Tbilisi

Tbilisi

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Tbilisi is the capital
Capital City
Capital City was a television show produced by Euston Films which focused on the lives of investment bankers in London living and working on the corporate trading floor for the fictional international bank Shane-Longman....

 and the largest city of Georgia
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

, lying on the banks of the Mt'k'vari (Kura
Kura River
Kura is a river, also known from the Greek as the Cyrus in the Caucasus Mountains. Starting in north-eastern Turkey, it flows through Turkey to Georgia, then to Azerbaijan, where it receives the Aras River as a right tributary, and enters the Caspian Sea...

) River. The name is derived from an early Georgian form T'pilisi (ტფილისი) and it was officially known as Tiflis until 1936. The city covers an area of 726 km² (280.3 sq mi) and has 1,480,000 inhabitants.

Founded in the 5th century by Vakhtang Gorgasali, the Georgian King of Iberia
Caucasian Iberia
Iberia , also known as Iveria , was a name given by the ancient Greeks and Romans to the ancient Georgian kingdom of Kartli , corresponding roughly to the eastern and southern parts of the present day Georgia...

, and made into a capital in the 6th century, Tbilisi is a significant industrial, social, and cultural centre. The city is also emerging as an important transit route for global energy and trade projects. Located strategically at the crossroads between Europe and Asia and lying along the historic Silk Road
Silk Road
The Silk Road or Silk Route refers to a historical network of interlinking trade routes across the Afro-Eurasian landmass that connected East, South, and Western Asia with the Mediterranean and European world, as well as parts of North and East Africa...

 routes, Tbilisi has often been a point of contention between various rival powers and empires. The history of the city can be seen by its architecture, where the Haussmannized
Baron Haussmann
Georges-Eugène Haussmann, commonly known as Baron Haussmann , was a French civic planner whose name is associated with the rebuilding of Paris...

 Rustaveli Avenue and downtown are blended with the narrower streets of the medieval Narikala
Narikala
Narikala is an ancient fortress overlooking Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, and the Kura River. The fortress consists of two walled sections on a steep hill between the sulphur baths and the botanical gardens of Tbilisi. On the lower court there is the recently restored St Nicholas church.The...

 district.

The demographics of the city are diverse and historically it has been home to peoples from diverse cultures, religions and ethnicities. Despite being overwhelmingly Orthodox Christian
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...

, Tbilisi is one of the few places in the world (Sarajevo
Sarajevo
Sarajevo |Bosnia]], surrounded by the Dinaric Alps and situated along the Miljacka River in the heart of Southeastern Europe and the Balkans....

 and Paramaribo
Paramaribo
Paramaribo is the capital and largest city of Suriname, located on banks of the Suriname River in the Paramaribo District. Paramaribo has a population of roughly 250,000 people, more than half of Suriname's population...

 being others) where a synagogue and a mosque are located next to each other, in the ancient Bath
Abanotubani
Abanotubani is the ancient district of Tbilisi, Georgia, known for its sulfuric baths.Located at the eastern bank of the Mtkvari River at the foot of Narikala fort across Metekhisubani, Abanotubani is an important historic part of the city — the place, where according to a legend the King of...

 district several hundred metres from the Metekhi
Metekhi
Metekhi is a historic neighborhood of Tbilisi, Georgia, located on the elevated cliff that overlooks the Mtkvari river.- History :The district was one of the earliest inhabited areas on the city’s territory...

 Church. In recent times, Tbilisi has become known for the peaceful Rose Revolution
Rose Revolution
The "Revolution of Roses" was a change of power in Georgia in November 2003, which took place after having widespread protests over the disputed parliamentary elections...

, which took place around Freedom Square and nearby locations after the contested parliamentary elections of 2003 led to the resignation of the Georgian
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

 President Eduard Shevardnadze
Eduard Shevardnadze
Eduard Shevardnadze is a former Soviet, and later, Georgian statesman from the height to the end of the Cold War. He served as President of Georgia from 1995 to 2003, and as First Secretary of the Georgian Communist Party , from 1972 to 1985. Shevardnadze was responsible for many top decisions on...

.

Tbilisi has one international airport
Tbilisi International Airport
Tbilisi International Airport is the main international airport in Georgia, located southeast of the capital Tbilisi.-Overview:In February 2007, the reconstruction project was finished...

. Notable tourist destinations include the Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi, Freedom Square
Freedom Square, Tbilisi
Freedom Square , formerly known as Erivan Square under Imperial Russia and Lenin Square under the Soviet Union, is located in the center of Tbilisi at the eastern end of...

, Sioni Cathedral
Tbilisi Sioni Cathedral
The "Sioni" Cathedral of the Dormition is a Georgian Orthodox cathedral in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. Following a medieval Georgian tradition of naming churches after particular places in the Holy Land, the Sioni Cathedral bears the name of Mount Zion at Jerusalem...

, Metekhi
Metekhi
Metekhi is a historic neighborhood of Tbilisi, Georgia, located on the elevated cliff that overlooks the Mtkvari river.- History :The district was one of the earliest inhabited areas on the city’s territory...

, Narikala
Narikala
Narikala is an ancient fortress overlooking Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, and the Kura River. The fortress consists of two walled sections on a steep hill between the sulphur baths and the botanical gardens of Tbilisi. On the lower court there is the recently restored St Nicholas church.The...

, Rustaveli Avenue
Rustaveli Avenue
Rustaveli Avenue - is an avenue in central Tbilisi named after the medieval Georgian poet, Shota Rustaveli. The Avenue starts at Freedom Square and extends for about 1.5 km in length, before it turns into an extension of Kostavas Kucha...

, Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre
Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre
Tbilisi State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre is situated on Rustaveli Avenue, in the center of Tbilisi, Georgia. It is the oldest opera house in Georgia...

, Anchiskhati Basilica, Mtatsminda Pantheon
Mtatsminda Pantheon
The Mtatsminda Pantheon of Writers and Public Figures is a necropolis in Tbilisi, Georgia, where some of the most prominent writers, artists, scholars, and national heroes of Georgia are buried. It is located in the churchyard around St. David’s Church "Mamadaviti" on the slope of Mount Mtatsminda...

 (Holy Mountain), Kashveti Church
Kashveti Church
The Kashveti Church of St. George is a Georgian Orthodox Church in central Tbilisi, located across from the Parliament building on Rustaveli Avenue....

 along with the National and Historic Museums of Georgia and a number of art galleries. Tbilisi is the home of famous artists. The city life was immortalized in their art by Niko Pirosmani and Lado Gudiashvili
Lado Gudiashvili
Lado Gudiashvili was a 20th century Georgian painter. Gudiashvili was born in Tiflis on March 18 , 1896 into a family of a railroad employee. He studied in the Tiflis school of sculpture and fine art , and later in Ronson's private academy in Paris...

.

Early history



According to an old legend, the present-day territory of Tbilisi was covered by forests as late as 458. One widely accepted variant of the legend of Tbilisi's founding states that King Vakhtang I Gorgasali
Vakhtang I Gorgasali
Vakhtang I "Gorgasali" , of the Chosroid dynasty, was a king of Iberia, natively known as Kartli in the second half of the 5th and first quarter of the 6th century. Gorgasali is a sobriquet meaning in Iranian "wolf’s head"...

 of Georgia
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

 went hunting in the heavily wooded region with a falcon
Falcon
A falcon is any species of raptor in the genus Falco. The genus contains 37 species, widely distributed throughout Europe, Asia, and North America....

 (sometimes the falcon is replaced with either a hawk
Hawk
The term hawk can be used in several ways:* In strict usage in Australia and Africa, to mean any of the species in the subfamily Accipitrinae, which comprises the genera Accipiter, Micronisus, Melierax, Urotriorchis and Megatriorchis. The large and widespread Accipiter genus includes goshawks,...

 or other small birds of prey in the legend). The King's falcon allegedly caught or injured a pheasant
Pheasant
Pheasants refer to some members of the Phasianinae subfamily of Phasianidae in the order Galliformes.Pheasants are characterised by strong sexual dimorphism, males being highly ornate with bright colours and adornments such as wattles and long tails. Males are usually larger than females and have...

 during the hunt, after which both birds fell into a nearby hot spring
Hot spring
A hot spring is a spring that is produced by the emergence of geothermally heated groundwater from the Earth's crust. There are geothermal hot springs in many locations all over the crust of the earth.-Definitions:...

 and died from burns. King Vakhtang became so impressed with the hot springs that he decided to cut down the forest and build a city on the location. The name Tbilisi derives from the Old Georgian
Georgian language
Georgian is the native language of the Georgians and the official language of Georgia, a country in the Caucasus.Georgian is the primary language of about 4 million people in Georgia itself, and of another 500,000 abroad...

 word "Tpili" (თბილი), meaning warm. The name 'Tbili' or 'Tbilisi' ('warm location') was therefore given to the city because of the area's numerous sulphuric hot springs
Hot Springs
Hot Springs may refer to:* Hot Springs, Arkansas** Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas*Hot Springs, California**Hot Springs, Lassen County, California**Hot Springs, Modoc County, California**Hot Springs, Placer County, California...

 that came out of the ground.


