Georgia is a country of Transcaucasia located at the eastern end of the Black Sea on the southern flanks of the main crest of the Greater Caucasus Mountains. It is bounded on the north and northeast by Russia, on the east and southeast by Azerbaijan, on the south by Armenia and Turkey, and on the west by the Black Sea. Georgia includes three ethnic enclaves: Abkhazia, in the northwest (principal city Sokhumi); Ajaria, in the southwest (principal city Batʿumi); and South Ossetia, in the north (principal city Tskhinvali). The capital of Georgia is Tbilisi (Tiflis).
The locals call it Sakartvelo and call themselves Kartveli, which most probably derives from a central region in Georgia – Kartli.
Georgia has almost every type of climate, from subtropical and alpine to semi-desert, but its land is also conducive to agriculture, with 49 different types of soil. This makes the Georgian biosphere one of the most ecologically diverse on earth.
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Georgia is divided into 9 regions, 1 city, and 2 autonomous republics. These in turn are subdivided into 67 districts and 12 self-governing cities. Also, Georgia contains two official autonomous regions – Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The Georgian terrain is largely mountainous, and more than a third is covered by forest or brushwood. The rugged Georgia terrain may be divided into three bands, all running from east to west.
The Georgian language is a member of the Kartvelian (South Caucasian) family of languages. It has its alphabet, which is thought to have evolved about the 5th century, and there are many dialects. Several other Caucasian languages are spoken by minority groups; many are unwritten.
The Georgians are a proud people with an ancient culture. The ancient culture of the republic is reflected in a large number of architectural monuments, including many monasteries and churches; Georgian architecture (with Armenian) played a considerable role in the development of the Byzantine style. The people are well-known for their hospitality, love of life, lively intelligence, and sense of humor. Georgian culture was influenced by many outstanding branches – Classical Greece, the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the various Iranian empires, and the Russian Empire. Georgia is known for its folklore, traditional music, dances, theatre, cinema, and art.
The climate of Georgia is exceptionally diversified. The Caucasian barrier protects Georgia from cold air intrusions from the north, while the country is open to the constant influence of warm, moist air from the Black Sea. Western and eastern Georgia has a spectrum of climates varying from moderately humid to a dry subtropical type. There are a lot of rains during the year, but winters are sunny and relatively warm. Summers are very pleasant in Georgia. The highest temperatures occur in July.
Due to its location on the Black Sea and on the historical Silk Road, Georgia since ancient times had been involved in commerce with many lands. Because of the country’s climate and topography, Georgia’s agriculture and tourism have been principal economic sectors. In 1991, Georgia embarked on a major structural reform designed to transition to a free market economy. Tourism plays a great part in the country’s economy. Each year the number of international arrivals grows more and more. Tourist attractions include more than 2,000 mineral springs, and over 12,000 historical and cultural monuments, four of which are recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The country is a member of international organizations across both Europe and Asia, such as the Council of Europe, the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Eurocontrol, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Association Trio, and the GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development.
The population of Georgia is not like any other ethnic category in Europe or Asia. Ethnic Georgians form about 86.8 percent of the population, while the remainder includes ethnic groups such as Abkhazians, Armenians, Assyrians, Azerbaijanis, Greeks, Jews, Kists, Ossetians, Russians, Ukrainians, Yezidis, and others. About one-fifth of the population is under age 15, and two-fifths are under 30, while the other two-fifths are age 45 or older. The official languages of Georgia are Georgian.
Georgia has a dense transportation system. Nowadays transport in Georgia is provided by air, rail, road, and ferry. In recent years the country invested a lot of money in the improvement of its transport networks. Air and maritime transport are also developing in Georgia. The largest international airport is Tbilisi International Airport. The largest seaport is the Port of Batumi.