Adjara is historical-geographical site of Georgia, which is located in the gorge of Adjaratskali. The territory of the Adjara region has great history. It was populated from ancient time. Except cultural monuments from different period, there is a wonderful nature in here, like sunny beaches, greenery and very impressive mountainous Adjara. You can meet the local lifestyle and culture in the mountainous villages, which are far from the bustle of modern civilization. Adjara is an amazing site for noisy entertainment and chocolate sunburn lovers as well as for the adventurers of harmony in a peaceful nature.
Adjara is one of the oldest region of Georgia, it was part of upper Kartli, Meskheti. It was mentioned in Georgian written series firstly in XI century, in the narration of Leonti Mroveli, particularly in the notion of the division of Iberia into Saeristavo by King Pharnavaz( BC IV-III). But according to the scientists, the site was populated even in IV-III century BC, by the period of Stone Age. Bronze and Iron Age cultural layers have been found in the territory of Adjara.
The story of Christianity is also connected with this region, Andrea the First preached Christianity in Adjara for the first time. Adjara was under the control of Gurieli in XV-XVI century, in XVII century Ottomans conquered it. In 1609 it was released and joined to the Principality of Guria, but soon in 1614 the region fell under the Ottomans, which lasted for two centuries. The population of Adjara was converted to Islam during the period of Ottoman domination, but people maintained Georgian nationality, the Georgian language, Georgian surnames and the most important, Georgian identity. After the Russian-Ottoman war, on the basis of a cease-fire agreement, Adjara became a part of the Russian Empire in 1878. After joining the Soviet Union, Adjara was declared an autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic in 1921 and after the restoration of Georgia’s independence, it maintained the political status of the Autonomous Republic of Adjara.
Having an interesting culture and traditions in Adjara, one can meet sharply different outfit, cuisine and folklore here. This region is characterized by diversity. The clothes of Adjarian man were short and close-fitting. Chokha is slightly below of the waist and was embedded in a woolly Dzigva (Trousers). Inside of Chokha Georgian man wore Zubun (long sleeve waistcoat). Adjarian man was wearing Kalamani( shoes) outside the local knitwear and velvety socks. They were having Kabbalah( hat) on the head. Some of them were wearing Chokha and black satin Zubuns. The main attribute of Adjarian outfit was the weapons – a rifle, a waistband around the waist, a silversmith, a dagger and Matara (flask).
The women wore a kind of coat with a cotton or without it, according to the season. Below the waist, they wore a dress, under the dress – a shirt and trousers made of scarlet. On top of them was headwear, a Lechak from above, one of the button was down to the waist, with a thin veil on her face. Above all, they had a white veil.
Adjara has a very diverse folklore. Cheerful poetry, martial dance “Khorumi” and energetic, lovely dance “Gandagana” that expresses the identity and character of this region in the best way. There are many public celebrations in Adjara like: Shuamtoba, Maretoba, Machakhloba, Selimoba, Tbeloba etc. The festivals include hunting, games, dancing, singing, sports competitions, and sometimes showing off the local handmade things. One can also have the opportunity to taste traditional Adjarian dishes on the festivals.
Adjarian cuisine is rich and tasteful. Usually they use milk products like butter, cottage cheese, cheese etc. A hardworking and tireless peasant needs nutritious food. The best local dishes are: Adjarian Khachapuri, Borano, IaKhni, Fkhallobio, Achma Sinori da Kuruti.
Adjarian Baqlava is especially delicious among sweets. Viticulture is the oldest tradition in Adjara. The amount of local vine varieties was 80. The most widespread types of grapes are Tsolikauri and Chkhaveri. Today the most popular is Satsuri. Tobacco and beekeeping are also widespread in the region.
What to see
There are many interesting monuments in Adjara, which has the ancient culture. One can see here monuments from Stone, Bronze-Iron and Antic Age (The fortress of Gonio and the standing stone of Tkhilvani). Also monasteries, fortresses and bridges from the middle ages, that witnessed many interesting historical events. The nature of Adjara is breathtaking and diverse. You will be impressed by the waves of the black sea, beautiful gorges, waterfalls and alpine meadows. There are 4 protected areas in Adjara and each one is characterized by individual and endemic varieties. Adjara is also rich with seaside and mountainous resorts.