Archaeological studies of the region have revealed that the territory of Tbilisi was settled by humans as early as the 4th millennium BCE. The earliest actual (recorded) accounts of settlement of the location come from the second half of the 4th century CE, when a fortress was built during King Varaz-Bakur's reign. Towards the end of the 4th century the fortress fell into the hands of the Persians after which the location fell back into the hands of the Kings of Kartli
Kartli
Kartli is a historical region in central-to-eastern Georgia traversed by the river Mtkvari , on which Georgia's capital, Tbilisi, is situated. Known to the Classical authors as Iberia, Kartli played a crucial role in ethnic and political consolidation of the Georgians in the Middle Ages...

 (Georgia) by the middle of the 5th century. King Vakhtang I Gorgasali
Vakhtang I Gorgasali
Vakhtang I "Gorgasali" , of the Chosroid dynasty, was a king of Iberia, natively known as Kartli in the second half of the 5th and first quarter of the 6th century. Gorgasali is a sobriquet meaning in Iranian "wolf’s head"...

 (reigned in the middle and latter part of the 5th century), who is largely credited for founding Tbilisi, was actually responsible for reviving and building up the city and not founding it. The present-day location of the area which Gorgasali seems to have built up is spread out around the Metekhi
Metekhi
Metekhi is a historic neighborhood of Tbilisi, Georgia, located on the elevated cliff that overlooks the Mtkvari river.- History :The district was one of the earliest inhabited areas on the city’s territory...

 cliff and the latter-day Abanotubani
Abanotubani
Abanotubani is the ancient district of Tbilisi, Georgia, known for its sulfuric baths.Located at the eastern bank of the Mtkvari River at the foot of Narikala fort across Metekhisubani, Abanotubani is an important historic part of the city — the place, where according to a legend the King of...

 neighbourhood.



Capital


King Dachi I Ujarmeli
Dachi of Iberia
Dach'i , of the Chosroid Dynasty, was the king of Iberia reigning, according to a medieval Georgian literary tradition, for 12 years, from c. 522 to 534...

, who was the successor of Vakhtang I Gorgasali
Vakhtang I Gorgasali
Vakhtang I "Gorgasali" , of the Chosroid dynasty, was a king of Iberia, natively known as Kartli in the second half of the 5th and first quarter of the 6th century. Gorgasali is a sobriquet meaning in Iranian "wolf’s head"...

, moved the capital from Mtskheta
Mtskheta
Mtskheta , one of the oldest cities of the country of Georgia , is located approximately 20 kilometers north of Tbilisi at the confluence of the Aragvi and Kura rivers. The city is now the administrative centre of the Mtskheta-Mtianeti region...

 to Tbilisi according to the will left by his father. It must be mentioned that Tbilisi was not the capital of a unified Georgian state at that time (therefore did not include the territory of Colchis
Colchis
In ancient geography, Colchis or Kolkhis was an ancient Georgian state kingdom and region in Western Georgia, which played an important role in the ethnic and cultural formation of the Georgian nation.The Kingdom of Colchis contributed significantly to the development of medieval Georgian...

) and was only the capital of Eastern Georgia
Eastern Georgia
Eastern Georgia commonly refers to the eastern part of the nation of Georgia, which in historic times included the kingdom of Iberia in the Caucasus. The present-day term refers to the territory of Georgia which lies to the east and south of the Likhi and Meskheti Ranges, but excludes the region...

/Iberia
Caucasian Iberia
Iberia , also known as Iveria , was a name given by the ancient Greeks and Romans to the ancient Georgian kingdom of Kartli , corresponding roughly to the eastern and southern parts of the present day Georgia...

. During his reign, King Dachi I was also responsible for finishing the construction of the fortress wall that lined the city's new boundaries. Beginning from the 6th century, Tbilisi started to grow at a steady pace due to the region's favourable and strategic location which placed the city along important trade and travel routes between Europe and Asia.

Foreign domination


Tbilisi's favourable and strategic location did not necessarily bode well for its existence as Eastern Georgia's/Iberia's capital. Located strategically in the heart of the Caucasus
Caucasus
The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...

 between Europe and Asia, Tbilisi became an object of rivalry between the region's various powers such as Persia, the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

, Arabia and the Seljuk Turks. The cultural development of the city was therefore heavily dependent on who ruled the city at various times. Even though Tbilisi (and Eastern Georgia in general) was able to maintain a certain degree of autonomy from its conquerors, the foreign domination of the city began in the latter half of the 6th century and lasted well into the 10th century.

From 570–580, the Persians took over Tbilisi and ruled it for about a decade. In the year 627, Tbilisi was sacked
Third Perso-Turkic War
The Third Perso-Turkic War was the third and final conflict between the Sassanian Empire and the Western Turkic Khaganate. Unlike the previous two wars, it was fought, not in Central Asia, but in Transcaucasia. Hostilities were initiated in 627 AD by Khagan Tong Yabghu of the Western Göktürks and...

 by the Byzantine
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

/Khazar armies and later, in 736–738, Arab armies entered the town under Marwan II
Marwan II
Marwan ibn Muhammad ibn Marwan or Marwan II was an Umayyad caliph who ruled from 744 until 750 when he was killed. He was the last Umayyad ruler to rule from Damascus.In A.H. 114 Caliph Hisham appointed Marwan governor of Armenia and Azerbaijan. In A.H...

 Ibn-Muhammad. After this point, the Arabs established an emirate
Emirate of Tbilisi
The Emirs of Tbilisi ruled over the parts of today’s eastern Georgia from their base in the city of Tbilisi, from 736 to 1080 . Established by the Arabs during their invasions of Georgian lands, the emirate was an important outpost of the Muslim rule in the Caucasus until recaptured by the...

 centered in Tbilisi. The Arab domination brought a certain order to the region and introduced a more formal/modernized judicial system into Georgia
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

. In 764, Tbilisi, still under Arab control was once again sacked by the Khazars
Khazars
The Khazars were semi-nomadic Turkic people who established one of the largest polities of medieval Eurasia, with the capital of Atil and territory comprising much of modern-day European Russia, western Kazakhstan, eastern Ukraine, Azerbaijan, large portions of the northern Caucasus , parts of...

. In 853, the armies of Arab leader Bugha Al-Turki (Bugha the Turk) invaded Tbilisi in order to enforce its return to Abbasid
Abbasid
The Abbasid Caliphate or, more simply, the Abbasids , was the third of the Islamic caliphates. It was ruled by the Abbasid dynasty of caliphs, who built their capital in Baghdad after overthrowing the Umayyad caliphate from all but the al-Andalus region....

 allegiance. The Arab domination of Tbilisi continued until about 1050. In 1068, the city was once again sacked, only this time by the Seljuk Turks under Sultan
Sultan
Sultan is a title with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic language abstract noun meaning "strength", "authority", "rulership", and "dictatorship", derived from the masdar سلطة , meaning "authority" or "power". Later, it came to be used as the title of certain rulers who...

 Alp Arslan
Alp Arslan
Alp Arslan was the third sultan of the Seljuq dynasty and great-grandson of Seljuk, the eponymous founder of the dynasty...

.

Capital of a unified Georgian state


In 1122, after heavy fighting with the Seljuks that involved at least 60,000 Georgians
Georgian people
The Georgians are an ethnic group that have originated in Georgia, where they constitute a majority of the population. Large Georgian communities are also present throughout Russia, European Union, United States, and South America....

 and up to 300,000 Turks
Turkic peoples
The Turkic peoples are peoples residing in northern, central and western Asia, southern Siberia and northwestern China and parts of eastern Europe. They speak languages belonging to the Turkic language family. They share, to varying degrees, certain cultural traits and historical backgrounds...

, the troops of the King of Georgia David the Builder entered Tbilisi. After the battles for Tbilisi concluded, David moved his residence from Kutaisi
Kutaisi
Kutaisi is Georgia's second largest city and the capital of the western region of Imereti. It is 221 km to the west of Tbilisi.-Geography:...

 (Western Georgia) to Tbilisi, making it the capital of a unified Georgian State. From 12–13th centuries, Tbilisi became a dominant regional power with a thriving economy (with well-developed trade and skilled labour) and a well-established social system/structure. By the end of the 12th century, the population of Tbilisi had reached 100,000. The city also became an important literary and a cultural center not only for Georgia but for the larger civilized world as well. During Queen Tamar's reign, Shota Rustaveli
Shota Rustaveli
Shota Rustaveli was a Georgian poet of the 12th century, and one of the greatest contributors to Georgian literature. He is author of "The Knight in the Panther's Skin" , the Georgian national epic poem....

 worked in Tbilisi while writing his legendary epic poem, The Knight in the Panther's Skin
The Knight in the Panther's Skin
The Knight in the Panther's Skin is an epic poem, consisting of over 1600 shairi quatrains, was written in the 12th century by the Georgian epic-poet Shota Rustaveli, who was a Prince and Treasurer at the royal court of Queen Tamar of Georgia. The Knight in the Panther's Skin is often seen as...

. This period is often referred to as "Georgia's Golden Age" or the Georgian Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

.

Mongol domination and the following period of instability


Tbilisi's "Golden Age" did not last for more than a century. In 1226 Tbilisi was captured by the refugee Khwarezmian Empire
Khwarezmian Empire
The Khwarazmian dynasty or Khwarezmian dynasty, also known as Khwarezmids, dynasty of Khwarazm Shahs or Khwarezm-Shah dynasty was a Persianate Sunni Muslim dynasty of Turkic mamluk origin.They ruled Greater Iran in the High Middle Ages, in the period of about 1077 to 1231, first as vassals of...

