Internationally recognized independent state since 9 April 1991. The national flag came into use when Georgia proclaimed its independence in 1917 and was resurrected upon the breakup of the Soviet Union.

  Agriculture is a leading occupation in Georgia, whose warmer districts produce large quantities of tea and citrus fruits; tobacco, wine grapes, rice, and mulberry trees (for silk) are also grown. Sheep, pigs, and poultry are raised. Georgia is rich in minerals, notably manganese (mined mostly at Chiatura and in Imeritia) and copper; tungsten, coal, lignite, barites, iron, molybdenum, oil, and peat are also found. There are sizable deposits of marble, dolomite, talc, and clays for use in construction.
Situated on the southern slopes of the Greater Caucasus and in the Lesser Caucasus, Georgia is largely ruggedly mountainous. In spite of its small size Georgia is covered with a large variety of vegetation, which is caused by a considerable difference between the Western and Eastern climate. The structure of the landscape as well as of the mountain ranges largely contributed to the geograpical and environmental isolation of the regional ecological systems, wich resulted in a high level of endemic variety.

  Field Vole At present, Indo-Australian tropical flora is the closest in type to the vegetation characteristic of Georgia. forests constitute 38.6% of the country's territory and cover 2.69 million hectares. In Georgia are registered about 100 species of animals, over 330 species of birds, 48 species of reptiles, 11 species of amphibians and about 160 species of fish. Some of the endemic and endangered species are worth mentioning here. These are the Dagestanian and Caucasian goat, the striped hyena, the Caucasian mink,the Gudaurian fieldvole, the steppe eagle, the Caucasian salamander, etc.
Tbilisi is the capital of Georgia. The population of the city is 1.253.000 (1996). It is sited on the both banks of the Mtkvari River, in the gorge surrounded by mountains. It is named from the Georgian tbili (warm) due to hot sulphur-springs on its territory. Tbilisi is the city of an irresistible beauty due to its natural conditions. Former gardens are reorganized into the national parks. Public buildings are mostly located on the Rustaveli Avenue, a central street of the city.

Tbilisi is an important cultural and educational center. There are the Academy of Science (founded in 1941), the University (1918), the Conservatory, the Academy of Arts, and various theatres and museums in Tbilisi. The richness of Georgian architecture is fully manifested in the existence of numerous churches. The history of this field of architecture is connected to the development of Georgian domed churches with a square central bay and four arms around it forming a cross. The versatile folk architecture is also worth being pointed out here. The Darbazi type of dwelling was typical to the Eastern regions, whereas the Oda type prevailed in the West of Georgia. Fortresses and towers were widespread in the  mountainous regions.
The interior of churches is adored with 9th-17th-century mural. These are works of the local school of painting whose originality is largely determined by its links with folk art and with pre-Christian beliefs. In Svaneti altar screens were also adorned with paintings. There you can come across frescoes of various artistic excellence, from primitive frescoes done by modest provincial painters, to highly artistic works of professional artists with vivid creative individualities.


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