Blog / UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the South Caucasus Culture & History | 19.06.2020

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the South Caucasus

Caucasus region is truly mysterious, magnificent, and rich with different cultures and histories. Here are officially 9 cultural Unesco World Heritage sites and around 28 sites in the tentative list. Let's have a look at all of them.

Georgia

Gelati Monastery (included in 1994,2017)

Founded in 1106 in the west of Georgia, the Monastery of Gelati is a masterpiece of the Golden Age of medieval Georgia, a period of political strength and economic growth between the 11th and 13th centuries. It is characterized by the facades of smoothly hewn large blocks, balanced proportions, and blind arches for exterior decoration. , was also a center of science and education and the Academy it housed was one of the most important centers of culture in ancient Georgia.

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The Gelati monastery, one of the largest medieval Orthodox monasteries.

Mtskheta  (included in 1994)

The historic churches of Mtskheta, former capital of Georgia, are outstanding examples of medieval religious architecture in the Caucasus. They show the high artistic and cultural level attained by this ancient kingdom.
Mtskheta located in Central-Eastern Georgia, 20km northwest of Tbilisi. The property consists of the Jvari Monastery, the Svetitstkhoveli Cathedral and the Samtavro Monastery.

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The Historical Monuments of Mtskheta are located in the cultural landscape at the confluence of the Aragvi and Mtkvari Rivers

Upper Svaneti  (included in 1996)

Preserved by its long isolation, the Upper Svaneti region of the Caucasus is an exceptional example of mountain scenery with medieval-type villages and tower-houses. The village of Chazhashi still has more than 200 of these very unusual houses, which were used both as dwellings and as defense posts against the invaders who plagued the region.

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VilUshguli is one of the highest continuously inhabited settlements in Europe.

Sites on the Tentative List

Alaverdi Cathedral
Ananuri
Colchis Wetlands and Forests 
David Gareji Monasteries and Hermitage 
Dmanisi Hominid Archaeological Site 
Gremi Church of Archangels and Royal Tower 
Kvetera Church 
Mta-Tusheti 
Nicortsminda Cathedral 
Samtavisi Cathedral 
Shatili 
Tbilisi Historic District 
Uplistsikhe Cave Town 
Vani
Vardzia-Khertvisi 

Armenia

Monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin (included in 1996,2000)

These two Byzantine monasteries in the Tumanian region from the period of prosperity during the Kiurikian dynasty (10th to 13th century) were important centers of learning. Sanahin was renowned for its school of illuminators and calligraphers.

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The two monastic complexes represent the highest flowering of Armenian religious architecture.

Monastery of Geghard and Upper Azat Valley (included in 2000)

The monastery of Geghard contains a number of churches and tombs, most of them cut into the rock, which illustrates the very peak of Armenian medieval architecture. The complex of medieval buildings is set into a landscape of great natural beauty, surrounded by towering cliffs at the entrance to the Azat Valley.

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The monastery of Geghard and the Upper Azat Valley contains a number of churches and tombs.

Echmiadzin and Archaeological Site of Zvartnots (included in 2000)

The cathedral and churches of Echmiatsin and the archaeological remains at Zvartnots graphically illustrate the evolution and development of the Armenian central-domed cross-hall type of church, which exerted a profound influence on architectural and artistic development in the region.

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The city of Echmiatsin is located in the Armavir Marz region of Armenia.

Sites on the Tentative List

The archaeological site of the city of Dvin 
The basilica and the archaeological site of Yererouk 
The monastery of Noravank and the upper Amaghou Valley 
The monasteries of Tatev and Tatevi Anapat and the adjacent areas of the Vorotan Valley 

Azerbaijan

Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape (included in 2007)

Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape covers three areas of a plateau of rocky boulders rising out of the semi-desert of central Azerbaijan, with an outstanding collection of more than 6,000 rock engravings bearing testimony to 40,000 years of rock art. 

Diving in Batumi

The site, which covers an area of 537 ha, is part of the larger protected Gobustan Reservation.

Historic Centre of Sheki with the Khan’s Palace (included in 2019)

The historic city of Sheki is located at the foot of the Greater Caucasus Mountains and divided in two by the Gurjana River. While the older northern part is built on the mountain, its southern part extends into the river valley. Its historic center, rebuilt after the destruction of an earlier town by mudflows in the 18th century, is characterized by a traditional architectural ensemble of houses with high gabled roofs.

Diving in Batumi

The Khan Palace, in the northeast of the city, and a number of merchant houses reflect the wealth generated by silkworm breeding and the trade-in silk cocoons from the late 18th to the 19th centuries.

Walled City of Baku with the Shirvanshahs Palace and Maiden Tower (included in 2000)

Built on a site inhabited since the Palaeolithic period, the Walled City of Baku reveals evidence of Zoroastrian, Sasanian, Arabic, Persian, Shirvani, Ottoman, and Russian presence in cultural continuity. The Inner City (Icheri Sheher) has preserved much of its 12th-century defensive walls.

Diving in Batumi

The Walled City of Baku and its buffer zone are inventoried and protected as National Monuments. 

Sites on the Tentative List

Surakhany, Atashgyakh (Fire - worshippers, temple - museum at Surakhany) 
The mausoleum of Nakhichevan 
Hyrkan State Reservation 
"Binegadi" 4th Period Fauna and Flora Deposit
"Lok-Batan" Mud Cone 
"Baku Stage" Mountain 
The Caspian Shore Defensive Constructions
Susha historical and architectural reserve
Ordubad historical and architectural reserve 

Author: MyCaucasus
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