 Khwarezmian Shah Mingburnu and its defences severely devastated and prone to Mongol armies. In 1236, after suffering crushing defeats to the Mongols
Mongols
Mongols ) are a Central-East Asian ethnic group that lives mainly in the countries of Mongolia, China, and Russia. In China, ethnic Mongols can be found mainly in the central north region of China such as Inner Mongolia...

, Georgia
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

 came under Mongol domination
Mongol invasions of Georgia
The Mongol invasions reached the kingdom of Georgia and the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia in 1234, forcing Georgia into submission by 1238....

. The nation itself maintained a form of semi-independence and did not lose its statehood, but Tbilisi was strongly influenced by the Mongols for the next century both politically and culturally. In the 1320s, the Mongols were forcefully expelled from Georgia and Tbilisi became the capital of an independent Georgian state once again. An outbreak of the plague
Black Death
The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, peaking in Europe between 1348 and 1350. Of several competing theories, the dominant explanation for the Black Death is the plague theory, which attributes the outbreak to the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Thought to have...

 struck the city in 1366.

From the late 14th until the end of the 18th century, Tbilisi came under the rule of various foreign invaders once again and on several occasions was completely burnt to the ground. In 1386, Tbilisi was invaded
Timur's invasions of Georgia
Georgia, a Christian kingdom in the Caucasus, was subjected, between 1386 and 1404, to several disastrous invasions by the Islamic armies of Turco-Mongol conqueror Timur, whose vast empire stretched, at its greatest extent, from Central Asia into Anatolia.These conflicts were intimately linked with...

 by the armies of Tamerlane (Timur). In 1444, the city was invaded and destroyed by Jahan Shah
Jahan Shah
Muzaffar al-Din Jahan Shah ibn Yusuf ‎ was the leader of the Kara Koyunlu Turkmen tribal federation in Azerbaijan and Arran who reigned c.1438-1467. During his reign he managed to expand the Kara Koyunlu’s territory to its largest extent, including Western Anatolia, most of present day Iraq,...

 (the Shah of the town of Tabriz
Tabriz
Tabriz is the fourth largest city and one of the historical capitals of Iran and the capital of East Azerbaijan Province. Situated at an altitude of 1,350 meters at the junction of the Quri River and Aji River, it was the second largest city in Iran until the late 1960s, one of its former...

 in Persia). From 1477 to 1478 the city was held by the Ak Koyunlu
Ak Koyunlu
The Aq Qoyunlu or Ak Koyunlu, also called the White Sheep Turkomans , was an Sunni Oghuz Turkic tribal federation that ruled parts of present-day Eastern Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, northern Iraq, and Iran from 1378 to 1508.-History:According to chronicles from the Byzantine Empire, the Aq Qoyunlu...

 tribesmen of Uzun Hassan
Uzun Hassan
Uzun Hasan or Hassan , Sultan of the Aq Qoyunlu dynasty, or White Sheep Turkmen. Hassan ruled in parts of present-day western Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Armenia between 1453 and 1478....

. In 1522, Tbilisi came under Persian control but was later freed in 1524 by King David X
David X of Kartli
David X was a king of the Georgian kingdom of Kartli from 1505 to 1525.He was the eldest son of Constantine II, whom he succeeded as king of Kartli in 1505 . Despite the fact that Constantine had recognised the independence of the breakaway Georgian kingdoms of Imereti and Kakheti, the rivalry...

 of Georgia
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

. During this period, many parts of Tbilisi were reconstructed and rebuilt. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Tbilisi once again became the object of rivalry only this time between the Ottoman Turks
Ottoman Turks
The Ottoman Turks were the Turkish-speaking population of the Ottoman Empire who formed the base of the state's military and ruling classes. Reliable information about the early history of Ottoman Turks is scarce, but they take their Turkish name, Osmanlı , from the house of Osman I The Ottoman...

 and Persia. King Erekle II
Erekle II
Erekle II was a Georgian monarch of the Bagrationi Dynasty, reigning as the king of Kakheti from 1744 to 1762, and of Kartli and Kakheti from 1762 until 1798. In the contemporary Persian sources he is referred to as Erekli Khan, while Russians knew him as Irakli...

 of Georgia
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

 tried on several occasions, successfully, to free Tbilisi from Persian rule but in the end Tbilisi was burnt to the ground in 1795 by Shah Agha-Mohammad Khan. At this point, sensing that Georgia could not hold up against Persia alone, Erekle sought the help of Russia.

Russian control



In 1801, after the Georgian kingdom of Kartl-Kakheti
Kartl-Kakheti
The Kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti was created in 1762 by the unification of two eastern Georgian kingdoms, which had existed independently since the disintegration of the united Georgian Kingdom in the 15th century....

 joined the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

, Tbilisi became the center of the Tbilisi Governorate (Gubernia). From the beginning of the 19th century Tbilisi started to grow economically and politically. New buildings mainly of European style were erected throughout the town. New roads and railroads were built to connect Tbilisi to other important cities in Russia and other parts of the Transcaucasus (locally) such as Batumi
Batumi
Batumi is a seaside city on the Black Sea coast and capital of Adjara, an autonomous republic in southwest Georgia. Sometimes considered Georgia's second capital, with a population of 121,806 , Batumi serves as an important port and a commercial center. It is situated in a subtropical zone, rich in...

, Poti
Poti
Poti is a port city in Georgia, located on the eastern Black Sea coast in the region of Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti in the west of the country. Built near the site of the ancient Greek colony of Phasis, the city has become a major port city and industrial center since the early 20th century. It is also...

, Baku
Baku
Baku , sometimes spelled as Baki or Bakou, is the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan, as well as the largest city on the Caspian Sea and of the Caucasus region. It is located on the southern shore of the Absheron Peninsula, which projects into the Caspian Sea. The city consists of two principal...

, and Yerevan
Yerevan
Yerevan is the capital and largest city of Armenia and one of the world's oldest continuously-inhabited cities. Situated along the Hrazdan River, Yerevan is the administrative, cultural, and industrial center of the country...

. By the 1850s Tbilisi once again emerged as a major trade and a cultural center. The likes of Ilia Chavchavadze, Akaki Tsereteli
Akaki Tsereteli
Prince Ak'ak'i Tsereteli was a prominent Georgian poet and national liberation movement figure.He was born in the village of Skhvitori on June 9, 1840 to the prominent Georgian aristocratic family. His father was Prince Rostom Tsereteli...

, Iakob Gogebashvili
Iakob Gogebashvili
Iakob Gogebashvili was a Georgian educator, children’s writer and journalist, considered to be the founder of the scientific pedagogy in Georgia...

, Aleksandr Griboyedov and many other statesmen, poets, and artists all found their home in Tbilisi.



The city was visited on numerous occasions by and was the object of affection of Alexander Pushkin, Leo Tolstoy
Leo Tolstoy
Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy was a Russian writer who primarily wrote novels and short stories. Later in life, he also wrote plays and essays. His two most famous works, the novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina, are acknowledged as two of the greatest novels of all time and a pinnacle of realist...

, Mikhail Lermontov
Mikhail Lermontov
Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov , a Russian Romantic writer, poet and painter, sometimes called "the poet of the Caucasus", became the most important Russian poet after Alexander Pushkin's death in 1837. Lermontov is considered the supreme poet of Russian literature alongside Pushkin and the greatest...

, the Romanov
Romanov
The House of Romanov was the second and last imperial dynasty to rule over Russia, reigning from 1613 until the February Revolution abolished the crown in 1917...

 Family and others. The Romanov Family established their residence (in Transcaucasia) on Golovin Street (Present-day Rustaveli Avenue).

Throughout the century, the political, economic and cultural role of Tbilisi with its ethnic, confessional and cultural diversity was significant not only for Georgia but for the whole Caucasus. Hence, Tbilisi took on a different look. It acquired different architectural monuments and the attributes of an international city, as well as its own urban folklore and language, and the specific Tbilisuri (literally, belonging to Tbilisi) culture.
In 1801, Tbilisi had 20,000 inhabitants: 74.3% Armenian, 21.5% Georgian. By 1897, there were 159,000 inhabitants: 38% Armenian, 26.3% Georgian and 24.7% Russian.

Independence


After the Russian Revolution of 1917
Russian Revolution of 1917
The Russian Revolution is the collective term for a series of revolutions in Russia in 1917, which destroyed the Tsarist autocracy and led to the creation of the Soviet Union. The Tsar was deposed and replaced by a provisional government in the first revolution of February 1917...

, the city served as a location of the Transcaucasus interim government which established, in the spring of 1918, the short-lived independent Transcaucasian Federation with the capital in Tbilisi. It was here, in the former Caucasus Vice royal Palace, where the independence of three Transcaucasian nations – Georgia, Armenia
Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

 and Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan , officially the Republic of Azerbaijan is the largest country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west, and Iran to...

 – was declared on May 26 to 28 1918. After this, Tbilisi functioned as the capital of the Democratic Republic of Georgia
Democratic Republic of Georgia
The Democratic Republic of Georgia , 1918–1921, was the first modern establishment of a Republic of Georgia.The DRG was created after the collapse of the Russian Empire that began with the Russian Revolution of 1917...

 until 25 February 1921. From 1918 to 1919 the city was also consecutively home to a German
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

 and British military headquarters.

