Mestia is a historical, cultural and religious center or Svanetia, the most original and mysterious area of Georgia hiding high in the mountains. Mestia is located on the southern slope of the Major Caucasus, 128 km to the northeast from Zugdidi at the height of 1,500 m. There lives a special ethnic group of people – heroic and courageous Svans – distinguished by their culture, traditions and customs. The genetics and cultural heritage of the Svans has been preserved for 4,000 years!
Svanetia is also known for its original architecture and is called “the Country of Thousand Towers”. From ancient times the Svans built high and very strong quadrangular towers at their houses which played both economic and defensive parts. Mestia still has dozens of such medieval stone houses with the watchtowers and inhabited towers which were used to protect valleys and churches (the 10th – 14th centuries). The unique medieval architecture of Mestia is included in the list of the World heritage of UNESCO. Svanetia has been the keeper of treasures of Georgia for ages. The settlement has a historical – ethnographic museum where you can see unique icons, manuscripts and other relics saved from enemy invasions.