Hello from Georgia’s capital: Tbilisi. This lady is selling Churchkhela, typical Georgian candle-shaped fruit candy with walnuts and other nuts inside. Our guide Leszek thinks that Tbilisi is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Let’s judge this city on our own!
Tbilisi is built on several hills and is protected on three sides by mountains. Founded in AD 458 by King Vakhtang Gorgasali, Tbilisi is located on the Mtkvari River. Monument of King Vakhtang Gorgasali was created by sculptor Elguja Amashukeli, located next to Metekhi Church by Metekhi bridge.
The main cathedral of the Georgian Orthodox Church is the Holy Trinity Cathedral also known as Sameba. Its construction lasted for several years and was finished in 2004. A very impressive building!
The Old Town is dominated by the Narikala Fortress dating back to the 4th century when it was a Persian citadel. One way to reach the fortress is by cable car.
Kartlis Deda means Mother Georgia; her statue also dominates the city. She holds a sword in one hand and a cup of wine in the other – a reflection of Georgian people who fight their enemies and welcome their guests.
Jumah Mosque in the Old Town is a reminder that Tbilisi has a cosmopolitan, multi-ethnic character. At this mosque both Sunni and Shia Muslims pray side by side.
The Georgian word tbili means warm. Tbilisi’s Sulphur Baths look very exotic with their domed roofs:
The sculpture of a man holding a horn in Tbilisi is modeled on an ancient Colchian statuette and is affectionately known as ‘Tamada’ – toastmaster at Georgian feasts. The sculpture can be found at the beginning of Bambis Rigi Street near Shardeni Street (named after a French explorer Jan Chardin, who visited Tbilisi in 1863).
The glass bridge you see above the river is the Peace Bridge.
Straddling the Mtkvari river in Tbilisi, Georgia, is an arresting new pedestrian bridge, courtesy of Italian architect Michel De Lucchi and French lighting director Philippe Martinaud. The structure is composed of glass and iron connecting Old Tbilisi with the new district, and boasts a 150m canopy roof of steel and glass. Officially opened on 6th May this year (2010), the bridge was ordered by the city hall of Tbilisi in an effort to create a contemporary design feature to put the capital on the architectural map.
The bridge provides a unique view of the Metekhi Church and Narikala Fortress to one side, and Baratashvili Bridge and President Residence to the other. More than a simple river crossing, The Bridge of Peace possesses an interactive light display system. 30,000 LEDs and 240 sensors installed within the structure convey specific messages, scrolled across the two parapets of the bridge every hour. The universal messages are relayed in Morse code and signify the human elements according to the Mendeleiev table. Martinaud explains: “I so wanted to symbolise Man by what establishes him organically, physiologically: the chemical elements of the human body. This message celebrates life and peace between people.” The result is such that the shimmering structure takes on an almost biological form – a marine creature undulating across the river.
At the opening of the bridge in May, the Georgian president, Mikheil Saakashvili announced: “This bridge is a symbol of Georgia’s way from the past to the better future. This is a bridge between Georgia’s great history and the present times. This bridge also embodies the most important thing in the concept and style of our governance – transparency, mobility, purposefulness and modernity that conforms with the contemporary world.”
A very interesting Clock Tower:
Copies of some of the paintings of Georgia’s famous artist – Niko Pirosmani:
Finally Georgia’s famous khinkali, cute-looking pierogis:
So what do you think about Tbilisi?
For me, it is not one of the most beautiful cities of the world but one of the most fascinating. It definitely has many stories and legends to tell.