence from the U.S.S.R. and in 1992 became the 179th member of the United Nations.

In 2003 an attempt by the government to manipulate legislative elections touched off widespread public uprising that led to the democratic Rose Revolution and resignation of President Eduard Shevardnadze. In 2004 Saakashvili was elected President of Georgia. Restoring Georgia's territorial integrity, reversing the effects of ethnic cleansing and returning refugees to their home places were the main principles of Saakashvili's pre-election campaign.

Today Georgia is a presidential democracy.

Geography


2Geographic coordinates: 42 00 N, 43 30 E

Map references: Europe

Area: 69,700 sq km
Land boundaries: total: 1,461 km
border countries: Armenia 164 km, Azerbaijan 322 km, Russia 723 km, Turkey 252 km

Coastline: 310 km


Climate: warm and pleasant; Mediterranean-like on Black Sea coast

Terrain: largely mountainous with Great Caucasus Mountains in the north and Lesser Caucasus Mountains in the south; Kolkhida Lowland opens to the Black Sea in the west; Mtkvari River Basin in the east; good soils in river valley flood plains, foothills of Kolkhida Lowland

Elevation extremes: lowest point: Black Sea 0 m
highest point: Mountain Shkhara 5,201 m

Natural resources: forests, hydropower, manganese deposits, iron ore, copper, minor coal and oil deposits; coastal climate and soils allow for important tea and citrus growth

Geography - note: strategically located east of the Black Sea; Georgia controls much of the Caucasus Mountains and the routes through them.

People


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Population: 4,677,401 (July 2005 est.)

Age structure: 0-14 years: 18% (male 444,779/female 398,162)
15-64 years: 65.9% (male 1,480,557/female 1,603,743)
65 years and over: 16% (male 300,859/female 449,301) (2005 est.)

Median age: total: 37.36 years
-male: 34.93 years
-female: 39.7 years (2005 est.)

Ethnic groups: Georgian 83.8%, Azeri 6.5%, Armenian 5.7%, Russian 1.5%, other 2.5% (2002 census)


Religions: Orthodox Christian 83.9%, Armenian-Gregorian 3.9%, Catholic 0.8%, Muslim 9.9%, other 0.8%, none 0.7% (2002 census)

Languages: Georgian 71% (official), Russian 9%, Armenian 7%, Azeri 6%, other 7%
note: Abkhaz is the official language in Abkhazia

Government

Country name: Georgia

Capital: Tbilisi

Administrative divisions: 9 regions, 9 cities, and 2 autonomous republics

Regions: Guria, Imereti, Kakheti, Kvemo Kartli, Mtskheta-Mtianeti, Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti, Samegrelo and Zemo Svaneti, Samtskhe-Javakheti, Shida Kartli
Autonomous Republics: Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia (Sokhumi), Autonomous Republic of Ajaria (Batumi)

Independence: 9 April 1991 (from Soviet Union)

Constitution: Adopted 24 August 1995

Legal system: Based on civil law system

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch: Chief of State: President Mikheil SAAKASHVILI (since 25 January 2004); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government for the power ministries: state security (includes interior) and defense

Elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 4 January 2004 (next to be held in 2009)

Legislative branch: The Parliament of Georgia shall be the supreme representative body of the country. The Parliament consist of 150 members of the Parliament elected by a proportional system and 85 members elected by a majority system for a term of four years on the basis of universal, equal and direct suffrage by secret ballot.

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (judges elected by the Supreme Council on the president's recommendation); Constitutional Court; first and second instance courts

Transportation

Airports: 30 (2004 est.)

Railways: total: 1,612 km (1,612 km electrified)
broad gauge: 1,575 km 1.520-m gauge (1,575 electrified)
narrow gauge: 37 km 0.912-m gauge (37 electrified) (2004)

Ports and terminals: Batumi, Poti

 
 

 

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