Under the national government, Tbilisi turned into the first Caucasian University City after the Tbilisi State University
Tbilisi State University
Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University , better known as Tbilisi State University , is a university established on 8 February 1918 in Tbilisi, Georgia. TSU is the oldest university in the whole Caucasus region...

 was founded in 1918, a long-time dream of the Georgians banned by the Imperial Russian authorities for several decades. On 25 February 1921, the Bolshevist Russia
Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic
The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic , commonly referred to as Soviet Russia, Bolshevik Russia, or simply Russia, was the largest, most populous and economically developed republic in the former Soviet Union....

n 11th Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 invaded Tbilisi after bitter fighting at the outskirts of the city and declared Soviet rule.

Communist government


In 1921, the Democratic Republic of Georgia
Democratic Republic of Georgia
The Democratic Republic of Georgia , 1918–1921, was the first modern establishment of a Republic of Georgia.The DRG was created after the collapse of the Russian Empire that began with the Russian Revolution of 1917...

 was occupied
Red Army invasion of Georgia
The Red Army invasion of Georgia also known as the Soviet–Georgian War or the Soviet invasion of Georgia was a military campaign by the Soviet Russian Red Army against the Democratic Republic of Georgia aimed at overthrowing the Social-Democratic government and installing the Bolshevik regime...

 by the Soviet Bolshevik
Bolshevik
The Bolsheviks, originally also Bolshevists , derived from bol'shinstvo, "majority") were a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party which split apart from the Menshevik faction at the Second Party Congress in 1903....

 forces from Russia, and until 1991 Tbilisi functioned first as the capital city of the Transcaucasian SFSR
Transcaucasian SFSR
The Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic , also known as the Transcaucasian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, the Transcaucasian SFSR and the TSFSR for short, was a short-lived republic of the Soviet Union, lasting from 1922 to 1936...

 (which included Armenia
Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

, Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan , officially the Republic of Azerbaijan is the largest country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west, and Iran to...

, and Georgia), and later as the capital of the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic. During the Soviet rule, Tbilisi's population grew significantly, the city became more industrialised and came to be an important political, social, and cultural centre of the Soviet Union. In 1980 the city housed the first state-sanctioned rock festival
Tbilisi Rock Festival (1980)
The Spring Rhythms. Tbilisi-80 was a musical event held in Tbilisi, capital of the Georgian SSR, Soviet Union, from March 8 to March 16, 1980. It was the first official rock festival in the Soviet Union and is frequently considered the turning point in the history of Soviet and Russian rock...

 in the USSR.

Tbilisi witnessed mass anti-Russian demonstrations during 1956 in the March 9 Massacre
March 9 massacre in Tbilisi, 1956
The March 1956 demonstrations in Soviet Georgia were a reaction to Nikita Khrushchev's de-Stalinization policy, which shocked the younger Georgians raised on Stalinist ideology and wounded their national feelings...

, in protest against the anti-Stalin policies of Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev led the Soviet Union during part of the Cold War. He served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, and as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, from 1958 to 1964...

. Peaceful protests
1978 Georgian demonstrations
14 April 1978, demonstrations in Tbilisi, capital of the Georgian SSR, took place in response to an attempt by Soviet government to change the constitutional status of the indigenous Georgian language...

 occurred in 1978, and in 1989 the April 9 tragedy was a peaceful protest that turned violent.

After the break-up of the Soviet Union


Since the break-up of the Soviet Union, Tbilisi has experienced periods of significant instability and turmoil. After a brief civil war, which the city endured for two weeks from December 1991 to January 1992 (when pro-Gamsakhurdia
Zviad Gamsakhurdia
Zviad Gamsakhurdia was a dissident, scientist and writer, who became the first democratically elected President of the Republic of Georgia in the post-Soviet era...

 and Opposition forces clashed with each other), Tbilisi became the scene of frequent armed confrontations between various mafia
Russian Mafia
The Russian Mafia is a name applied to organized crime syndicates in Russia and Ukraine. The mafia in various countries take the name of the country, as for example the Ukrainian mafia....

 clans and illegal business entrepreneurs. Even during the Shevardnadze Era (1993–2003), crime and corruption became rampant at most levels of society. Many segments of society became impoverished because of unemployment caused by the crumbling economy. Average citizens of Tbilisi started to become increasingly disillusioned with the existing quality of life in the city (and in the nation in general). Mass protests took place in November 2003 after falsified parliamentary elections forced more than 100,000 people into the streets and concluded with the Rose Revolution
Rose Revolution
The "Revolution of Roses" was a change of power in Georgia in November 2003, which took place after having widespread protests over the disputed parliamentary elections...

. Since 2003, Tbilisi has experienced considerably more stability with decreasing crime rates, an improved economy and a real estate boom. During the 2008 South Ossetia war
2008 South Ossetia war
The 2008 South Ossetia War or Russo-Georgian War was an armed conflict in August 2008 between Georgia on one side, and Russia and separatist governments of South Ossetia and Abkhazia on the other....

 the Tbilisi area received multiple Russian air attacks.

After the war, several large-scale projects were started, including a streetcar system, a railway bypass and a relocation of the central station
Tbilisi central station
- Past and Present :The Tbilisi central station is the central railway station of Tbilisi with an adjacent shopping mall. The first central station in Tbilisi was built in 1872, with trains to the black sea port of Poti. In the 1940 the building was demolished and replaced with a building in the...

 and new urban highways.

Politics and administration



The status of Tbilisi, as the nation's capital, is defined by the Article 10 in the Constitution of Georgia
Constitution of Georgia (country)
The Constitution of Georgia is the supreme law of Georgia. It was approved by the Parliament of Georgia on August 24 1995. It entered into force on October 17...

 (1995) and the Law on Georgia's Capital – Tbilisi (February 20, 1998).

Tbilisi is governed by the Tbilisi Assembly (Sakrebulo) and the Tbilisi City Hall
Tbilisi City Hall
Tbilisi City Hall is a clock-towered edifice situated in the southern side of Freedom Square , Tbilisi, capital of Georgia...

 (Meria). The City Assembly is elected once every four years. The mayor is elected by the City Assembly. The Mayor of Tbilisi
Mayor of Tbilisi
The Mayor of Tbilisi is an elected politician in Tbilisi. Before 2005 the mayors used to be appointed by the central government. In 2006 first mayoral elections were held in the history of the Republic of Georgia...

 is Giorgi (Gigi) Ugulava and the Chairman of the Tbilisi City Assembly is Zaal Begashvili.

Administratively, the city is divided into raion
Raion
A raion is a type of administrative unit of several post-Soviet countries. The term, which is from French rayon 'honeycomb, department,' describes both a type of a subnational entity and a division of a city, and is commonly translated in English as "district"...

s (districts), which have their own units of central and local government with jurisdiction over a limited scope of affairs. This subdivision was established under Soviet rule in the 1930s, following the general subdivision of the Soviet Union. Since Georgia regained independence, the raion system was modified and reshuffled. According to the latest revision, Tbilisi raions include:
  • Old Tbilisi
    Old Tbilisi
    Old Tbilisi is an administrative district in Tbilisi, capital of Georgia. Although the term "Old Tbilisi" has long been used to denote a historical part of the city, it was only in 2007 that it became a distinct administrative entity to incorporate several historical neighborhoods formerly...

     (ძველი თბილისი)
  • Vake-Saburtalo (ვაკე-საბურთალო)
  • Didube-Chugureti (დიდუბე-ჩუღურეთი)
  • Gldani-Nadzaladevi (გლდანი-ნაძალადევი)
  • Isani-Samgori (ისანი-სამგორი)
  • Didgori (დიდგორი)

Most of the raions are named after respective historical neighbourhoods of the city. The citizens of Tbilisi widely recognise a system of the smaller non-formal historical neighbourhoods. Such neighbourhoods are several, however, constituting a kind of hierarchy, because most of them have lost their distinctive topographic limits. The natural first level of subdivision of the city is into the Right Bank and the Left Bank of the Mt'k'vari. The names of the oldest neighbourhoods go back to the early Middle Ages and sometimes pose a great linguistic interest. The newest whole-built developments bear chiefly residential marketing names.

In pre-Revolution Tiflis, the Georgian quarter was confined to the southeastern part of the city; Baedeker describes the layout succinctly:
Avlabari
Avlabari
Avlabari is a neighborhood of Old Tbilisi on the left bank of the Kura River. The 11th-13th century chronicles mention it as Isani, which is now one of the larger municipal regions of Tbilisi...

 is considered "the integral component of the so-called 'old Tbilisi'" and is currently the object of planning and cultural heritage preservation.

Location


Tbilisi is located in the South Caucasus
South Caucasus
The South Caucasus is a geopolitical region located on the border of Eastern Europe and Southwest Asia also referred to as Transcaucasia, or The Trans-Caucasus...

 at 41° 43' North Latitude and 44° 47' East Longitude. The city lies in Eastern Georgia
Eastern Georgia
Eastern Georgia commonly refers to the eastern part of the nation of Georgia, which in historic times included the kingdom of Iberia in the Caucasus. The present-day term refers to the territory of Georgia which lies to the east and south of the Likhi and Meskheti Ranges, but excludes the region...

 on both banks of the Mt'k'vari River
Kura River
Kura is a river, also known from the Greek as the Cyrus in the Caucasus Mountains. Starting in north-eastern Turkey, it flows through Turkey to Georgia, then to Azerbaijan, where it receives the Aras River as a right tributary, and enters the Caspian Sea...

. The elevation of the city ranges from 380–770 meters above sea level
Above mean sea level
The term above mean sea level refers to the elevation or altitude of any object, relative to the average sea level datum. AMSL is used extensively in radio by engineers to determine the coverage area a station will be able to reach...

