Ushguli is the highest settlement above sea level (2400 meters) in Georgia. It is a community of Svans located at the foot of Shkhara in the narrow valley of the Enguri riverhead. Ushguli stands out by a great number of towers – this place was especially fortified as the border.
Ushguli is connected with Mestia and Lentekhi internal principal roads. The road connecting with Lentekhi comes to the Zagar pass which is open only three months throughout the year, and the rest of the time is covered with snow. Ushguli is located in an avalanche zone.
There has been preserved the house-fortress, the earliest type of inhabited construction in Ushguli, and also there are houses-towers, separate towers which are dated back to the 9-11th centuries. Here the villages of Ushguli community are located one after another.
One of the most beautiful places of Ushguli is Ushguli Lamaria - the Holy Virgin Church of the 9-10th centuries which is located to the north from the village of Zhibiani, on the hillside.
Svans call the Holy Mother - Lamaria. It is a hall church constructed in the 10th century. There is cut an image of the cross at the western windows.
The church is decorated with paintings; the iconostasis was painted right after its construction. Apparently, the Svan master deviated from a traditional iconography while painting the Holy Virgin, as the Holy Virgin holds her hand not on the cheek, but on the head. Gesture expressing sorrow is shown in this way.
There are two images of Saints across from each other on one side of the wall – George and Theodore which are dated back to the 12th century.
In the 13th century the church was painted for the last time. Inscriptions of church are of historic significance. They were made by the worshipers who had come to the church. There have been preserved the church frescos and also the Russian icon of the 19th century the "Last Supper".
We recommend to anyone to visit Ushguli and see around the whole territory. This place will charm you both by its nature and historical heritage and architecture.