Svaneti ( Svaneti , cargo. სვანეთი ) is a historical mountainous region in the north-west of Georgia , inhabited by Svans .
Geographically and historically, Svaneti is divided into Upper and Lower, separated by the Svaneti ridge  .
Upper Svaneti ( Georgian ზემო სვანეთი Zemo-Svaneti ) is a high mountain valley in the upper reaches of the Inguri River , located between 42 ° 48 'and 43 ° 15' north. latitude and between 42 ° 00 'and 43 ° 00' east. longitude and covers an area of 3154 km².
From the north and east, Upper Svaneti is bordered by the Main Caucasian Range with the peaks of Shkhara , Ushba , Tetnuldi and others, along which the Georgian-Russian border passes ( Kabardino-Balkaria ). The Svaneti ridge rises from the south, which adjoins directly to the Main Caucasian ridge and closes Upper Svaneti from the east.
From the west, the area is separated by the Khurum ridge from the Kodori Gorge .
Upper Svaneti is known for its architectural treasures and picturesque landscapes. Residential towers stand out, built mainly in the 9th-12th centuries. Ancient stone Orthodox churches have also been preserved.
Upper Svaneti was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List  .
In administrative terms, Upper Svaneti is the Mestian region of the Samegrelo-Upper Svaneti region with its center in the urban settlement. Mestia .
After the collapse of the Georgian kingdom in the middle of the 16th century, Upper Svaneti was nominally subordinate to the Imeretian king . In the western part of the valley an independent possession of the princes Dadeshkeliani was formed and it was called the Princely Svaneti . In the rest, larger in area, part of the valley, free societies existed, and it became known as Free Svaneti .
Both parts of the valley nominally became part of the Russian Empire (the principality in 1833 , and the “free” part in 1840 ), but until the end of the 1840s, neither the Russian administration nor the Russian Orthodox Church were present in the region.
By 1859, the princedom was abolished, and the district constituted a separate bailiff of Svaneti as part of the Kutaisi governor general .
Lower Svaneti ( Georgian ქვემო სვანეთი Kvemo-Svaneti ) is a valley in the upper reaches of the Tskhenistskali river (the right tributary of the Rioni river) and its tributary Kheledula.
From the north, Lower Svaneti is separated by the Svaneti ridge from the Upper. From the south-west, the Egris Range separates the area from Megrelia , and the Lechkhum Range separates it from Lechkhumi in the south and Rachi in the east.
Administratively, Lower Svaneti is the Lentekhi district of the Racha-Lechkhumi region and Lower Svaneti with a center in the village of Lentekhi .
After the collapse of the Georgian kingdom in the middle of the XVI century. Lower Svaneti became part of the Megrelian principality . Since 1833, the principality became part of the Russian Empire, and in 1867 it was abolished, and its territory was included in the Kutaisi province . Since 1887, the territory of Lower Svaneti was part of the Lechkhum district .
- Tsutsiev A.A. Atlas of the ethno-political history of the Caucasus (1774–2004) . - M .: "Europe", 2007. - 128 p. - 2000 copies. - ISBN 978-5-9739-0123-3 .
- Ushguli is a mountain village.
- Sometimes they also talk about the "Abkhaz Svaneti" - the Kodori Gorge , where the Svans settled at the beginning of the 20th century, and lived until the summer of 2008 .
- UNESCO World Heritage Center. Upper Svaneti (English) . UNESCO World Heritage Center. Date of treatment January 14, 2019.
- Tkeshelashvili I.S. Svaneti. A trip to Svaneti in 1900 and 1903 and a short ethnographic essay on it. - M. , 1905. - 54 p.