Discover Borjomi
08 August, 2018
Discover Borjomi
Borjomi is a district of Georgia, in the region of Samtskhe-Javakheti. Borjomi is one of the most popular resorts, famous for its mineral waters, health, unique nature and abundance of historical monuments. There are plenty of places you should visit and spend quality of time either in summer or in winter. Number one destination to visit in Borjomi municipality is the townof Borjomi itself.

1. Borjomi is a resort town and is situated in
the northwestern part of the region in the picturesque Borjomi Gorge. The town is noted for its mineral water industry (which is the number one export of Georgia). Borjomi Mineral Water is particularly well known in those countries which were part of the former Soviet Union; the bottling of mineral water is a major source of income for the area. Because of the supposed curative powers of the area's mineral springs, it is a frequent destination for people with health problems and most importantly, it’s delicious water.

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Borjomi Town, Photo courtesy: www.indy-guide.com

The Borjomi springsdeposit has its origin in the rocks located at an altitude of 2500 meters in the Borjomi-Kharagauli mountains. It passes through natural filtering in the deep mountain layers and is enriched with chemical elements and compounds, whereupon it discharges in the form of springs in the area adjacent to the village of Daba. It is spring water enriched with bicarbonate and calcium. The Borjomi springs were discovered by the Imperial Russian military in the 1820s. They were made famous throughout the Russian Empire, making Borjomi a popular tourist destination. The history of the brand is closely associated with the Russian imperial dynasty of Romanov. By the 1890s, Borjomi mineral water was bottled in the Georgian estates of Grand Duke Mikhail of Russia. After the Russian Revolution of 1917 and subsequent Soviet takeover of Georgia, the Borjomi enterprise was nationalized and the water was made into a top Soviet export. Currently, Borjomi is exported to over 40 countries.

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Borjomi Mineral Water Spring

Borjomi is also home to the most extensive ecologically-themed amusement park in the Caucasus.

2. Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park, covering more than 85,000 hectares of native forest and alpine meadows, is one of the largest protected areas in Georgia and includes 6 districts - Borjomi, Kharagauli, Akhaltsikhe, Adigeni, Khashuri and Baghdati. Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park’s surrounding villages are rich with medieval history, local-cottage industries and legendary Georgian hospitality. The tourist season lasts all year, allowing visitors to experience the stunning variety of flora and fauna, including alpine meadows full of flowers, as well as stunning views and a broad network of twelve trails through the ancient woodlands. Paths are marked and well-arranged. Tourist shelters, picnic spots and camping sites are arranged along the routes. Sites for setting up a fire are also allocated. The Park offers hiking, horse riding, biking, snow shoes, cultural and educational tours. The routes function throughout the year.

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The Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park, Photo courtesy: www.borjomi-kharagauli-np.ge

3. Likani Resort situated also in the Samtskhe-Javakheti region, west of Borjomi. Likani is adjacent to the Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park and is a popular mountain spa. On the bank of the river Mtkvari, between mountains in Likani there is a park with centennial oaks and pine trees which were laid out at the end of the 19th century. It also has mineral springs similar in composition to "Borjomi".The Park is home to such rare species as the Spanish fir-tree, brown beech, silver spruce, red chestnut. Overall, there are more than 250 species of coniferous, deciduous and brushwood plants cultivated in the park.

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Likani Resort, Photo courtesy: www.travelingeorgia.ge

4. In the centre of the Likani park stands the  Romanov Palace with decorative plants and small gardens around it. The Palace was a project of the architect Leon Benois between 1892-95 under the auspices of the Grand Duke Nikolai Mikhailovich Romanov for his brother, Russian emperor Alexander II, as a summer mansion.

The Palace was a favorable summer retreat not only for the Romanov family but in Soviet times also to other first leaders of the country who used it for holidays, including, but not limited to, Joseph Stalin, who visited Likani in 1951.

The palace houses some unique exhibits, including the table given to the Romanoffs by Napoleon, the armchairs given by the Shah of Iran, a historical hand-made table carved by the Russian Emperor Peter I from walnut root. In fact, almost all things kept in the palace are rarities.

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Romanov Palace, Photo courtesy: www.georgia.travel/en

5.Borjomi region is also distinguished for its architectural monuments, whether they be churches or castles. In this regard, the most popular destination is Chitakhevi St. George's Monastery, otherwise known as the Green Monastery. It is located in a picturesque place in the Borjomi valley. People called it lovingly “The Green Monastery”, because all the trees in the valley are of a special green color. The stones, with which the church is built, are also green, but some are dark and some are light.

Scientists believe that the church was built by Christopher and Theodore, the disciples of the famous Georgian figure, St. Gregory Khandzteli. In the 16th century, during the invasions of Shah Thamaz, this monastery was raided. During this time dozens of monks were killed or tortured. Blood remained on the monastery stones which were subsequently thrown into the river Chitakhevi. The blood belonged to the monks killed in the invasion. Bloody stones are now spread along almost the entire length of the river running through the area around the monastery.

Later,a bell towerwas built a few metres away from the church.. The bell tower is a two-storey structure. The first floor is a chapel, and the second floor is a richly carved pavilion. On the west surface area, below the arch, there is a relief showing St. George fighting a whale.

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Chitakhevi St. George's Monastery, known as the Green Monastery

6. Among historic monuments Nedzvi also attracts the attention of tourists. It is thought that it was built around the mid 9th century. It was built by the disciples of Gregory Khandzteli and Christopher. It is located in the present Borjomi municipality, in the valley of one of the tributaries of the Mtkvari river, Nedzviskhevi. After restoration of the monument (in 1948 and 1962) the church’s original layout was revealed, and it became clear that Nedzvi is the largest among the present famous three-church basilicas in Georgia. The church had entrances from three sides. The lateral rectangular churches were connected with each other by passages from the west.

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Nedzvi, Historic Monument, Photo courtesy: www.travelinborjomi.ge

7.On the right bank of the Mtkvari River, opposite the village of Likani, on a high rocky mountain is the medieval Peter’s Castle. It is believed that its former name was the Querbili Castle. It belonged to a feudal family named Avalishvilis. The castle guarded the bridge over the river Mtkvari as well as the road from Likani to the historic villages of Phapha and Nua. In the 16th century, after the Ottoman conquest of Tori, Peter’s Castle was the administrative centre for the Ottomans. At the same time, the settlement around Peter’s Castle was emptied of its population. The castle included a citadel, and a courtyard. Between the rampart and the main castle are preserved the remains of the different facilities, ruins of residence halls, barns, wine cellars, and more. The rampart has embrasures and breastwork. The castle was repaired many times.

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Peter’s Castle, Photo courtesy: www.travelingeorgia.ge

The first photo courtesy: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/

Related stories:

Explore Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park

Explore Borjomi and its nearby landmarks

Borjomi resort - A place of beauty and recreation

Spring blossom in Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park of Georgia

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