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City Guide : TbilisiTbilisi is the capital city of Georgia and populated on the both side of Kura River which is 350 kilometers length. Tbilisi, which is an industrial, cultural and social center of the country, was on the Silk Road in old times. Today as a stop of the Baku-Tibilisi-Ceyhan energy line that has a stop also in Turkey. It is believed that the Kartish name of the city “Tbilisi” comes from a story. According to this story, in the 5th century (B.C.) Tbilisi was a place covered with forests. One day King Vahtang Gorgasal goes for hunting. He sends his hawk after flying pheasant. After a little time none of them was back. He starts to look after them and finds them both dropped into the hot water. The king likes that place very much and orders his men to set up a city there. The city gets its name from the hot water “tsheli (hot)” or like it was said in old times “tpili (hot)”, “Tpilisi” or “Tbilisi”. Stalin, who has governed the country in Old Soviet Union, was originally from Georgia. That is why Tbilisi was one of the most beautiful cities of that period; but after Soviet regime it witnessed a violent civil war and the city was negatively affected by that. Nowadays those wounds look like healed and city is returning its old days. The 80 percent of the population is Georgian and there are more than a hundred ethnic groups living in Tbilisi.
Tourist AttractionsOne of the most important places to visit is The Nariqala Castle which was built in the 3rd century on Sololaki Hill just over the old city center on the east side of the Kura River. The parts that are still standing were mostly built in 8th century.
There is a giant statue of a woman just over the ruins of the castle. The Statue of Kartlis Deda which is called “The Mother of Georgians” can be seen from far distances especially when it is illuminated. On her left hand she carries a cup of wine for the friends, a sword on her right hand against war. This statue was situated in 1958 for the 1500th anniversary of the settlement of the city and became the symbol of the city.
In front of the ruins and the statue there is a botanic garden of 128 hectares wide. You can see many kinds of trees and plants and go for walk in the nature in botanic gardens in Tbilisi as well as the other Georgian cities.
The old city center of Tbilisi, the narrow streets, the pavements made of round stones and its historical pattern are the places that should be under governmental protection. In the old center there is The Sioni Cathedral which was built in 5th century. It is accepted as one of the holiest place for Georgian Orthodoxies. The Anchiskhati Basilica which was built in 6th century and the Metechi Church can be seen again in the old city center.
The traces of the Silk Road can still be seen in Tbilisi. The caravanserais, little houses with mostly wooden carvings in the old city carry that period’s spirit to the day.
Another part of the city is a Turkish bath region called Abanotubani. The area which is built in 17th century there are many fountains with the waters rich of sulphur. It is said that the water here heals the bone aches, neurological and urological problems and skin diseases. The tombs of the baths are very similar to Turkish style. You can also get a good rubbing and massage in these baths.
The old city part ends with Garetubani region. This is a place where the magnificent architectures belong to 19th century can be visited. The most important street of Tbilisi center, Rustavelis Gamziri, is in this area. The street named after the national poet Şota Rustaveli starts from the Tbilisi Independence Square lays 1.5 kilometers long parallel to Kura River and ends at the Square of Republic. There are many historical, touristy and cultural places along the street. The Parliament of Geogia, Kashveti Church, National Georgian Museum, Paliashvili Opera House, Rustaveli Academy Theatre, and the Academy of Georgian Sciences are also situated in this street. Also the most important meeting points, the café’s, are in here. Briefly, this is the heart of Tbilisi.
Culture & EntertainmentTbilisi is almost is a paradise for theatre with 33 stages. The Gribojedov Theatre built in 1845 and is a stage for Russian dramas. The governmental theatres which were built in 1852 and 1921 and the governmental opera and bale stages are hosting many performances. There are many Georgian and other minor culture’s theatre groups playing on these stages. The circus which was built during Stalin administration is one of the entertainment sites in the city.
The city is also very important for cinema fans. International Tbilisi Film Festival is organized in October every year.
It is possible to separate the entertainment life into day and night. The café’s on the Rustaveli Boulevard are the best place to spend daytime. Especially the Vincent which is very famous among artists and students and a traditional Georgian café called Lagidsee which is built in 1904 are the most favourite ones. The night life is mostly night club dependent. It is possible to find these clubs close to the expensive hotels and on the Rustaveli Street.
Food & DrinkIn Tbilisi it is possible to mention both local and Western cuisines. The most common local food not only here but also in other Georgian cities is a type of a pastry “haçapuri”. The local dishes apart from that are usually meat dishes. Potato is served along with meat dishes. Especially the sauces of meat dishes are extremely delicious.
Western cuisine is mainly fast food here. Do not go back from Tbilisi without drinking fresh and delicious fruit juices. These fruit juices are fairly cheap and being served in glasses or in locked bottles.
ShoppingHandmade goods, carpets, ceramics, craved goods and scarves are the most impressive presents for visitors in Georgia. You can find these things in antique shops, souvenir shops and even in street markets. There are many very expensive shops as well.
Lilo bazaar is an important place to visit for the ones who have time. There is wholesale for two days a week and retail sale for the rest of the week. Especially on Thursdays and Sundays there is a big crowd shopping at the bazaar. It is possible to find almost everything in the bazaar which covers a land of 17 thousand square meters wide. The goods are mostly textile staff.
Route Map: Istanbul S. Gokcen – Tbilisi Flight
Ticket Sales Offices : Tbilisi
|Address||147, David Agmashenebeli Avenue Tbilisi GEORGIA|
|Phone||995 322 959022/995 322 940703|
|Fax||995 322 94 07 04|
|Address||Departure Hall , Tbilisi International Airport, 0158 Tbilisi. Georgia|
|Address||Cargo Terminal Tbilisi International Airport, 0158 Tbilisi. Georgia|
|Fax||995 322 95 32 97|
Tbilisi : Airport Information
Address : Phone : +995 32 947886
Tbilisi : Airport Map Information
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|Phone Code||:||+995 32|
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