Have you been to a city where you can find Georgian Orthodox, Armenian Gregorian and Roman Catholic churches, a synagogue, a mosque and a Zoroastrian temple all within a 5 minute walk of each other? Then you should definitely come to Georgia and visit the capital Tbilisi – a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-religious city on the crossroads of history, a city neither European nor Asian but a heady blend of both East and West.Tbilisi was founded in the 5th century AD and has attracted visitors ever since, drawn by the hot springs for which the city is named, by the lively atmosphere of its cobbled streets and caravanserais or simply by what Alexandre Dumas called the “strange, fascinating charm” of this “city of legend and romance.”
Legend about foundation:
King Vakhtang Gorgasali (AD 446-502) went hunting one day around the territory of today’s Tbilisi which was then covered with a dense forest. The King wounded a pheasant and sent his falcon in pursuit. After the long search the two birds were found boiled in hot spring. King Gorgasali was so impressed with the naturally hot water that he decided to found a city near the springs and call it Tbilisi. “Tbili” means “warm” in Georgian.
The Old Town
The Old Town has much to offer. Take a stroll along narrow cobbled streets, pass traditional old houses with carved wooden balconies, relax in the warm waters of the historic sulphur baths and visit some of the city’s key historical sites: Metekhi Church, Narikala Fortress, Sioni Cathedral and Anchiskhati Church.
“A great sense of freedom and well-being permeated me. All my tiredness had gone and I felt strong enough to lift a mountain” – Alexandre Dumas, after a visit to the Sulphur Baths in 1858. Fed by naturally hot mineral waters (47°C), the sulphur baths have been an essential part of Tbilisi life for centuries. The brick-domed underground baths were built in the 17th century and produce 3 million liters of water every day. To make your visit to the baths complete, make sure to take the invigorating massage.
Rustaveli Avenue was laid out in the 19th century and is named after the great 12th century Georgian poet Shota Rustaveli. This busy street is now at the heart of 21st century Tbilisi. A stroll will take you pass the Moorish-style opera house and the theater, the Russian Viceroy’s palace and the Parliament building, not to mention the dozens of cafes, restaurants and shops you can find along the way.
Mtatsminda & Funicular
Mtatsminda – Holy Mount (700 meters above sea level) is overlooking the Georgian Capital. The hill is topped by the 210 m television tower. Funicular railway is contacted in 1905 and rehabilitated in 2012. The 500 meters long line allows you to get off at midpoint to visit St. David’s Church and Pantheon of Georgian Writers and Public Figures or to go to the top to visit Mtatsminda amusement park and enjoy the majestic panoramic views of the whole city.
Every visitor of the city is amazed because of the hospitality and warmness of the city. It demonstrates the slogan: "Tbilisi, the city that loves you