Idea #508 – Exploring the towers villages of High Svanetie in Georgia
High Svanetie, in the northwest of Georgia, is a region hard to access, in high mountains, in the Caucasus. People isolated, the Svans, have kept an original cultures and traditions until today; moreover, they spek “Svan”, a language different from the Georgian and incomprehensible in the rest of the country… Far from the political center of Tbilisi, the natives of this region clear up their clanic conflicts with weapons if necessary.
To reach the capital Mestia, 1450 m high, there is only one small road, which crosses mountains and goes along the gorges of the wild river. The road is strewed with stony blocks, tumbling down the mountain and it is common that a bulldozer come to bring you out of a mudslide…
The bottom of the valley, in some 5 km of the Russian border, allow you to discover villages, characterized by a defensive town planning, made by a succession of tower housing, counting from 4 to 7 floors, crowned with pseudo-machicolation, and covered with two pieces roofs. Occasionally, enjoy the Sva salt !
Where is it?