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Shida Kartli

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Shida Kartli

Shida, or ‘inner’ Kartli, is Georgia’s heartland in a lot of ways. At the geographic center of the country, the area is also a main agricultural and industrial center, and is filled with hidden valleys and mysterious cultural treasures. Spreading out both sides of the Mtkvari valley, Shida Kartli takes in the foothills of the Greater Caucasus, covered in fruit gardens, as well as the forested Trialeti Range. The region’s capital is Gori, popular as the birthplace of soviet despot Joseph Stalin, or as people used to call him, Soso Jugashvili.


The main landmarks in town are mostly related to Stalin, and no student of the Soviet Union should miss the time-warp Stalin Museum. The massive structure, built soon after the generalissimo’s death, includes several halls outlining the biography of the great man, as well as a selection of odd gifts given to him by world leaders and international communist parties.

Shida Kartli is not so famous winemaking region in comparison with Kakheti, but there are local varieties of grapes and wine, so you can combine the tour in Shida Kartli with a wine tour. In the region the most famous is cultural tourism, because Shida Kartli is full of historical monuments – mostly by churches. The most interesting place in the area is ancient graven in the rock, the city Uplistsikhe.

Samtavrisi Cathedral, is one of the most popular medieval Georgian monuments and candidate for the title of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Georgia.

Kvatakhevi monastery, built in 12-13 centuries was the literary center, where the manuscripts were saved. It also kept significant treasure, medieval Georgian jewelry, the most part of which has been taken and today displayed in Moscow State Historical Museum.

Another well-known Ateni Sion Monastery is built in the second half of the 7th century by architect named Todos with fragments of paintings of 1080, with the ancient examples of Georgian fonts khutsuli and mkhedruli.

Stepantsminda is a village in the canyons on the southern slope of the Greater Caucasus at the foot of Kazbegi, there is an opportunity to see the best mountain regions and taste real khinkali. According to the legend, the Greek Gods exactly in this place chained Prometheus as a punishment for stealing fire from Olympus.


As a key area of Georgian History, Kartli is inseparable from the national chronicles. Region gave its name to the Georgian ethnos, hence the spread of Christianity throughout the county began.

The modern history of the administrative unit is referred to 1992 with the release of territorial unit inside the country and the outbreak of hostilities in areas populated by Ossetians. Since that time, the northern part of Shida Kartli, in Georgia called Samachablo, is under Russian control.

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