• Short Summary

    Even those who have never been to Soviet Georgia must have read or heard about this sunny mountainous country in the South of the Soviet Union and of the capital of Georgia, the hospitable Tbilisi.

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    Background: Even those who have never been to Soviet Georgia must have read or heard about this sunny mountainous country in the South of the Soviet Union and of the capital of Georgia, the hospitable Tbilisi.

    The guest of Intourist, that company's partners in the travel business, spent two days seeing Georgia. The first deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic Chogovadze, told them about the life of the republic, its sites, achievements, industries and agriculture and about how the Georgian people are preparing to celebrate the 50-th anniversary of the Soviet State.

    And now buses are bringing them through the sunny city. There is much of interest here, the new wide thoroughfares, the old narrow streets, the twelve storey Hotel Intourist, in course of construction, from which there is a splendid panorama view of the city, the little cabins of the cable passenger service sliding through the air, the summit of the St David mountain capped with vaporous cloud and the smooth flowing Kura river, now tamed by man.

    The buses leave the city. After travelling some twelve miles the guests of Intourist are now in another city, the capital of ancient Iberia, Mtskheta. The grand old Cathedral of Djvari is an imposing sight.

    This church one of the treasures of world architecture, is situated between the gorges of the rivers Kura and Aragva. It was built in the years 585 to 604 and is an object of the greatest interest to the present day.

    The different parts of the building's exterior form one harmonious composition. The architects designed the facades in their relation to the interior with great skill, to suit the peculiarities of the site. There is practically nothing to be seen of the Western and Northern ??? on approaching the Cathedral, and consequently they have not been decorated.

    More and more people are coming to the Soviet Union each year from abroad. Whereas in 1956 486,000 foreign citizens visited our country, today the figure has reached 1,500,000
    In this a very important contributing factor has been the rapid development and improvement in Soviet travel services, the building of new hotels, camping sites and also a great development of transport and means of communication. In particular everyone knows the splendid qualities of Soviet aircraft, the speed, reliability and comfort of planes.

    Representatives of tourist firms and transport companies abroad familiarised themselves with the new IL 62 inter continental air liner which next year, which is a jubilee year for the Soviet Union, will be used in the regular services of Aeroflot.

    This plane was designed in the drawing office of the famous aircraft engineer, Sergei Ilyushin. It is very convenient in use and can take off and alight at the ordinary airports, requiring only a short run.

    The IL 62 develops a speed of 530 to 560 miles per hour at a height of 6 to 7 thousand metres. Its flying range is 7 thousand kilometres and it carries 186 passengers.

    The IL-62 can make a flight automatically according to program. The electronic systems control the speed, reaction to wind effects and so forth. Formerly all these things had to be worked out by the navigator with the help of the ordinary navigation slide rule.

    A conference of representatives of Various foreign tourist agencies and transport companies with which the Soviet joint stock company Intourist cooperates has been in progress during the last few days in the Soviet Union. The conference, which has been organised by Intourist, has been attended by representatives from many countries of Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America and Australia.

    Those present at the conference were greeted by Vladimir Ankudinov, Head of the Foreign Tourism Board of the Council of Ministers of the U.S.S.R.

    The President of Intourist, Victor Boichenko spoke. He gave the partners of Intourist abroad an account of the prospects for the development of tourism in the Soviet Union and about the new itineraries offered in connection with the fiftieth anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution.

    The Eastern and Southern facades, on the contrary, have free approaches and the architect concentrated his attention on them, distributing reliefs and ornaments with great taste. The Mtekhteki Djvari is the first and best building in the Georgian Christian cupola style. The original work of several generations of Georgian architects are embodied in it.

    One of the finest examples of Georgian mediaeval architecture is the Church of Svetitskhoveli. It is not far from Djvari and is built on a plane.

    The name Svetitskhoveli means "life-giving pillar" and is connected with a tradition of the days when Georgia was converted to Christianity. The tradition is that it was in this place that Saint Nina built the first Christian Church of timber in the fourth century. In the middle of the fifth century the King Vakhtang Gorgasali built a stone church in place of the timber one.

    At the beginning of the year 1010 the Patriarch of the Georgian Church, Melchisedik began building a new Cathedral and completed it in 1029. A large enclosure was also built with handsome gates.

    In spite of certain defacements and losses the Church of Svetitskhoveli is one of the most important monuments of Georgia architecture, the work of the master builder Arsukidze.

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