Land of healing springs
The balneological health resort Borjomi is situated in the south-east of Georgia in the Agura river gorge at the height of 800m above sea level. This is a picturesque place with large-leaved and coniferous forests surrounded with majestic the Caucasian mountains.
The resort gained its special reputation owing to mineral sources. The Borjomi mineral waters were mentioned for the first time as early as in the XV century but it only gained wide notoriety when a daughter of Evgeny Golovin, viceroy of the Russian Tsar in the Caucasus was cured there. One of the sources was named after this girl – the Yekaterinsky spring and the second one after the viceroy himself – the Yevgeniyevsky spring.
The Romanovs House got interested in these mineral sources. The first bottling plant which was opened there by the ruler’s order was producing bottled Borjomi mineral water. The first bottles were made of transparent crystal glass and then they were replaced by dark bottles. Every bottle with mineral water was packed in a reed “case”. The bottles were sealed with the factory stamps. The samples of the first bottles and labels can be seen in the Museum of Local Lore.
The Borjomi mineral water became a famous brand, a visiting card of Georgia long ago. Its useful and healing properties affecting beneficially the digestive system, metabolism in the body and phylaxis were proved. Today Borjomi mineral water can be bought in shops of over 30 countries of the world.
The main Borjomi source is situated in Borjomi Central Park where everybody who wishes can have it. There are several dozens of healthful institutions, recreation complexes, sanatoriums and rest houses in Borjomi. All of them are located in the vicinities of the Central Park. The restored Borjomi Central Park was opened in 2005. Its opening was attended by Presidents of Georgia and Ukraine. There are children’s amusements, swimming pool and cinema theatre in the territory of the Park.
All the Borjomi hotels and sanatoriums offer medical services, clinic and diagnostic procedures, treatment with sulfur and mineral baths. The cost of stay in the hotels varies from $50 to $100 a day. As a rule this cost includes three-time meals, visits to swimming pool, fitness hall, billiards and other services. Stay in private family houses will cost much cheaper – $15-20 a day. In this case the cost does not usually include the meals. Borjomi has about two dozens of such hotels. New hotels are also being built; the roads and water supply systems are being repaired since nowadays Georgia pays much attention to the development of entry tourism.
There is a touristic information center in Borjomi where you can buy a base map and know about popular touristic routes and tours. You can be also recommended a hotel according to your preferences.
Modern Borjomi is one of the popular resorts of Georgia suitable for ecotourism and family rest. According to the local statistics the main percentage of the tourists there are from the CIS countries, Israel, Poland and Germany.
The Borjomi gorge is rich in architectural and indigenous places of interest. Monuments of Christian culture aged of several centuries are located there. The tourists and holiday-makers can visit Saint George Monastery, Saint Spiridon of Trimythus Monastery (X century). The church of St. George built in 1333 is located in a small village of Daba. The church decorated with Georgian ornaments carved right in a rock and is a popular place visited by tourists.
There is also the Church of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin (XII century) in Timotesubani in the Borjomi gorge. Every year it is visited by numerous Christian pilgrims on 28 of August.
It is not less interesting to visit Sali Fortress, Peter Fortress George Fortress, which were of strategic importance in the past. In case of an enemy charge to one of these fortresses their defenders informed the others in order the latter could have time to get ready for defense.
You can know more about the history, culture and sights of Borjomi by visiting the Borjomi museum of local lore. The museum gathered about 40,000 exhibits during several centuries of its existence.
Every autumn the Borjomi citizens celebrate Borjomoba, Day of the City. This day they cook dishes of Georgian cuisine, play Georgian music and watch dances performed by folklore groups etc.