Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Lagodekhi Protected Areas

Ministry of Environment Protection and Natural Resources of Georgia.

Sent by Khatuna, a Facebook friend from Tbilisi in Georgia.

Lagodekhi Protected Areas are located in the most northeastern part of Georgia, in the Lagodekhi District. This includes the Lagodekhi Strict Nature Reserve and Lagodekhi Managed Nature Reserve along the southern slopes of the main range of the Great Caucasus. The height of the Protected Areas varies within 400-3500 m above the sea level.

Lagodekhi is a very rich district. It is characterized with temperate humid subtropical climate. The reserve is abounded in water. The Ninoskhevi, Shromiskhevi, Lagodekhistskali and Matsimistskali are the main rivers originating in the high mountains and creating many water cascades and waterfalls, which then flow quietly in the lower zone of the forest.

In the Lagodekhi alpine zone, one can meet several very nice lakes of glacial origin; the largest of them is the Black Cliff Lake, the depth of which reaches 14 m. It is located on the Russian-Georgian border.

Treasure of Lagodekhi Protected Areas is its nature. There is an alternation of vertical zoning and habitats in this vast territory. The level of endemic species is amazing. 121 species of Lagodekhi flora are endemic to Caucasus and 9 – endemic to Georgia. Among the lasts, 7 species are endemic to Kakheti or they are local endemic species of Protected Areas. Lagodekhi is famous for its very well preserved beech and hornbeam virgin forests.

There are many pre-Christian ruins of houses and crypts in Lagodekhi District. The most important discoveries of Bronze age were made on the territory of the village of Ulianovka. Monuments of early Christian and mid centuries were found in Lagodekhi and its surroundings. Some of them, like the Machi (Tamari's) castle are located in the territory of the Strict Nature Reserve. The 11th century St. Tevdore’s Church, ruins of the 8th century Lakuasta’s castle, Churches of Poni, Areshperani and Khoshta and ruins of early Christian and mid centuries buildings and bridges are located near the Protected Areas. Read more here.

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