A Georgian village with one resident has been dubbed the highest settlement in Europe.
Until now the Georgian village of Ushguli was regarded as the highest inhabited village in Europe however this all changed following the recent Census in Georgia.
The 2014 General Census revealed Bochorna village, in Georgia’s northeast region Tusheti region, was the highest inhabited settlement at an altitude of 2,345 metres above sea level.
According to the Census, only one man lived in Bochorna village all year round, while a small handful of others lived in the settlement in the warmer summer months. Thanks to this man’s commitment to living in the remote village all year round, Bochorna was now officially marked on the map as Europe’s highest settlement.
A special banner has already been installed, saying Bochorna is the highest settlement in Europe. Photo by the Agency of Protected Areas.
Seventy-six-year-old Irakli Khvedaguridze has lived in Bochorna for four years and provided basic medical treatment to other people living in the almost deserted villages in Tusheti. He was optimistic about the future of Bochorna village and believed more people would return to their homes in the rural area.
This recognition will raise the awareness of Bochorna and attract more tourists to Tusheti. This will help us to strengthen and revive the village and return its population to their homes,” said the pensioner.
I am alone during winter here. I stay strong during the hard winters just because I was born in mountain, in Tusheti … I have grown up here and I have grown old here. Besides, people need me here,” said Khvedaguridze.
Bochorna village. Photo by the Agency of Protected Areas.
I have a profession that requires from me to serve the population. I also physically help them in different ways. The fact that I am needed here makes my desire strong to stay in my village,” he added.
Before the 2014 General Census Ushguli village, located in Svaneti region in northwest Georgia was recognised as the highest settlement in Europe, with it ranging in altitude between 2,060 and 2,200m.
But geographically neither Bochorna nor Ushguli were the highest settlements in Europe.
Located 2,405m above sea level lies Resi village in Georgia’s Kazbegi region. This village had the honour of the highest settlement in Europe up until 1989 but as the village became deserted and people left the area, Ushguli was awarded the title of the highest inhabited settlement in Europe.