Svanetia(svänē`shə), mountainous region, in Georgia, on the southern slopes of the Greater Caucasus. It is very difficult to access, and its inhabitants, the Svans, have retained many of their traditions. They speak a South Caucasian language, like the Georgians. The Svanetian Range, a spur of the central Greater Caucasus, extends c.50 mi (80 km) west from the main range near the Dykh-Tau and rises to 13,110 ft (3,996 m).
a historical region in Georgia; located on the southern slopes of the Greater Caucasus, on the upper courses of the Inguri and Tskhenistskali rivers, and inhabited by Svans. In the mid-16th century, after the disintegration of the Georgian Kingdom, part of Svanetia was annexed by the Mingrelian Principality. The rest came under the rule of the Imeretian king and was divided into Free Svanetia and Princely Svanetia, the latter a possession of Prince Dadeshkeliani. Princely rule in the region was abolished in the period 1857–59. The Svans raised livestock and crops of various kinds. In highland Svanetia, weakly developed feudal relations and remnants of the communal order long persisted. Svanetia is roughly coextensive with present-day Mestia and Lentekhi raions in the Georgian SSR.