Theme Week Georgia – Tskhinvali

Thursday, 26 November 2020 - 12:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General

Tskhinvali balcony © Alaexis/cc-by-sa-4.0

Tskhinvali balcony © Alaexis/cc-by-sa-4.0

Tskhinvali is a city in the independent region of South Ossetia, Georgia Transcaucasia and the capital of the Republic of South Ossetia (which has been recognised by the Russian Federation and four other UN member states only) and the former Soviet Georgian South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast. The city had been administratively divided into the region (mkhare) of Shida Kartli by Georgia after the revocation of the autonomous oblast. It’s located on the Great Liakhvi River approximately 100 kilometres (62 mi) northwest of the Georgian capital Tbilisi.

Currently, Tskhinvali functions as the capital of South Ossetia. Before the 2008 war it had a population of approximately 30,000. The town remained significantly impoverished in the absence of a permanent political settlement between the two sides in the past two decades. The city contains several monuments of medieval Georgian architecture, with the Kavti Church of St. George being the oldest one dating back to the 8th-10th centuries. On August 21, 2008, a world-known Russian conductor and director of the Mariinsky Theatre, of Ossetian origin, Valery Gergiev conducted a concert near the ruined building of South Ossetian parliament in memory of the victims of the war in South Ossetia.

Tskhinvali Synagogue © Alaexis/cc-by-sa-3.0 Former Gosbank office © Alaexis/cc-by-sa-3.0 Parliament of South Ossetia © comif.org/cc-by-sa-3.0 South Ossetia State University © Richard Foltz/cc-by-sa-4.0 Tskhinvali balcony © Alaexis/cc-by-sa-4.0 Tskhinvali Church cross © Alaexis/cc-by-sa-3.0
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South Ossetia State University © Richard Foltz/cc-by-sa-4.0
The area around the present-day Tskhinvali was first populated back in the Bronze Age. The unearthed settlements and archaeological artifacts from that time are unique in that they reflect influences from both Iberian (east Georgia) and Colchian (west Georgia) cultures with possible Sarmatian elements. Tskhinvali was first chronicled by Georgian sources in 1398 as a village in Kartli (central Georgia) though a later account credits the 3rd century AD Georgian king Aspacures II of Iberia with its foundation as a fortress. By the early 18th century, Tskhinvali was a small “royal town” populated chiefly by monastic serfs. Tskhinvali was annexed to the Russian Empire along with the rest of eastern Georgia in 1801. Located on a trade route which linked North Caucasus to Tbilisi and Gori, Tskhinvali gradually developed into a commercial town with a mixed Jewish, Georgian, Armenian and Ossetian population. In 1917, it had 600 houses with 38.4% Georgian Jews, 34.4% Georgians, 17.7% Armenians and 8.8% Ossetians.

The town saw clashes between Georgian People’s Guard and pro-Bolshevik Ossetian peasants during the 1918-20 period, when Georgia gained brief independence from Russia. Soviet rule was established by the invading Red Army in March 1921, and a year later, in 1922, Tskhinvali was made a capital of the South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast within the Georgian SSR. Subsequently, the town became largely Ossetian due to intense urbanisation and Soviet Korenizatsiya (“nativization”) policy which induced an inflow of the Ossetians from the nearby rural areas into Tskhinvali. It was essentially an industrial centre, with lumber mills and manufacturing plants, and had also several cultural and educational institutions such as a venerated Pedagogical Institute (currently Tskhinvali State University) and a drama theatre. According to the last Soviet census (in 1989), Tskhinvali had a population of 42,934, and according to the census of Republic of South Ossetia in 2015, the population was 30,432 people. During the acute phase of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict, Tskhinvali was a scene of ethnic tensions and ensuing armed confrontation between Georgian and Ossetian forces. The 1992 Sochi ceasefire accord left Tskhinvali in the hands of Ossetians.

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Read more on Tskhinvali, Battle of Tskhinvali, Wikivoyage Tskhinvali and Wikipedia Tskhinvali. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.






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