 (1246–1968 ft) and has the shape of an amphitheatre surrounded by mountains on three sides. To the north, Tbilisi is bounded by the Saguramo Range
Saguramo Range
Saguramo Range is an east-west mountain range in Eastern Georgia located immediately to the north of the city of Tbilisi. The highest mountain of the range is Mt. Saguramo at an elevation of 1,392 meters above sea level. The Saguramo Range forms the western extension of the Ialno Range...

, to the east and south-east by the Iori Plain, to the south and west by various endings (sub-ranges) of the Trialeti Range
Trialeti Range
Trialeti Range is an east-west mountain range of the Lesser Caucasus Mountains in the central part of Georgia. The eastern edge of the Range runs along the western border of Tbilisi, while the western edge lies along River Mtkvari to the southwest of Borjomi. The length of the Trialeti Range is...

.

The relief of Tbilisi is complex. The part of the city which lies on the left bank of the Mt'k'vari (Kura
Kura River
Kura is a river, also known from the Greek as the Cyrus in the Caucasus Mountains. Starting in north-eastern Turkey, it flows through Turkey to Georgia, then to Azerbaijan, where it receives the Aras River as a right tributary, and enters the Caspian Sea...

) River extends for more than 30 km (18.6 mi) from the Avchala
Avchala
Avchala is a northern suburb of Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, part of the city's Gldani-Nadzaladevi district. It had formerly been a village with a long history behind until being incorporated within Tbilisi’s boundaries in 1962....

 District to River Lochini. The part of the city which lies on the right side of the Mt'k'vari River on the other hand is built along the foothills of the Trialeti Range
Trialeti Range
Trialeti Range is an east-west mountain range of the Lesser Caucasus Mountains in the central part of Georgia. The eastern edge of the Range runs along the western border of Tbilisi, while the western edge lies along River Mtkvari to the southwest of Borjomi. The length of the Trialeti Range is...

, the slopes of which in many cases descend all the way to the edges of the river Mt'k'vari. The mountains, therefore, are a significant barrier to urban development on the right bank of the Mt'k'vari River. This type of a geographic environment creates pockets of very densely developed areas while other parts of the city are left undeveloped due to the complex topographic relief.

To the north of the city, there is a large reservoir (commonly known as the Tbilisi Sea) fed by irrigation canals.

Climate



The climate of Tbilisi can be classified as moderately humid subtropical (Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

 Cfa). The city's climate is influenced both by dry (Central Asian/Siberian) air masses from the east and humid subtropical (Atlantic/Black Sea) air masses from the west. Tbilisi experiences relatively cold winters and hot summers. Because the city is bounded on most sides by mountain ranges, the close proximity to large bodies of water (Black and Caspian Seas) and the fact that the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range (further to the north) blocks the intrusion of cold air masses from Russia, Tbilisi has a relatively mild micro-climate compared to other cities that possess a similar continental climate along the same latitudes.

The average annual temperature in Tbilisi is 12.7 °C (54.9 °F). January is the coldest month with an average temperature of 0.9 °C (33.6 °F). July is the hottest month with an average temperature of 24.4 °C (75.9 °F). The absolute minimum recorded temperature is -23 °C and the absolute maximum is 40 °C (104 °F). Average annual precipitation is 568 mm (22.4 inches). May is the wettest month (90 mm) while January is the driest (20 mm). Snow falls on average 15–25 days per year. The surrounding mountains often trap the clouds within and around the city, mainly during the Spring and Autumn months, resulting in prolonged rainy and/or cloudy weather. Northwesterly winds dominate in most parts of Tbilisi throughout the year. Southeasterly winds are common as well.

Ethnic groups

Main ethnic groups of Tbilisi
Year TOTAL Georgians
Georgians
The Georgians are an ethnic group that have originated in Georgia, where they constitute a majority of the population. Large Georgian communities are also present throughout Russia, European Union, United States, and South America....

% Armenians
Armenians
Armenian people or Armenians are a nation and ethnic group native to the Armenian Highland.The largest concentration is in Armenia having a nearly-homogeneous population with 97.9% or 3,145,354 being ethnic Armenian....

% Russians
Russians
The Russian people are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Russia, speaking the Russian language and primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries....

%
1817 15,000 2,800 18.9% 11,200 75.6% 400 2.1%
1864/65 winter 60,085 14,878 24.8% 28,404 47.3% 12,462 20.7%
1864/65 summer 71,051 14,787 20.8% 31,180 43.9% 12,142 17.1%
1876 91,700 22,200 24.1% 37,600 41% 19,600 21.3%
1897 159,590 47,133 29.5% 41,151 36.4% 44,823 28.1%
1899 172,600 44,900 26% 63,000 36.4% 35,500 21.1%
1926 294,044 112,014 38.1% 100,148 34.1% 45,937 15.6%
1939 519,220 228,394 44% 137,331 26.4% 93,337 18%
1959 694,664 336,257 48.4% 149,258 21.5% 125,674 18.1%
1970 889,020 511,379 57.5% 150,205 16.9% 124,316 4%
1979 1,052,734 653,242 62.1% 152,767 14.5% 129,122 12.3%
2002 1,081,679 910,712 84.2% 82,586 7.6% 32,580 3%


Tbilisi is a multicultural city. The city is home to more than 100 different ethnic groups. Around 89% of the population is ethnically Georgian
Georgians
The Georgians are an ethnic group that have originated in Georgia, where they constitute a majority of the population. Large Georgian communities are also present throughout Russia, European Union, United States, and South America....

, with significant populations of other ethnic groups such as Armenians
Armenians in Tbilisi
Armenians in Tbilisi are ethnic Armenians living within the city of Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. Armenians are the second largest ethnic minority in Tbilisi at 7.6% of the population. Armenians formed the majority in the city until the early 20th century...

, Russians
Russians
The Russian people are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Russia, speaking the Russian language and primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries....

, and Azeris. Along with the above mentioned groups, Tbilisi is also home to various other ethnic groups including Ossetians
Ossetians
The Ossetians are an Iranic ethnic group of the Caucasus Mountains, eponymous of the region known as Ossetia.They speak Ossetic, an Iranian language of the Eastern branch, with most also fluent in Russian as a second language....

, Abkhazians, Ukrainians
Ukrainians
Ukrainians are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Ukraine, which is the sixth-largest nation in Europe. The Constitution of Ukraine applies the term 'Ukrainians' to all its citizens...

, Greeks
Greeks
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

, Germans
Germans
The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages....

, Jews
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

, Estonians
Estonians
Estonians are a Finnic people closely related to the Finns and inhabiting, primarily, the country of Estonia. They speak a Finnic language known as Estonian...

, Kurds, Assyrians
Assyrian people
The Assyrian people are a distinct ethnic group whose origins lie in ancient Mesopotamia...

, and others.

Religion


More than 95% of the residents of Tbilisi practise various forms of Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 (the most predominant of which is the Georgian Orthodox Church). The Russian Orthodox Church
Russian Orthodox Church
The Russian Orthodox Church or, alternatively, the Moscow Patriarchate The ROC is often said to be the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches in the world; including all the autocephalous churches under its umbrella, its adherents number over 150 million worldwide—about half of the 300 million...

, which is in Full communion
Full communion
In Christian ecclesiology, full communion is a relationship between church organizations or groups that mutually recognize their sharing the essential doctrines....

 with the Georgian, and the Armenian Apostolic Church
Armenian Apostolic Church
The Armenian Apostolic Church is the world's oldest National Church, is part of Oriental Orthodoxy, and is one of the most ancient Christian communities. Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity as its official religion in 301 AD, in establishing this church...

 have significant following within the city as well. A large minority of the population (around 4%) practises Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 (mainly Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam is the largest branch of Islam. Sunni Muslims are referred to in Arabic as ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah wa āl-Ǧamāʿah or ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah for short; in English, they are known as Sunni Muslims, Sunnis or Sunnites....

). Judaism
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

 is also common, but to a lesser extent (about 2% of Tbilisi's population practises Judaism
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

). Tbilisi has been historically known for religious tolerance. This is especially evident in the city's Old Town, where a mosque
Mosque
A mosque is a place of worship for followers of Islam. The word is likely to have entered the English language through French , from Portuguese , from Spanish , and from Berber , ultimately originating in — . The Arabic word masjid literally means a place of prostration...

, synagogue
Synagogue
A synagogue is a Jewish house of prayer. This use of the Greek term synagogue originates in the Septuagint where it sometimes translates the Hebrew word for assembly, kahal...

, and Eastern and Oriental Orthodox churches
Eastern Christianity
Eastern Christianity comprises the Christian traditions and churches that developed in the Balkans, Eastern Europe, Asia Minor, the Middle East, Northeastern Africa, India and parts of the Far East over several centuries of religious antiquity. The term is generally used in Western Christianity to...

 can all be found within less than 500 metres (1,640.4 ft) from each other.

Sports


Tbilisi has a fairly rich sports history. Like many other towns of the Near East
Near East
The Near East is a geographical term that covers different countries for geographers, archeologists, and historians, on the one hand, and for political scientists, economists, and journalists, on the other...

 with strong Asian cultural influences, Tbilisi historically had a special area of town that was designated for sports competitions. The present-day districts of Saburtalo and Didube
Didube
Didube could refer to:* The Didube Pantheon* The station Didube...

were the most common areas where such competitions were held. Up until the beginning of the 19th century, sports such as horse-riding (polo
Polo
Polo is a team sport played on horseback in which the objective is to score goals against an opposing team. Sometimes called, "The Sport of Kings", it was highly popularized by the British. Players score by driving a small white plastic or wooden ball into the opposing team's goal using a...

 in particular), wrestling
Wrestling
Wrestling is a form of grappling type techniques such as clinch fighting, throws and takedowns, joint locks, pins and other grappling holds. A wrestling bout is a physical competition, between two competitors or sparring partners, who attempt to gain and maintain a superior position...

