Mestia is a highland townlet in northwest Georgia, at an elevation of 1,500 metres (4,921 feet) in the Caucasus Mountains. Mestia and the adjoining 132 villages form Mestia District with a population of 14,248 (2,600 in the town itself). The population is mostly Svans, a cultural and linguistic subgroup of the Georgians. Despite its small size, the townlet was an important center of Georgian culture for centuries and contains a number of medieval monuments, such as churches and forts, included in a list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The townlet is dominated by stone defensive towers of a type seen in Ushguli (“Svan towers”). A typical Svan fortified dwelling consisted of a tower, an adjacent house (machub) and some other household structures encircled by a defensive wall. Mestia is also a center of mountaineer tourism and alpinism.

It is a very tourist-friendly town, in part due to several major construction activities including a new road (a twisty but well-maintained mountain road). Today, the main road is a bit sterile but exploring the streets just reveals a very rural area with cows, pigs and chickens everywhere.

























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