World

the pearl of the Caucasus comes out of the shadows

Tbilissi, modern capital, overlooking the bridge of peace and the New Theater, huge glass and metal tube at the foot of Parliament and its architecture could not be more classic (Photo Emmanuel Langlois)

In the Republic of Georgia, one is expected to come across a rather old-fashioned city, still in its Soviet state, and one discovers, pierced by a long Haussmannian boulevard, a capital where buildings with neo-classical architecture meet with other constructions, modern, even futuristic, and some UFOs such as the Peace Bridge, illuminated at night by thousands of LEDs, or the New Theater, a sort of cylinder of glass and metal.

The Peace Bridge in Tbilisi. Inaugurated in 2010, the pedestrian footbridge with futuristic architecture & nbsp; spans & nbsp; Mtkvari. It makes it possible to connect Old Tbilisi with the new district. At nightfall, the book & nbsp; designed by the Italian architect Michele De Lucchi is & nbsp; illuminated by thousands of & nbsp; leds
The Peace Bridge in Tbilisi. Inaugurated in 2010, the pedestrian bridge with futuristic architecture spans the Mtkvari. It connects Old Tbilisi with the new district. At night, the book designed by the Italian architect Michele De Lucchi is illuminated by thousands of LEDs (Photo Emmanuel Langlois)

Stuck between Russia in the north, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Turkey, Georgia has been independent since 1991 and has many assets, especially its mountains, details Antoine Bardon, president of the French Chamber of Commerce. Georgian (CCIFG):

The summits are relatively high and guarantee to have minimum snow 2-3 months per season, given the global warming. With the northern Alps, Georgia will remain one of the few places where you can ski. “

Ananouri, a fortress built on the Aragvi River and the scene of many battles during the Middle Ages, with panoramic views of Lake Jinvali, whose turquoise waters contrast with the green of the mountains & nbsp;
Ananouri, a fortress built on the Aragvi River and the scene of many battles during the Middle Ages, with panoramic views of Lake Jinvali, whose turquoise waters contrast with the green mountains (Photo Emmanuel Langlois)

A good three hours drive from Tbilisi, due north, in grandiose landscapes, close to the Russian border, the view of Mount Kazbek, a giant height of 5,047 meters, is admired. Several French companies are also in the ranks to build and develop winter sports resorts in Georgia. With nearly five million visitors last year, tourism is Georgia's largest source of revenue, with 20% coming from this sector.

The small 14th century Trinity Orthodox Church of Guerguti, which stands on a hill overlooking Mount Kazbek
The small orthodox church of Trinity Guerguéti, dating from the fourteenth century, stands on a hill overlooking Mount Kazbek (Photo Emmanuel Langlois)

French tourists are currently only 20,000 per year to venture on these lands of the former USSR, but this will change predicts Diego Colas, the new ambassador of France in Georgia: “European tourism is increasing year by year, and I feel that everyone I meet in France has gone to Georgia, wants to go there, or plans to go there. .

The city of Gori is home to a kitsch museum to the glory of Stalin and outside its famous armored car, & nbsp; a & nbsp; Green Pullman car & nbsp; 83 tons. It was used by Stalin from 1941, including during his participation in the Yalta Conference and the Tehran Conference
The city of Gori houses a museum kitschiest to the glory of Stalin and outside his famous armored car, a green car Pullman 83 tons. It was used by Stalin from 1941, notably during his participation in the Yalta conference and the Tehran conference (Photo Emmanuel Langlois)

Many groups or SMEs are already present here, such as Accor, which plans to open no fewer than seven new establishments by 2023, a 20% increase in its hotel stock each year.

Antoine Lhuguenot, director of the future Tbilisi Pullman: “There is really a craze, it is a country that is worth the trip, the inhabitants are very nice, there are many things to discover, from an artistic and cultural point of view.The Georgian civilization is very old, with a gastronomy and very good wines, and especially endemic grape varieties, which exist only in Georgia.There is also a diversity of landscapes “.

Michel Salaün, the director of the French tour operator Pushkin Tours, & nbsp; at the foot of Mount Kazbek, one of the highest peaks in the Caucasus. It rises to 5,047 meters of altitude.
Michel Salaün, the director of the French tour operator Pushkin Tours, at the foot of Mount Kazbek, one of the highest peaks in the Caucasus. It culminates at 5,047 meters above sea level. “Georgia alone is worth the trip,” he says. (Photo Emmanuel Langlois)

French tour operators are also interested in the destination, less than four hours flight from Paris, as Michel Salaün, director of the French tour operator Pushkin Tours :

“We have been planning for a few years the Grand Tour of Caucause, with a combined Georgia – Armenia – Azerbaijan with 250 customers per year, but Georgia alone is worth the trip.” Provided also that the service improves: there are today only two direct flights per week between Paris and Tbilisi, four in the summer.

Write to Antoine Bardon: antoine.bardon@yahoo.fr

Antoine Bardon, President of CCIFG in Tbilisi:
Antoine Bardon, President of the CCIFG in Tbilisi: “The summits are relatively high and guarantee to have minimum snow 2-3 months per season.With the global warming, with the northern Alps, Georgia will remain one of the few places where you can ski “(Photo Jean-François Bélenger)

Go to Georgia with Pushkin Tours. The French tour operator proposes a circuit “Armenia and Georgia, the memory of the world” from 12 days / 11 nights full board and a tour “Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan -The Great Caucasus Tour” 15 days / 14 nights full board.
Info and reservations on 02 98 73 76 38

Find this column on the website and the international mobility magazine French abroad.fr

The Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, built in Mtskheta, stands at the center of an immense fortified ensemble, it is a concentrate of Georgian history and sacred art. 20 minutes from Tbilisi, 54 meters tall, this church is one of the largest historic cathedrals in Georgia
The Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, built in Mtskheta, stands in the center of an immense fortified ensemble, it is a concentrate of history and sacred art of Georgia. At 20 minutes from Tbilisi, with its 54 m high, this church is one of the largest historic cathedrals in Georgia (Photo Emmanuel Langlois)

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