, boxing
Boxing
Boxing, also called pugilism, is a combat sport in which two people fight each other using their fists. Boxing is supervised by a referee over a series of between one to three minute intervals called rounds...

, and marksmanship were the most popular city sports. As Tbilisi started to develop socially and economically and integrate more with the West, new sports from Europe were introduced. The Soviet period brought an increased popularization of sports that were common in Europe and to a certain extent, the United States. At the same time, Tbilisi developed the necessary sports infrastructure for various professional sports. By 1978, the city had around 250 large and small sports facilities, including among others, four indoor and six outdoor Olympic sized pools, 185 basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

 courts and halls, 192 volleyball
Volleyball
Volleyball is a team sport in which two teams of six players are separated by a net. Each team tries to score points by grounding a ball on the other team's court under organized rules.The complete rules are extensive...

 facilities, 82 handball
Team handball
Handball is a team sport in which two teams of seven players each pass a ball to throw it into the goal of the other team...

 arenas, 19 tennis
Tennis
Tennis is a sport usually played between two players or between two teams of two players each . Each player uses a racket that is strung to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over a net into the opponent's court. Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society at all...

 courts, 31 football (soccer)
Football (soccer)
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball...

 fields, and five stadiums. At present, the largest stadium in Tbilisi is the Boris Paichadze Stadium
Boris Paichadze Stadium
The Boris Paichadze National Stadium , also known as the Dinamo Stadium, is a football stadium in Tbilisi, Georgia. It is the home stadium of FC Dinamo Tbilisi. The stadium was built in 1976 by Georgian architect Gia Kurdiani. Before then Dinamo's stadium was a smaller ground with a maximum...

 (55,000 seats) and the second largest is the Mikheil Meskhi Stadium
Mikheil Meskhi Stadium
The Mikheil Meskhi Stadium, also known as the Lokomotivi Stadium, is a multi-purpose stadium in Tbilisi, Georgia named after the famous Georgian international footballer. It is used mostly for football matches, and occasionally for rugby union matches. The stadium was renovated in 2001 and has a...

 (24,680 seats). The Sports Palace which usually hosts basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

 games with high attendance and tennis tournaments can seat up to approximately 11,000 people.

Vere Basketball Hall is a smaller indoor sports arena with a 2,500 seating capacity
Seating capacity
Seating capacity refers to the number of people who can be seated in a specific space, both in terms of the physical space available, and in terms of limitations set by law. Seating capacity can be used in the description of anything ranging from an automobile that seats two to a stadium that seats...

.

The most popular sports in Tbilisi today are football
Football (soccer)
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball...

, rugby union
Rugby union
Rugby union, often simply referred to as rugby, is a full contact team sport which originated in England in the early 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand...

, basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

, and wrestling
Wrestling
Wrestling is a form of grappling type techniques such as clinch fighting, throws and takedowns, joint locks, pins and other grappling holds. A wrestling bout is a physical competition, between two competitors or sparring partners, who attempt to gain and maintain a superior position...

. Also popular sports include tennis, swimming and water polo. There are several professional football and rugby teams as well as wrestling clubs. U.S. National Basketball Association
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America. It consists of thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada...

 players Zaza Pachulia
Zaza Pachulia
Zaza Pachulia , is a Georgian professional basketball player for Galatasaray of the Turkish Basketball League. He is also under contract with the Atlanta Hawks of the NBA, but is playing overseas because of the 2011 NBA lockout.-Early athletic career:...

 and Nikoloz Tskitishvili
Nikoloz Tskitishvili
Nikoloz Tskitishvili is a Georgian professional basketball player. He is a 7'0", 245 lb. forward-center, who was selected 5th overall by the Denver Nuggets in the 2002 NBA Draft.-Pro career:...

 are Tbilisi natives. Outside of professional sports, the city has a number of inter-collegiate and amateur sports teams and clubs.

Tbilisi's signature football team, Dinamo Tbilisi
FC Dinamo Tbilisi
FC Dinamo Tbilisi is a Georgian football team, based in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia.Dinamo Tbilisi was one of the most prominent clubs in Soviet football and a major contender in the Soviet Top League almost immediately after it was established in 1936...

, has not won a major European championship since 1981, when it won the European Cup Winners' Cup and became the easternmost team in Europe to achieve the feat. The basketball club Dinamo Tbilisi won the Euroleague
Euroleague
Euroleague Basketball, commonly known as the Euroleague, is the highest level tier and most important professional club basketball competition in Europe, with teams from up to 18 different countries, members of FIBA Europe. For sponsorship reasons, for five seasons starting with 2010–2011, it is...

 in 1962
FIBA European Champions Cup 1961-62
The 1961-62 season and fifth of the FIBA European Champions Cup was won by Dinamo Tbilisi after beating Real Madrid in the first ever single game final in the result of 90-83, in Geneva, Switzerland....

 but also never repeated any such feat.
Club Sport Stadium
Lelo
Lelo
Lelo is a Georgian language word which can mean either:* Lelo Burti, literally "field ball", a Georgian sport, somewhat similar to rugby.* A try in the game of rugby proper.* A type of Georgian wine...

Rugby Union
Rugby union
Rugby union, often simply referred to as rugby, is a full contact team sport which originated in England in the early 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand...

Lelo Sport Centre
Wissol Kochebi Rugby Union
Rugby union
Rugby union, often simply referred to as rugby, is a full contact team sport which originated in England in the early 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand...

Wissol Sport Centre
Lokomotivi Rugby Union
Rugby union
Rugby union, often simply referred to as rugby, is a full contact team sport which originated in England in the early 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand...

Lokomotivi Sport Centre
FC Dinamo Tbilisi
FC Dinamo Tbilisi
FC Dinamo Tbilisi is a Georgian football team, based in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia.Dinamo Tbilisi was one of the most prominent clubs in Soviet football and a major contender in the Soviet Top League almost immediately after it was established in 1936...

Football Boris Paichadze Stadium
Boris Paichadze Stadium
The Boris Paichadze National Stadium , also known as the Dinamo Stadium, is a football stadium in Tbilisi, Georgia. It is the home stadium of FC Dinamo Tbilisi. The stadium was built in 1976 by Georgian architect Gia Kurdiani. Before then Dinamo's stadium was a smaller ground with a maximum...

FC Lokomotivi Tbilisi
FC Lokomotivi Tbilisi
FC Lokomotivi Tbilisi is a Georgian football club from the capital, Tbilisi. During the existence of the USSR the club was a part of the Lokomotiv Voluntary Sports Society. The club has strong connections with the Georgian Railways.-History:*1936: Founded....

Football Mikheil Meskhi Stadium
Mikheil Meskhi Stadium
The Mikheil Meskhi Stadium, also known as the Lokomotivi Stadium, is a multi-purpose stadium in Tbilisi, Georgia named after the famous Georgian international footballer. It is used mostly for football matches, and occasionally for rugby union matches. The stadium was renovated in 2001 and has a...

BC Dinamo Tbilisi
BC Dinamo Tbilisi
BC Dinamo Tbilisi is the professional basketball team from Tbilisi, Georgia. The club competes in the Georgian Super Liga. Coach: Davit Tortladze.-History:...

Basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

Vere Basketball Hall
Tbilisi State University Basketball Team Basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

Vere Basketball Hall
Georgian State Agrarian University Basketball Team Basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

Vere Basketball Hall
BC STD Tbilisi Basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

Vere Basketball Hall
BC Makabi Basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

Vere Basketball Hall

Media


The large majority of Georgia's media companies (including television, newspaper and radio) are headquartered in Tbilisi. The city is home to the popular Rustavi 2
Rustavi 2
Rustavi 2 Broadcasting Company , better known as Rustavi 2, is the most successful private television broadcasting company in Georgia. The Rustavi, based in Tbilisi, was founded in 1994 in the town of Rustavi. It is a privately owned free to air terrestrial broadcaster that currently reaches around...

 television channel which gained considerable fame after its coverage of the Rose Revolution
Rose Revolution
The "Revolution of Roses" was a change of power in Georgia in November 2003, which took place after having widespread protests over the disputed parliamentary elections...

. In addition to Rustavi 2, the remaining three out of the four major public television channels of Georgia (including Imedi TV
Imedi Media Holding
Imedi Media Holding is a private television and Radio Company in Georgia. The stations were formerly owned in part by the late Georgian media tycoon Badri Patarkatsishvili, and Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation.-History:...

 Mze and the Public Broadcasting Channel) are based in the city as well. Tbilisi's television market has experienced notable changes since the second half of 2005 when Rustavi 2 successfully bought out the Mze TV Company and Rupert Murdoch
Rupert Murdoch
Keith Rupert Murdoch, AC, KSG is an Australian-American business magnate. He is the founder and Chairman and CEO of , the world's second-largest media conglomerate....

