Mestia, Georgia

Mestia is a highland rural town in northwest Georgia, at an elevation of 1,500 meters in the Caucasus Mountains.

Town of Mestia

Town of Mestia

Mestia District consists of Mestia town and the adjoining 132 villages. The population of Mestia District is 14,248, and 2,600 of it is in the town itself.

Town of Mestia

Town of Mestia

Mestia has always been regarded a chief community of Upper Svaneti province. Despite its small size, the town was an important centre of Georgian culture for centuries and contains a number of medieval monuments – churches and forts – included in a list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Defensive stone towers of Mestia

Defensive stone towers of Mestia

The defensive stone towers were built between the 9th – 13th centuries. Today around 175 remain scattered across the valleys. The culture of this region has a long history … peaking during the Georgian “golden age” under Queen Tamar (1184-1213), who was respected almost as goddess by the locals.

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The old house built of stone, opened to the public.

This was an old private house and it is preserved as the small museum now. I entered inside.

The house interior.

The house interior, ground floor called MACHVIBI

Ground floor is the kitchen with cattale shed. Residents usually live in the first floor. But this district is very cold in winter. So they move and live in ground floor, becouse the room is warm by the fire of cooking and the body temperature of the cattle.

The cattle pen is in the house.

The cattle pen is in the house.

The tower-houses were used both as dwellings and as defense posts against the invaders who plagued the region.

Defensive stone towers of Mestia

Defensive stone towers of Mestia

I climbed the five stories tower. The inside was dark and dusty. It was very hard to climb the perpendicular wooden ladder.

The hole of the wall in the tower.

The hole of the wall in the tower.

View from the top of the tower

View from the top of the tower

The opening of the wall in the tower was used as skylight and to watch people. I stuck out my head on the roof and took some photos. The roof is made of thick boards.

The ladder of the tower

The ladder of the tower

A woman who was covered with dust climbed down from the top of the tower.

Mestia is a very nice place. Inhabitants are shy but kind. Prices are low, wine is tasty and scenery is beautiful. I really love Mestia. But the town has one problem. I love whiskey, and I was going to have a bottle of whiskey in some shops of the town. I couldn’t find it, so I had to have brandy after all.

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