Tbilisi


Tbilisi is the capital and the largest city of Georgia, lying on the banks of the Mtkvari River. The name is derived from an early Georgian form T'pilisiand it was officially known as Tpilisi (in Georgian) or Tiflis (in Russian) until 1936.

Founded in the 5th century by Vakhtang Gorgasali, the monarch of Georgia's precursor Kingdom of Iberia, Tbilisi has served, with various intervals, as Georgia's capital for nearly 1500 years and represents a significant industrial, social, and cultural center of the country. Tbilisi's varied history is reflected in its architecture, which is a mix of medieval, classical, and Soviet structures.

Historically, Tbilisi has been home to peoples of diverse cultural, ethnic, and religious backgrounds, though it is now overwhelmingly Eastern Orthodox Christian. Notable tourist destinations include cathedrals like Sameba and Sioni, classical Freedom Square and Rustaveli Avenue, medieval Narikala Fortress, pseudo-Moorish Opera Theater,

According to an old legend, the present-day territory of Tbilisi was covered by forests as late as 458. One widely accepted variant of the legend of Tbilisi's founding states that King Vakhtang I Gorgasali of Georgia went hunting in the heavily wooded region with a falcon. The King's falcon allegedly caught or injured a pheasant during the hunt, after which both birds fell into a nearby hot spring and died from burns. King Vakhtang became so impressed with the hot springs that he decided to cut down the forest and build a city on the location. The name Tbilisi derives from the Old Georgian word "Tpili" meaning warm. The name 'Tbili' or 'Tbilisi' ('warm location') was therefore given to the city because of the area's numerous sulphuric hot springs that came out of the ground.

Places to see:

  • Sameba Cathedral
  • Freedom squire and Rustaveli Avenue
  • Narikala fortress
  • Metekhi Church
  • Mtatsminda pantheon
  • Old Tbilisi
  • Bathhouses
  • Chardin and Leselidze Streets
  • Turtle Lake
  • Sioni Cathedral
  • Synagogue
  • Ethnographic museum
  • Mtatsminda park