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Ushguli is composed of several villages in the Svaneti region of Georgia, high in the Caucasus Mountains. The area is known for the hundreds of towers attached to houses that date back to medieval times. Over the course of history many powerful empires—Arab, Mongol, Persian, Ottoman—sent armies rampaging through Georgia, the frontier between Europe and Asia. But the home of the Svans, a sliver of land hidden among the gorges of the Caucasus, remained unconquered until the Russians exerted control in the mid-19th century. Svaneti’s isolation has shaped its identity—and its historical value. In times of danger, lowland Georgians sent icons, jewels, and manuscripts to the mountain churches and towers for safekeeping, turning Svaneti into a repository of early Georgian culture.
The Svans who still live in Upper Svaneti—home to some of the highest and most isolated villages in the Caucasus—hold fast to their traditions of singing, mourning, celebrating, and fiercely defending family honor. In 1996 UNESCO bestowed World Heritage status on Ushguli, the highest cluster of Svan villages.
National Geographic Photography
1000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle
Finished Puzzle Size: 19.25"x26.625"
Linen Style Finish to reduce glare