Home » About Georgia » Svaneti

Svaneti

Svaneti or Svanetia (Suania in ancient sources) is a historic province in Georgia, in the northwestern part of the country. It is inhabited by the Svans, an ethnic subgroup of Georgians.

Situated on the southern slopes of the central Caucasus Mountains and surrounded by 3,000–5,000 meter peaks, Svaneti is the highest inhabited area in the Caucasus. Four of the 10 highest peaks of the Caucasus are located in the region. The highest mountain in Georgia, Mount Shkhara at 5,201 meters (17,059 feet), is located in the province.Prominent peaks include Tetnuldi (4,974 m / 16,319 ft), Shota Rustaveli (4,960 m / 16,273 ft), Mount Ushba (4,710 m / 15,453 ft), Ailama (4,525 m / 14,842 ft), as well as Lalveri, Latsga and others.

Svanetia is known for their architectural treasures and picturesque landscapes. The botany of Svanetia is legendary among travelers.The famous Svanetian towers erected mainly in the 9th-12th centuries, make the region’s villages more attractive. In the province are dozens of Georgian orthodox churches and various fortified buildings. Architectural monuments of Upper Svanetia are included in a list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Svan culture survives most wonderfully in its songs and dances. Svanetia boasts arguably the most archaic three-part polyphonic singing. Most of their songs are connected to round dances, are performed very loud and are full of dissonant chords.