's News Corporation
News Corporation
News Corporation or News Corp. is an American multinational media conglomerate. It is the world's second-largest media conglomerate as of 2011 in terms of revenue, and the world's third largest in entertainment as of 2009, although the BBC remains the world's largest broadcaster...

 became a shareholder of Imedi Media Holding at the beginning of 2006. By taking over the Imedi Media Holding Group, News Corporation entered the Post-Soviet media market for the first time in the company's history.

Tbilisi has a number of newspaper publishing houses. Some of the most noteworthy newspapers include the daily 24 Saati ("24 Hours"), Rezonansi ("Resonance"), Alia, the English-language daily The Messenger, weekly FINANCIAL, Georgia Today, and the English-language weekly The Georgian Times. Out of the city's radio stations Imedi Radio (105.9 FM
FM broadcasting
FM broadcasting is a broadcasting technology pioneered by Edwin Howard Armstrong which uses frequency modulation to provide high-fidelity sound over broadcast radio. The term "FM band" describes the "frequency band in which FM is used for broadcasting"...

), Fortuna, and Radio 105 are some of the more influential competitors with large national audiences.

Architecture



The architecture in the city is a mixture of local (Georgian), with strong influences of Byzantine
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

, European/Russian (neo-classical), and Middle Eastern architectural styles. The oldest parts of town, including the Abanot-Ubani, Avlabari, and to a certain extent the Sololaki districts clearly have a traditional Georgian architectural look with Middle Eastern influences. The areas of Tbilisi which were built up mainly in the 19th century (Rustaveli Avenue, Vera district, etc.) have a contrasting European/Russian (neoclassical
Neoclassical architecture
Neoclassical architecture was an architectural style produced by the neoclassical movement that began in the mid-18th century, manifested both in its details as a reaction against the Rococo style of naturalistic ornament, and in its architectural formulas as an outgrowth of some classicizing...

) look.
The turn of the 20th century was marked with an architectural revival, notably, with an art nouveau
Art Nouveau
Art Nouveau is an international philosophy and style of art, architecture and applied art—especially the decorative arts—that were most popular during 1890–1910. The name "Art Nouveau" is French for "new art"...

 style. With the establishment of the communist government the style was decreed as bourgeois and largely neglected. Architecture of the later 20th century can mainly be identified with the type of building style that was common during the Soviet Era throughout the Soviet Union.

This included building large, concrete apartment blocks as well as social, cultural, and office facilities, like for example the Tbilisi Roads Ministry Building
Tbilisi Roads Ministry Building
The Georgian Ministry of Highway Construction is a building in Tbilisi, Georgia. It was designed by architects George Chakhava and Zurab Jalaghania for the Ministry of Highway Construction of Georgian SSR and finished in 1975. The engineer was Temur Tkhilava. Today it is a property of the Bank of...

. Since the break-up of the Soviet Union, Tbilisi has been the site of uncontrolled/unsanctioned building projects. Since 2004, the city government has taken new initiatives to curb uncontrolled construction projects with mixed success. In the near future, Tbilisi will have three skyscraper
Skyscraper
A skyscraper is a tall, continuously habitable building of many stories, often designed for office and commercial use. There is no official definition or height above which a building may be classified as a skyscraper...

 complexes. The Axis Towers, Redix Chavchavadze 64, and the new Ajara Hotel/Business Complex, which is currently under construction will be the tallest buildings/skyscrapers in the Caucasus
Caucasus
The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...

.

Main sights


Tbilisi has a number of important landmarks and sightseeing locations. The Parliament
Parliament of Georgia
Parliament of Georgia is the supreme legislature of Georgia. It is unicameral and has 150 members, known as deputies, from which 75 members are proportional representatives and 75 are elected through single-member district plurality system, representing their constituencies...

 and the government (State Chancellery) buildings of Georgia, as well as the Supreme Court of Georgia, are all located in Tbilisi. The city also has important cultural landmarks such as the Tbilisi State Conservatoire, Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre
Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre
Tbilisi State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre is situated on Rustaveli Avenue, in the center of Tbilisi, Georgia. It is the oldest opera house in Georgia...

, Shota Rustaveli State Academic Theatre
Rustaveli State Academic Theater
Rustaveli State Academic Theater also known as Rustaveli National Theatre is located on Rustaveli Avenue, in the center of Tbilisi, Georgia...

, Marjanishvili State Academic Theatre
Marjanishvili Theater
Kote Marjanishvili State Drama Theatre is the second state theatre in Tbilisi, Georgia. Originally founded in Kutaisi in 1928 by Kote Marjanishvili, the theatre moved to Tbilisi in 1930 to Brothers Zubalashvili Public House, the building it occupies up to date.The roots of Georgian theatre date...

, the Sameba Cathedral, the Vorontsov
Vorontsov
Vorontsov, also Woronzow, Woroncow is a celebrated Russian family, which attained the dignity of Counts of the Holy Roman Empire in 1744 and Serene Princes of the Russian Empire in 1852....

's Palace (also known as the Children's Palace today), many state museums, the National Public Library of the Parliament of Georgia
National Parliamentary Library of Georgia
The National Parliamentary Library of Georgia is a governmental organization under the Parliament of Georgia. It is the main book depository of Georgia, as well as the most important cultural, educational, scientific, informational and methodological centre....

, the National Bank of Georgia and other important institutions. During the Soviet times, Tbilisi continuously ranked in the top 4 cities in the Soviet Union for the number of museums.

Out of the city's historic landmarks, the most notable locations are the Narikala fortress (4th–17th century), Anchiskhati Church
Anchiskhati Church
The Anchiskhati Basilica of St Mary is the oldest surviving church in Tbilisi, Georgia. It belongs to the Georgian Orthodox Church and dates from the sixth century.-History:...

 (6th century, built up in the 16th century), Sioni Cathedral
Tbilisi Sioni Cathedral
The "Sioni" Cathedral of the Dormition is a Georgian Orthodox cathedral in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. Following a medieval Georgian tradition of naming churches after particular places in the Holy Land, the Sioni Cathedral bears the name of Mount Zion at Jerusalem...

 (8th century, later rebuilt), Church of Metekhi (13th century), etc.

Transport


The Tbilisi Metro
Tbilisi Metro
The Tbilisi Metro is a rapid transit Metro system in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. Opened in 1966 it became the fourth Metro system in the former Soviet Union. Like most ex-Soviet Metros, most of the stations are very deep and vividly decorated....

 serves the city with rapid transit
Rapid transit
A rapid transit, underground, subway, elevated railway, metro or metropolitan railway system is an electric passenger railway in an urban area with a high capacity and frequency, and grade separation from other traffic. Rapid transit systems are typically located either in underground tunnels or on...

 subway services. It was the Soviet Union's fourth metro system. Construction began in 1952, and was finished in 1966. The system operates two lines, the Akhmeteli-Varketili Line and the Saburtalo Line
Saburtalo Line
The Saburtalo Line is a line of the Tbilisi Metro in Georgia. The line was first opened in 1979 and has since extended to western residential districts of the city.-History:-Name changes:-Transfers:-Rolling stock:...

. It has 22 stations. and 186 metro cars. Most stations, like those on other Soviet-built metro systems, are extravagantly decorated. Trains run from 6:00 am to midnight. Due to the uneven ground, the rail lines run above ground level in some areas. Two of the stations are above ground.

The Tbilisi Metro underwent a campaign of modernization. Stations were reconstructed, and trains and facilities were modernized. In 2005, President Mikheil Saakashvili
Mikheil Saakashvili
Mikheil Saakashvili is a Georgian politician, the third and current President of Georgia and leader of the United National Movement Party.Involved in the national politics since 1995, Saakashvili became president on 25 January 2004 after President Eduard Shevardnadze resigned in a November 2003...

 charged Director General Zurab Kikalishvili with bringing the station up to European standards by 2007. In 2006, the city's budget allocated 16 million Lari
Georgian lari
The lari is the currency of Georgia. It is divided into 100 tetri. The name lari is an old Georgian word denoting a hoard, property, while tetri is an old Georgian monetary term used from the 13th century....

 for the project. A third line is being planned, which will encompass the Vake District. The three lines will form a triangle, and intersect in the city center.

Tbilisi had a tram network, since 1883 starting from horse driven trams and from 25 December 1904 electric tramway, When Soviet Union demolished electric transport went to a degradation state within the years and finally the only tram line left was closed on 4 December 2006 together with 2 trolleybus lines which were left. There are plans to construct a modern tram network.

The most dominant form of transportation is the marshrutka
Marshrutka
Marshrutka , from marshrutnoye taksi is a share taxi in the CIS countries, the Baltic states, and Bulgaria. Marshrutnoye taksi literally means routed taxicab...

. An elaborate marshrutka system has grown in Tbilisi over the recent years. In addition to the city, several lines also serve the surrounding countryside of Tbilisi. Throughout the city a fixed price is paid regardless of the distance (50 tetri
Tetri
Tetri is a fractional currency used in the country of Georgia. It was put into circulation in 1995.The name tetri was adopted from the term describing golden, silver or copper coins known in ancient and medieval Georgia....

 in 2011). For longer trips outside the city, higher fares are common. There are no predefined stops for the marshrutka lines, they are hailed from the streets like taxis and each passenger can exit whenever he likes.

Economy



Georgian Airways
Georgian Airways
Georgian Airways is the national airline of Georgia based in the capital, Tbilisi. It is a privately owned airline operating services from Georgia to destinations mainly in Europe and Western Asia. It is based at the Tbilisi International Airport....

 has its head office in Tbilisi.

