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Svaneti Towers were awarded of Folk Architecture in 2011 from the International Fund of premium stone architecture. Founded in 1987, the prize is a fundamental source of leadership for the world of architecture and design in search of new destinations and experiences, in which the use of stone materials in combination with the disciplinary innovation.
Clusters of stone towers scattered or grouped in compact settlements along the slopes of the mountain valleys, creating a surreal contrast, visual displacement of space and time.
Obvious the defensive role of these buildings solely for the personal protection of their respective owners.
By the end ofthe nineteenthcentury, the greatItalianalpinist-photographerVittorioSella, documentingarchitectural features of Svanvillages,madeduring hisascentin the Caucasus.
His photographs, which had as its main objective the glaciers and peaks of the Caucasus, is an extraordinary document of historical and architectural anthropology of the region.
In 1930, the Svan towers were filmed in a documentary of Russian register Mikhail Kalatozov -Salt for Svanetia – epic about the life of the Caucasian peoples.
But only in the 60th episode of this great folk architecture enters an information chain of architects thanks to the book and the exhibition “Architecture without architects” of Bernard Rudofsky, who devote effective photographic documentation.
From the Georgian side to the 20s, but even more from the 60s, developing a systematic study and classification of folk architecture of Svaneti, and in 1996 it was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
There is a certain clarity and completeness in the form of towers, in some respects defining the complexity of the interpretation of the origin and functions.
These date back to the medieval fortifications between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries, the historical phase of Georgia, with alternating invasions by foreign powers and stable periods during the reign of Bagrat, the legendary dynasty of David and Queen Tamar.
Insulation exposed the villages of Upper Svaneti valley of invasions by gangs with other parties in the Caucasus, but also of competing clans of the same region.
Towers in fact, were only part of the property; while the magma with fuzzy, heavy and sealed volumes, almost without holes, concealed more complex systems that formed the true essence of the settlements.
These self-contained systems, such as mountain defensive farms formed residential cells that make up the village in the territory of Zemo Svaneti. They represent one of the most original examples of folk architecture.
There are some invisible special charm that nature and culture of these mountain people left a significant imprint on the architectural repertoire as a whole.