The capital, Tbilisi is one of the ancient cities of the world, situated in the valley of the river Mtkvari. The bridges connect the right and left banks of the city. The place was populated since ancient times, as far as four thousand years BC. During its long and complicated history the city appeared the place of incessant dramatic juxtaposition of a number of various nations and cultures.
The territory of Tbilisi and its suburbs populated since IV century B.C. There are a lot of churches and historical monuments in the Old City, as well as many museums, narrow streets and old houses with the characteristic wooden balconies, wide and open. The statue of Mother of Georgia, overlooking the city from the mountain ridge, attracts attention: welcoming its guests with a bowl of wine in one hand, and a sword in another for the enemies, the statue represents the symbol of Georgia. Once in Tbilisi, guests can see the Church of Anchiskhati (6th c.), Sioni Cathedral (7th c.), the Narikala fortress (4th c.), a synagogue, a mosque, a few museums (historical museum, and an open-air ethnography museum and the funicular make the musts for visitors of the city). Among other tourists’ diversions are visits to souvenir shops, fairs, theatres, modern movie theatres, restaurants, bars, cafes, fitness-centres and the notorious sulphur spring-baths.
The legend of Tbilisi foundation: Once, while hunting in the dense woods on the territory of modern Tbilisi, King Vakhtang Gorgasali who loved falconry pursued a pheasant. His falcon chased the bird but soon the king lost the sight of both of them. Then the royal suite found the birds in the pool of a sulphur spring. As he found the spring hot, King Vakhtang decided to call this place Tbilisi ("tbili” meaning warm in Georgian). Soon the king founded the city of Tbilisi, where the capital of Georgia was moved to in the 5th c. AD.
In Tbilisi you can visit the following museums:
Georgian National Museum: contains the whole history of Georgia, from Paleolithic period (The first sign of human habitation in Dmanisi dated back to 1 million 800 thousand years ) to early Iron Age (13th century B.C.) There are a lot of important finds from old Georgian kingdoms. The archaeological exhibition of the museum testify to the more than four–millennium long history of artistic jewelry on the territory of Georgia. Here you can see ancient gold and silver work excavated in the burial mounds of the III millennium.
Georgian Art Museum and Golden Fund: full of with masterpieces of Georgian art of the middle ages. Here you can find paintings of famous Georgian painters: Phirosmani, Akhvlediani, Gudiashvili, etc and the art works from Westarn Europe and Russia. In the golden fund there is the Khakhuli Triptych, the icon of the Mother of God (10th -12th ).
Open-Air Ethnography Museum: A collection of houses from different regions of Georgia (Samegrelo, Guria, Svaneti).There are houses on legs and Svan towers, but the real peculiarities are inside: One of those cradles that they tied babies into (“Akvani” ) – which makes your head flat for life, but could be slung across a horse’s back. You may also find the artist and his colorful works- George Akhvlediani (great nephew of Elene) there. When you can walk round houses no more, sit in the restaurant, where you can hear the toasts.
Museum-city of Mtskheta - a former capital of Georgia is situated upon the confluence of the two rivers, Aragvi and Mtkvari. Mtskheta is one of the oldest towns in Georgia, whose origin is associated by tradition with the legendary forefather of the Georgian tribes, Kartlos and his son Mtskheteos. For almost 1000 years, from 4th century B.C. to 5th century A.D. Mtskheta was the capital of the Georgian kingdom Iberia, a state well- known to the ancient world. It is situated at the beautiful landscape, at the convergence of the Mtkvari and Aragvi Rivers. Mtskheta has been a centre of settlement since the 3rd millennium BC. In the III century BC. Parnavaz, the first king of Georgia had a fortified acropolis built in honor of Armazi, main cult of the country. Here Georgian king Mirian, after the preaching of a young woman St.Nino came from Cappadocia, accepted Christianity in the beginning of the 4th century and declared it as a state religion. Up to this day, the city of Mtskheta remains the centre of Georgian Orthodox Church. The Cathedral of Svetitskhoveli (1010-1029) and Jvari Monastery (586-604) are among the most esteemed monuments that represent the Georgian culture and architecture. Nearby Mtskheta are situated the Shio-mghvime monastery complex and Zedazeni – the legendary location of the ancient pagan cult.
Kutaisi is one of the ancient cities in Georgia and in the world. It was the capital of the kingdom of Kolkha (in Greek sources the city was mentioned as Kutaia) in the 2nd millennium BC. According to the myth of Argonauts, the Greeks set out on their ship Argo to get the Golden Fleece, which the King of Kolkhis had in his possession. The monastery complex of Gelati (11th c) is among the most remarkable examples of Georgian architecture. It was founded by King of Georgia, David Aghmashenebeli (The Builder). The Gelati complex implied also Gelati Academy, famed as an educational centre even beyond the borders of Georgia; an amazing mosaic in the altar of the main temple is extraordinary and unique. The Temple of Bagrati (10-11 cc) is one of the most important monuments that represent early Georgian architecture.
Adjara is one of the most beautiful regions of Georgia, situated in the southwestern part of the country, on the coast of the Black Sea that represents a harmonious unity of the landscape including the views of the mountains and the sea. Batumi is an old city and resort that is interesting in the aspects of recreation and tourism and travel. The name of the city is originated from Bathus – which means a deep bay. The attractions of the city imply a beautiful seaside park with the boulevard, fountains, temples, museums, theatres, Batumi botanical garden in the vicinity of the city and fortress of Gonio. Several resorts are spread along the sea-cost: Kobuleti, Chakvi, Gonio, Kvariati, Sarpi, etc.
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