Education



Tbilisi is home to several major institutions of higher education: The biggest Georgian university is Tbilisi State University
Tbilisi State University
Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University , better known as Tbilisi State University , is a university established on 8 February 1918 in Tbilisi, Georgia. TSU is the oldest university in the whole Caucasus region...

 which was established on 8 February 1918. TSU is the oldest university in the whole Caucasus region. Over 35,000 students are enrolled and the total number of faculty and staff (collaborators) is approximately 5,000. Tbilisi is also home to the largest medical university in Caucasus region – Tbilisi State Medical University
Tbilisi State Medical University
Tbilisi State Medical University is a leading medical eniversity in Caucasus Region. TSMU was founded as Tbilisi Medical Institute in 1918 and became the Faculty of Medicine within the Tbilisi State University in 1930. Tbilisi State Medical Institute was renamed to Medical University in 1992...

, which was founded as Tbilisi Medical Institute in 1918 and became the Faculty of Medicine within the Tbilisi State University (TSU) in 1930. Tbilisi State Medical Institute has been renamed to Medical University in 1992. Since that University operates as an independent educational institution. TSMU became one of the high-ranking state-supported institutions of higher education in the whole Caucasus region. Currently there are almost 5000 undergraduate and 203 postgraduate students at the University of whom 10% come from foreign countries. Georgia's main and largest technical university named – Georgian Technical University
Georgian Technical University
Georgian Technical University – GTU , now Technical University of Georgia is main and largest technical university of Georgia, it is located in the capital city of Tbilisi.- History :...

 is also located in Tbilisi.Georgian Technical University was founded in 1922 as a polytechnic faculty of the Tbilisi State University. The first lecture in the walls of this establishment was read by the world famous Georgian mathematician Professor Andria Razmadze.It achieved University status by 1990. The two most popular private higher educational institution in Georgia Caucasus University
Caucasus University
Caucasus University is a privately held university which is located in Georgia, South Caucasus region. Caucasus University's mission is to stimulate, encourage and facilitate up-to-date, worldwide accepted, innovative initiatives in teaching and research...

 and Free University of Tbilisi
Free University of Tbilisi
The Free University of Tbilisi is a university established in 2007 via the merger of ESM Tbilisi and the Tbilisi Institute of Asia and Africa....

 are also located in Tbilisi. Caucasus University was established in 2004 as an expansion of the Caucasus School of Business (CSB) (established in 1998) by a consortium consisting of Tbilisi State University and Georgian Technical University in partnership with Georgia State University (Atlanta, USA). Free University of Tbilisi was established in 2007 through the merger of two higher education schools – European School of Management (ESM-Tbilisi) and Tbilisi Institute of Asia and Africa (TIAA). Today Free University comprises three schools – Business School (ESM), Institute of Asia and Africa and Law School delivering academic programs at undergraduate, graduate and doctorate levels. In addition, Free University conducts a wide array of short-term courses, runs several research centers and summer school programs.

Higher educational institutions in Tbilisi:
  • Tbilisi State University
    Tbilisi State University
    Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University , better known as Tbilisi State University , is a university established on 8 February 1918 in Tbilisi, Georgia. TSU is the oldest university in the whole Caucasus region...

  • Georgian Technical University
    Georgian Technical University
    Georgian Technical University – GTU , now Technical University of Georgia is main and largest technical university of Georgia, it is located in the capital city of Tbilisi.- History :...

  • Ilia Chavchavadze State University
  • Tbilisi State Conservatory
    Tbilisi State Conservatory
    Tbilisi State Conservatoire is the State Conservatoire of Georgia, located in the capital Tbilisi.-History:The Tbilisi Conservatoire was founded on 1 May 1917. It was formally recognised by the Russian Musical Society as a conservatoire later that year. A rival conservatoire was also founded in...

  • Tbilisi State Medical University
    Tbilisi State Medical University
    Tbilisi State Medical University is a leading medical eniversity in Caucasus Region. TSMU was founded as Tbilisi Medical Institute in 1918 and became the Faculty of Medicine within the Tbilisi State University in 1930. Tbilisi State Medical Institute was renamed to Medical University in 1992...

  • Caucasus University
    Caucasus University
    Caucasus University is a privately held university which is located in Georgia, South Caucasus region. Caucasus University's mission is to stimulate, encourage and facilitate up-to-date, worldwide accepted, innovative initiatives in teaching and research...

  • Free University of Tbilisi
    Free University of Tbilisi
    The Free University of Tbilisi is a university established in 2007 via the merger of ESM Tbilisi and the Tbilisi Institute of Asia and Africa....

  • Grigol Robakidze University – Alma Mater
  • Georgian American University
  • International Black Sea University
    International Black Sea University
    The International Black Sea University was established in 1995 in Tbilisi, Georgia.Its mission statement mentions the goal of improvement of current educational cooperation between the Georgia and the Republic of Turkey. It accepts prospective students from Turkey according to the Turkish Öğrenci...

  • Georgian Institute of Public Affairs
  • Georgian Agrarian University


Twin towns and sister cities


Tbilisi is twinned
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

 with:
Saarbrücken
Saarbrücken
Saarbrücken is the capital of the state of Saarland in Germany. The city is situated at the heart of a metropolitan area that borders on the west on Dillingen and to the north-east on Neunkirchen, where most of the people of the Saarland live....

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 (since 1975) Nantes
Nantes
Nantes is a city in western France, located on the Loire River, from the Atlantic coast. The city is the 6th largest in France, while its metropolitan area ranks 8th with over 800,000 inhabitants....

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 (since 1979) Ljubljana
Ljubljana
Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia and its largest city. It is the centre of the City Municipality of Ljubljana. It is located in the centre of the country in the Ljubljana Basin, and is a mid-sized city of some 270,000 inhabitants...

, Slovenia
Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

 (since 1979) Innsbruck
Innsbruck
- Main sights :- Buildings :*Golden Roof*Kaiserliche Hofburg *Hofkirche with the cenotaph of Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor*Altes Landhaus...

, Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

 (since 1982) Yerevan
Yerevan
Yerevan is the capital and largest city of Armenia and one of the world's oldest continuously-inhabited cities. Situated along the Hrazdan River, Yerevan is the administrative, cultural, and industrial center of the country...

, Armenia
Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

 (since 1996) Atlanta, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 (since 1987) Palermo
Palermo
Palermo is a city in Southern Italy, the capital of both the autonomous region of Sicily and the Province of Palermo. The city is noted for its history, culture, architecture and gastronomy, playing an important role throughout much of its existence; it is over 2,700 years old...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 (since 1987) Bristol
Bristol
Bristol is a city, unitary authority area and ceremonial county in South West England, with an estimated population of 433,100 for the unitary authority in 2009, and a surrounding Larger Urban Zone with an estimated 1,070,000 residents in 2007...

, United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 (since 1988)
Bilbao
Bilbao
Bilbao ) is a Spanish municipality, capital of the province of Biscay, in the autonomous community of the Basque Country. With a population of 353,187 , it is the largest city of its autonomous community and the tenth largest in Spain...

, Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 (since 1989) Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 (since 1997) Ankara
Ankara
Ankara is the capital of Turkey and the country's second largest city after Istanbul. The city has a mean elevation of , and as of 2010 the metropolitan area in the entire Ankara Province had a population of 4.4 million....

, Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 (since 1998) Kiev
Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

, Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 (since 1999) Riga
Riga
Riga is the capital and largest city of Latvia. With 702,891 inhabitants Riga is the largest city of the Baltic states, one of the largest cities in Northern Europe and home to more than one third of Latvia's population. The city is an important seaport and a major industrial, commercial,...

, Latvia
Latvia
Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...

 (since 2004) Astana
Astana
Astana , formerly known as Akmola , Tselinograd and Akmolinsk , is the capital and second largest city of Kazakhstan, with an officially estimated population of 708,794 as of 1 August 2010...

, Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan , officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world, it is also the world's largest landlocked country; its territory of is greater than Western Europe...

 (since 2005) Chișinău
Chisinau
Chișinău is the capital and largest municipality of Moldova. It is also its main industrial and commercial centre and is located in the middle of the country, on the river Bîc...

, Moldova
Moldova
Moldova , officially the Republic of Moldova is a landlocked state in Eastern Europe, located between Romania to the West and Ukraine to the North, East and South. It declared itself an independent state with the same boundaries as the preceding Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1991, as part...

 (since 2011)

See also


  • Abo Tbileli, the patron saint
    Patron saint
    A patron saint is a saint who is regarded as the intercessor and advocate in heaven of a nation, place, craft, activity, class, clan, family, or person...

     of Tbilisi
  • List of Famous Tbilisians
  • Tbilisi International Airport
    Tbilisi International Airport
    Tbilisi International Airport is the main international airport in Georgia, located southeast of the capital Tbilisi.-Overview:In February 2007, the reconstruction project was finished...

  • Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline
    Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline
    The Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan pipeline is a long crude oil pipeline from the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli oil field in the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. It connects Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan; Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia; and Ceyhan, a port on the south-eastern Mediterranean coast of Turkey,...

  • Georgia Tbilisi TV Broadcasting Tower
  • Tbilisi Botanical Garden
    Tbilisi Botanical Garden
    Tbilisi Botanical Garden Formerly "Royal garden" is located in Tbilisi, capital of Georgia, and lie in the Tsavkisis-Tskali Gorge on the southern foothills of the Sololaki Range . It occupies the area of 161 hectares and possesses a collection of over 4,500 taxonomic groups.Its history spans more...


External links