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It is placed at the foot of Shkhara Mount and at the confluх of the rivers Shavtskala and Kvishara. The elevation of Ushguli settlement ranges from 2,060 to 2,200 meters. Accordingly with such data Ushguli admitted as the highest inhabited point in Europe.
Ushguli is connected with Mestia and Lentekhi by internal roads. Lentekhi road passes through the Zagaro pass, which is available only three months, and the rest of the year is covered by snow. Ushguli is disposed in the zone of avalanches danger. In 1987, because of the large avalanche the local populace migrated to the region of Lower Kartli. Today, the community is home to about of 70 families.
Close to Ushguli, at the springhead of the Inguri is a source of mineral water.
Because of its natural location, Ushguli always been snapped out from the other Svaneti. Even to arrive to the nearest village Kala, located in 7 km was very difficult. In memory of people still alive folk legend about the mountain, which, according to tradition, blocked the valley of the river Enguri, and the village has become flooded with water. In order to avoid the catastrophe from two villages moved two ram, and with opposite corners are attacked the rock and destroyed it.
The etymology of the local area associated with “Brave heart.” Historically, it has always been a free community without masters. Here were killed 7 princes who wanted to lord it over people.
One of the local villages, Chadzhashi is UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here are common typical defensive Svan towers, the number of which is currently reaches 30.
Attractions of Ushguli:
Seasonal towers of Queen Tamar
The tenple of the Savior in villages Murkmeli, Chvibiani and Zhibiani
Church of St. Barbara and the others.
Svaneti as the beautiful and oldest region of Georgia, is renowned for its cordiality and diligence of hosts. Swans are peculiar and proud people, of which the Greek historian Herodotus wrote that they are the best players in the brave and power games, they are all around and occupy the peaks of the Caucasus.
To this day, there has retained its ancient traditions and religious customs which play a significant role in the daily life of Svans.
The myth of the Argonauts is associated with gold prey in the area. Rivers of Svaneti carried
sand with the impurities of gold, and locals used the fleece for its production. Greek and Roman authors knew about gold mining in this tribe. It is the desire to find this Golden Fleece led the Argonauts to the kingdom of Colchis, part of which was in those days Svaneti.
Even today confirmed the folk traditions of gold mining.
In the mountains, there existed the practice of living in community, led by the head of commune – Khevisberi. The Elder was elected at the general meeting and was characterized by wisdom, courage and high sense of justice. In life he was a preacher of the Christian rules in peacetime – a judge, and in the war time was the leader of the troops.
One of the oldest traditions is also “taking blood.” Svans never forgive the murder of their family members and killed as many people from the family of the enemy, as much as lost from own. In this way they were settled scores.
The holiday of Lamproba held in early spring in Svaneti. This tradition is explained by different versions. According to the most common version Lamproba conducted to assign the quantity of soldiers in the village. By the number of lighted lamps defined as much potential soldiers can be derived if necessary.
Acquaintance with many interesting traditions and stories, with outstanding natural scenery and peculiar people promises the travel to Ushguli, Svaneti.