Borjomi Gorge is a picturesque canyon of the Kura River in central Georgia. The gorge was formed as a result of the Kura River cutting its path through the Lesser Caucasus Mountains where the Trialeti and Meskheti Ranges meet. A significant portion of the Borjomi Gorge is covered by mixed and coniferous forests made up of oak, maple, beech, spruce, fir, and pine. A large portion of the Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park lies within the gorge, as well as the towns of Likani and Borjomi itself.
Vardzia is a cave monastery site in southern Georgia, excavated from the slopes of the Erusheti Mountain on the left bank of the Kura River, thirty kilometres from Aspindza. The main period of construction was the second half of the twelfth century. The caves stretch along the cliff for some five hundred metres and in up to nineteen tiers.
According to the Georgian Chronicles the city was established in the 9th century by Guaram Mampal, son of the King of Tao. From the 13th to the end of 14th centuries it was the capital city of Samtskhe-Saatabago, ruled by the Georgian princely (mtavari) family and a ruling dynasty of the Principality of Samtskhe, the House of Jaqeli. In 1393 the city was attacked by the armies of Tamerlane. Despite the Turko-Mongol invasions fortress withstood and continued to thrive. After the Treaty of Constantinople in 1590, the whole territory of Samtskhe-Saatabago went under the rule of Ottoman Empire. Turks Mostly used to build defensive edifices. In 1752 first mosque was built in Rabati. By the end of the 18th century Metropolitan John writes that “despite the fact that a large part of the population has been Islamized, there’s still a functioning Orthodox church”. After the Treaty of Georgievsk between the Kingdom of Kartli and the Russian Empire was signed, the question of the fate of Akhaltsikhe arose. The first attempt to take the fortress in 1810 failed. Russians took the city after 18 years in 1828. After the Treaty of Adrianople in 1829, the Ottomans yielded part of Akhaltiske Region.