Ushguli is a community of villages located at the head of the Enguri gorge in Upper Svaneti, Georgia.
Also, Ushguli comprises four villages: Zhibiani located at an elevation of some 2100 meters above sea level, Chvibiani, Chazhashi and Murqmeli.
Foremore, Ushguli is located at the foot of Skhara, which is one of the highest Caucasian summits. Number of families inhabited here is about 70 (about 200 people). They support a small school. Ushguli area is covered by snow for 6 months of the year and often the road to Ushguli is impassable.
The characteristic landscape of Upper Svaneti :
Characteristic landscape of Upper Svaneti is formed by small villages dominated by the towers and situated in the mountain slopes with a natural environment and snow-covered mountains. The most notable feature of the settlement is the abundance of towers, especially in the frontier villages such as Ushguli and Latali. These towers usually have from three to five stores and a slender, tapering profile. Upper floors of these towers are exclusively defensive in function serving as platforms for observation and for storing. As for the houses, they are usually two-storeyed. The ground floor is a single hall with accommodation for both people and animals; the second floor is separated by a wooden partition and is often lavishly decorated.
The Ushguli buildings :
Furthermore, The Ushguli villages contain buildings that are part of the UNESCO World heritage site of upper Svaneti. In general, interest in the monuments of Upper Svaneti began in the 19th century. As for the systematic scientific research, it began in the 2nd decade of the 20th century. Monument protection bodies of Georgia carried out restoration and conservation work at 45 churches, 70 towers and 12 dwelling complexes. The Ushguli Museum-Reserve was created to preserve one village in its original form without any modern intrusions.
Also, Some of the inhabitants have elected to stay in the old buildings which have been provided with the necessities of modern life. Some of the unoccupied houses have been restored and furnished as well.