Brief History of Georgia:Georgia is a country rich with history. The language of Georgia is one of the oldest languages in the world that is still used and the country's current capital, Tbilisi, is voer 1,500 years old. Much of Georgia's history involves portions of the country being part of some other empire including the Persian Empire, the Romans, Byzantium, the Mongols, and the Turkish Empires.
During the 11th and 12th centuries Georgia experienced its golden age. It became a powerful independent kingdom under the leadership of its greatest rulers including King David the Builder and Queen Tamar.
In 1783 the country became a protectorate of Russia. Except for a brief time of freedom in the early 1900s, for the next 200 years Georgia would be in some way part of or tied to Russia; first to the Russian Empire and later to the Soviet Union. On April 9, 1991 Georgia declared its independence and became a free country.
The Geography of GeorgiaTotal Size: 69,700 square km
Size Comparison: slightly smaller than South Carolina
Geographical Coordinates: 42 00 N, 43 30 E
World Region or Continent: Asia
General Terrain: largely mountainous with Great Caucasus Mountains in the north and Lesser Caucasus Mountains in the south; Kolkhet'is Dablobi (Kolkhida Lowland) opens to the Black Sea in the west; Mtkvari River Basin in the east; good soils in river valley flood plains, foothills of Kolkhida Lowland
Geographical Low Point: Black Sea 0 m
Geographical High Point: Mt'a Shkhara 5,201 m
Climate: warm and pleasant; Mediterranean-like on Black Sea coast
Major cities: TBILISI (capital) 1.115 million (2009), Kutaisi, Batumi
The People of GeorgiaType of Government: republic
Languages Spoken: Georgian 71% (official), Russian 9%, Armenian 7%, Azeri 6%, other 7%
Independence: 9 April 1991 (from Soviet Union)
National Holiday: Independence Day, 26 May (1918); note - 26 May 1918 is the date of independence from Soviet Russia, 9 April 1991 is the date of independence from the Soviet Union
Religions: Orthodox Christian 83.9%, Muslim 9.9%, Armenian-Gregorian 3.9%, Catholic 0.8%, other 0.8%, none 0.7% (2002 census)
National Symbol: Saint George; lion
National Anthem or Song: Tavisupleba (Liberty)
Economy of GeorgiaMajor Industries: steel, aircraft, machine tools, electrical appliances, mining (manganese and copper), chemicals, wood products, wine
Agricultural Products: citrus, grapes, tea, hazelnuts, vegetables; livestock
Natural Resources: forests, hydropower, manganese deposits, iron ore, copper, minor coal and oil deposits; coastal climate and soils allow for important tea and citrus growth
Major Exports: scrap metal, machinery, chemicals; fuel reexports; citrus fruits, tea, wine
Major Imports: fuels, machinery and parts, transport equipment, grain and other foods, pharmaceuticals
Currency: lari (GEL)
National GDP: $24,540,000,000
** Source for population (2012 est.) and GDP (2011 est.) is CIA World Factbook.
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