Tbilisi is the capital of Georgia and the largest city in the country, founded in the 5th century by King Vakhtang Gorgasali on the banks of the Kura River. From Georgian, “Tbilisi” is translated as “warm spring”. Indeed, the city is surrounded by hot sulfur springs. Legend has it that one day the king and his retinue went hunting. His beloved falcon flew for the duck, both birds fell into the water and died in mineral springs. Taking this as a sign, the king ordered the settlement to be laid here. The favorable geographical position on the trade routes to India and Byzantium quickly turned it into a large flowering city. Nowadays, Tbilisi has not lost its significance. It is an important economic, cultural and political center.
A special atmosphere attracts creative and extraordinary personalities here.
The beauty of the ancient Georgian capital was sung by M.Yu. Lermontov in the poem “Mtsyri”. In Tiflis, the Georgian capital, A.S. Griboedov wrote “Woe from Wit.” Here Shota Rustavlei and A.S. drew inspiration. Pushkin, who intended to stay in Tbilisi for 2 days, and was delayed for 2 weeks, was so impressed with the local beauties that he mentioned in the essay “Travel to Arzrum”. This city played an important role in the life and career of director Georgi Danelia, singer Nani Brigvadze, opera singer Zurab Sotkilava. Jordan Balanchine (Georgy Melitonovich Balanchivadze), who stood at the origins of modern ballet, has Georgian roots.
Climate and weather
The weather is determined by a dry subtropical climate. A mild winter with an average temperature of + 7C flows into a short spring, the air quickly warms up to + 16C. Summer is hot, long. The thermometer column stably shows + 30C. Autumn is comfortable and warm. The average temperature is + 15C.
What to see
Tbilisi is famous for its cathedrals and churches. Anchiskhati Church is the oldest. It was built in the 6th century. The building was destroyed several times during the wars with the Turks and Persians. It was completely restored in the 17th century. The temple has a rectangular shape with a gable roof and flat ceiling. On the facade and on the western wall a medallion in the form of a cross is preserved – the earliest element of the structure.
The Zion Cathedral, named after the Zion Temple in Jerusalem, has a very long and difficult history. His creation is attributed to Vakhtang Gorgasal. The temple was destroyed several times by the Arabs, in 1795 it burned to the ground. The frescoes were restored in 1860, and in 1983 a complete restoration took place. The main decoration of the design is a high tower with a pointed dome in the form of a tent.
Tsminda Sameba is the main cathedral of Georgia. Its height will be more than 100 m, and the total area is more than 5000 m2. It has 13 thrones; the belfry is located separately. The construction was laid in 1995 and was built solely on the donations of believers.
The fortress complex of Narikala rises above Tbilisi. The exact date of its construction is unknown, but it is already mentioned in the 8th century under the Arabic name Shuris-Tsikhe. The structures and walls of the fortress were constantly rebuilt and strengthened. As a result of the devastating earthquake in 1827, the structure suffered significant damage. Only in the mid-1990s, restoration work was carried out, was it possible to reconstruct the church of St. Nicholas, located on the territory of the complex. From the top from Narikale offers a beautiful panoramic view of the city.
You should definitely visit the sulfur baths (baths of Tsar Rostom) on Banotubani Square. They were erected on hot sulfur springs from the 17-19 centuries. Low squat buildings at ground level are crowned by semicircular domes with glass windows.
The oldest is the Irakliev bath. This is a classic example of Arabian architecture. They say it was intended exclusively for kings and princes.
Orbelianovskaya (Blue) bath is considered the most beautiful. It got its second name because of the blue mosaic tiles decorating its facade. Minarets on the sides of the structure complete the architectural ensemble.
Museums in Tbilisi deserve close attention. The archaeological contains a large collection of antiquities. Artistic invites you to get acquainted with the best creations of Georgian, Russian and European artists and sculptors. In the open air ethnomuseum on Turtle Lake in the suburbs of the capital, many artifacts from different eras are collected: household items, clothes, jewelry, and handicrafts. Expositions are presented in stylized ancient dwellings.
Cuisine and restaurants
Khinkali, Satsivi and Khachapuri are delicacies widely known outside of Georgia. You can evaluate their authentic taste only in the homeland of these dishes. Add to this real Georgian wine, and your meal will be unforgettable.