On September 18, 2011, H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco arrived in Georgia for a three-day official visit to the country that was once apart of the Soviet Union. Upon his arrival at the airport, Prince Albert was greeted by the President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili as well as other local politicians. Soon, the sovereign prince and the president were off to visit several cultural heritage sites in Mestia, Georgia, specifically, one of the oldest neighborhoods in the town known as Lanchvali:
… Lanchvali, where there is a monument that was built in the 12th century. The current construction work in Lanchvali will restore the original appearance of the neighborhood. They also visited a house that was built in the 4th century in the Lanchvali neighborhood, tasted traditional Svanetian dishes and listened to Svanetian songs… they also visited the Lagami village and toured the ancient church there.
After a long day of sightseeing the prince attended a musical at the Batumi Opera House in the city of, well, Batumi.
This afternoon, September 19, Prince Albert and President Saakashvili visited the town of Kvareli where the president “… explained the technology of harvesting grapes and processing them to Albert II while making some wine with him.” Then, they were off to visit an archeological site in Dmanisi, then a meeting with members of the National Olympic Committee of Georgia, and finally Prince Albert visited the Georgian National Museum in Tbilisi where he gave a speech.
One important stop during the prince’s whirlwind of a day was a visit to the home of former Georgian luger, Nodar Kumaritashvili, where the prince presented a medal of honor to his parents. If you don’t know who Nodar Kumaritashvili was, he was the young man who was tragically killed during a practice run at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada.
To view photos from today’s events please click here.
Photo courtesy of: Palais Princier de Monaco (thank you!) 🙂