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Tbilisi is the capital city of the Republic of Georgia and with a population of about 1.5 million, the largest city in the country. It lies on the Mtkvari (Kura) River, which flows 1515km from the Lesser Caucasus mountains into the Caspian Sea.

Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia, Copyright Robin Whiting

Formerly known as Tiflis, according to legend it was founded in the 5th century by King Vakhtang Gorgasali. Since then, the city has served as the capital, with intermissions throughout its history. Because of its proximity to east-west trade routes, the old town represents an ancient crossroads between Europe and Asia. Today, this link is maintained, particularly with the global trade in energy. The old town contains narrow winding streets and alleys, religious buildings and old balconied houses whilst in the city as a whole, there is a wide range of architectural styles to be found including medieval, classical, Soviet and new modern glass and steel structures. Economically, politically, socially and culturally, the city represents the centre of Georgia and it has much to offer the visitor. As the sign outside the tourist office in the city centre puts it: "Visiting is a full, sensory experience".

There are many sights to see in Tbilisi and because its terrain comprises several hills, plenty of places to go for panoramic views. It is impossible to include everything here, but some of the main sights shown in the photos below are described in the text that follows them.

Photo(s) Description
2, 76, 90 Tbilisi TV Broadcasting Tower - See Page Here.
4-12 Sameba Cathedral (Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi). This ensemble was built where the Church of St. Elias once stood, this is the main cathedral of the Georgian Orthodox Church. Constructed between 1995 and 2004, it was consecrated on 3rd March 1996.
14 Presidential Palace. This was built on the initiative of President Micheil Saakashvili and overlooks the river. It officially opened in 2009.
15 Concert Hall and Exhibition Centre
16, 18-21 The Bridge of Peace. Stretching 150m over the Mtkvari River, this pedestrian bridge opened in May 2010 and was built to connect the old part of the city with the new district. The bridge was designed by the Italian architect Michele De Luki who is also credited with the final appearance of the Presidential Palace. At night time, over 1,200 LED's produce a visual light display, lighting up the bridge's steel and glass roof and the surrounding riverside.
26-33 Freedom Square. This is located in the city centre at the eastern end of Rustaveli Avenue. the main thoroughfare of Tbilisi. In the centre of the square stands the Liberty Monument depicting St George and the dragon. It was unveiled in 2006 and replaced a statue of Lenin which was symbolically torn down in 1991. Buildings around the square include Tbilisi City Hall, the former Bank of Georgia head office and a Marriott International hotel. It is also here you will find a centrally located tourist information office.
45-46 Leselidze Street Synagogue. Built in 1910 and still in use, the Jewish community is one of the oldest to be found today in Georgia.
47, 48 and later A cable car crosses over the Mtkvari river and ascends up a large hill upon which Narikala Fortress stands. It opened in 2012 and is a great way to see the city from above.
49,58 Metekhi Church of the Assumption. Standing on a cliff top overlooking the river, King Vakhtang Gorgasali had built the first church here in the 5th century when the city was being established as the new capital.  Nothing here survived the Mongol invasion of 1235. The current church dates back to c.1278 and was built by the Georgian king St Demetrius II although it has been damaged and restored a number of times since then. Adjacent to the church, we see a statue of King Vakhtang Gorgasali on horseback.
52 Narikala Fortress. This ancient fortress overlooks the city and the Mtkvari river. The fortress was established in the 4th century and then significantly expanded under the Umayyad Caliphate in the 7th century. Further expansion took place by king David the Builder (1089–1125). The Mongols renamed the fortress from it's original name (Shuris-tsikhe, meaning Invidious Fort) to Narin Qala, meaning Little Fortress, hence the name we see today. Most of the fortifications we see today date from the 16th and 17th century. The fortress may be visited either by walking up the hill or by taking the cable car ride starting on the other side of the river.
65-69 Tbilisi Zoo. These photos were taken 3½ weeks after the flash flood of 2015 which heavily affected the zoo leaving many of the animals dead or on the loose. The tragic event made headlines globally. The zoo was founded in 1927, and is located in the Vere River valley in central Tbilisi.
70-102 The Tiflis Funicular Railway. This was first constructed in the early 1900's to develop the uninhabited Mtatsminda plateau that overlooks Tbilisi. The funicular was completely replaced in 2012 with new equipment and carriages. The length of the funicular is 501m and the upper station is 267m above the lower station. In the 1930's, an entertainment and leisure park was created on the plateau. During Soviet times, this was one of the most visited city parks in the whole of the USSR. In the photos here, views of the city from Mtatsminda Park can be seen both from where the top station of the Funicular is and from atop a large Ferris Wheel which stands in the park. As well as many rides and attractions, the Tbilisi TV Tower also stands in the park, although it is not open to the public. Photo 95 zooms in on the 'James Bond House', probably the most elaborate modern addition to the city and featured in The Daily Telegraph Here.
104 Old Parliament Building. Located on Tbilisi's main thoroughfare, Rustaveli Avenue, this building was used to house the Georgian Parliament until May 2012, when the Parliament moved to a new building in the city of Kutaisi (the rest of the government remains in Tbilisi).
105-106 Kashveti Church of St. George. Opposite the Old Parliament Building lies this Georgian Orthodox church which was constructed between 1904 and 1910.
122-126 The leaning tower of Tbilisi. This clock tower may look old, but is in fact a modern structure (2011). It is attached to the puppet theatre of renowned puppeteer Rezo Gabriadze and it's design makes a statement against the faceless aspect of the many modern steel and glass buildings appearing in the city.
143-145 Bathhouses. A deep sulphur spring feeds Tbilisi with naturally heated mineral water and consequently, bathhouses have been found here for over 1000 years.
146-180 Taking the cable car up to Narikala Fortress (see text above) and the views of Tbilisi seen from the hilltop.
181 Tbilisi Mosque. Built in 1895, this Mosque is uncommon in that it serves both Shiite and Sunni Muslims who pray here together.

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