T'bilisi Things to Do Tips by kokoryko Top 5 Page for this destination
T'bilisi Things to Do: 190 reviews and 503 photos
If you go to the High Caucasus you very probably will pass by Ananuri, and its fortified monastery.
Ananuri has been built in the 16th century during a period of civil wars, and it has long been a place of fights and rebellions. This fortified complex is often represented as a symbol of Georgia, as it is a sort of synthesis of finest religious art and roughness of a mountain defensive settlement.
It can be the objective of a short day trip, or you can go there by minibus and take another minibus to resume the journey to the Caucasus, or as I did, have the luck the minibus stops for 15-20mn at this place, for a rest or just for the tourists if there are tourists in the minibus.
So, I had not the opportunity to visit inside the monastery but enjoyed its setting, the landscape and a look at the souvenir sellers displays (picture 5).
The nice thing when travelling with locals is that you make nice and pleasant encounters and there is the possibility I even can be photographed in front of a local monument.
Directions: On the road to the mountains. . :))
The cobbled streets of Avlabari quarter, not really spectacular, “forgotten” by tourists have a real charm with their small houses, the shade of the trees, their old churches, the people doing their business. . . The streets are sometimes empty, sometimes crowded. . . real life is going on. . !
Just a few pictures, trying to catch a bit of the atmosphere; I liked a lot walking here.
Davit Cinascar Metkveli is a tiny little church located on the cliff above the Kura, in the lower area of Avlabari Quarter.*
You may notice that in Tbilisi, during daytime, there is almost always somebody in the churches and that there are masses several times a day, so it is not easy to visit churches without disturbing the worshippers. So, when a mass is going on, either wait it finishes or keep outside and do not disturb; this is what I did at this little church.
This tiny little church (I would say a chapel) is nicely located on the cliffs above the river and offers nice views on the city (picture 5), is a recent construction, the bicks and stones look almost new, but due to its size and location, it is a very charming place.
The Sameba Cathedral has triggered a great controversy in Georgia; for some it is the renewal of pride of the Orthodox Church, but many orthodox traditionalists think this building reflects more sinful pride rather than religious spirit; moreover, it has been built (in 2000) on the Armenian cemetery, and this was a provocation of the Georgian Orthodox church against the Armenian Church.
Many Orthodox think it is a sin to have built a church bigger than the traditional sanctuaries, like Alaverdi or Svetitskhoveli, and when one thinks that it has been financed by the billionaire Boris Ivanichvili accused to have tight links with Russian politicians, you can understand there is a bit of controversy about this cathedral which dominates the city from the left bank of the Kura. Sameba is also the siege of the Orthodox Church and whatever the controversies, lots of people visit this place and many shops and stalls are in the small streets around.
It is easy to reach and worth a short visit, even if it is only for outside, the gardens and the surroundings.
This Trinity Cathedral looks really gigantic, when you are close (picture 1), as you could have suspected it when discovered from far (picture 2, picture 5).
There is a big park around and there are other chapels, kiosks, and locals apparently enjoy walking around or having a rest on one of the benches.
Going to this cathedral is also an excellent pretext to visit the old quarters (Armenian, Turks, Jewish) of the left bank (other tips).
Patio with some antiques. .
Even almost all sections of this museum were closed, I did not regret the 10 Gel I spent for a visit here; in fact all was closed except the treasure room, as they call it: it is a collection of religious items, and generally icons from monasteries of Georgia.
A guide takes small groups (no solo visit possible or allowed, neither are photographs allowed, and they are strict on that!) in a succession of rooms where indeed beautiful and impressive items (from 13th to 18th centuries) are displayed, and the guide is very competent with her explanations and putting these items in artistic and historical perspective; huge golden processional crosses, icons which really express religious art at its best, priests ceremonial clothes, statues of Christ and saints. . .I had seen a lot before, but here I have been impressed.
Imagine only when the museum will open again all its sections! It is a great museum, we just can hope the collections will be on display soon. . . .
The picture is from the patio of the main building where items are waiting to find back a place for being displayed, may be?
The second picture is from Pushkin square, next to the museum.
Working hours: Everyday except Monday, 11.00 – 16.00
Ticket price: Adult -3 GEL, Students - 1.5 GEL, Schoolchildren (max. 15 people) 0.5 GEL, Guided Tour Fee 10 GEL
Address: Gudiachvili street, 1
Directions: Next to Pushkin park, 100 m north of liberty place
The Soviet occupation Museum is located in the same building as the Simon Janashia Museum. The lights and the general scenography are intended to move, to frighten, to give the occupation atmosphere rather than to coldly display items and information of that period.
It is moving indeed to see photographs of tens of deported people, to see train carts which transported the exiles, to see the dictator (a born Georgian) with whom people had really to do with, letters of prisoners, . . . . There are long explanatory boards, and one cannot leave the place without a bad feeling. Really, it is worth to spend some time here to see what human can do to other human under auspices of “civilisation” and “development” and to have a bit a batter idea of what happened beyond what we know from literature.
Open 11 am- 5:30pm; closed Mondays
Entrance: 3 GEL
Address: 3 Av. Rustaveli
Unfortunately many sections of this museum are under renovation or rehabilitation or just not made accessible to visitors and only a section for temporary exhibitions, a section for very spectacular archaeological treasures; a separate section devoted to “Soviet occupation” has been opened recently.
The Georgian National Museum was established at the end of 2004 by a Presidential decree. Its origins, however, date back to the founding of the Caucasian Museum by the German naturalist explorer Gustav Radde under the auspices of the Russian Royal Geographic Society in 1865 which had established a museum of Caucasian department as early as 1852. The Georgian National Museum administrates now several museums dispatched in various places of Tbilisi.
The Simon Janashia Museum, along with the History Museum is the most important museum of Tbilisi; the visitors just have to hope and wait for getting access to more archaeological marvels, that natural history and ethnography galleries will be accessible again, when nationalist priorities will be put aside. . . . .
What is visible now (Sept 2011) are treasures of Georgian goldsmithery, and they are really worth a visit.
Going through time from the third millennium BC to the fourth century AD, you will discover real marvels of early civilisations of the area, admire some masterpieces of Colchian adornments (the famous kingdom of Colchis) (first picture). Incredible display of tens of beautiful jewels; our modern creators did not invent a lot new!!!!
Photos not allowed
Open 11 am- 5:30pm; closed Mondays
Entrance: 5 GEL
Address: 3 Av. Rustaveli
St Nshan church is not indicated on guides or maps in Tbilissi, and discovering this church in the old streets of the city gives a somehow sad feeling mixed with the joy of a surprise and discovery! This church also named Church of the Holy Seal built in 1701 is an Armenian church which has been destroyed, rebuilt in 1780, more or less abandoned during the soviet era and recently (in the nineties) burned by an arson fire. . . .; there is not a lot of information about this church which contained thousands of books the remains of which you can still see in the ashes of the fire (picture 2). The blue tiles of the main tower and the small campanile look so moving and beautiful above the brick building surrounded by trees which even grow on the roof!
I do not know if this church will be reconstructed one day, as there are some outside nice architectural decors protected by wooden props (picture 3), and inside, the cupola and arches look interesting (picture 4). But may be moving discoveries are also part of travel and discovering the blue tiles dominated by the cross was a real pleasure, walking in the sunny deserted streets of the old city.
Address: 41°41’39.55”N; 44°48’17.39”E
Directions: Surb Nshan street (st Nshan street), but this street is not noted on the maps I have or Google earth.
East of Verts’khli street, 80 metres north of its crossing with Leselidze street , 300 m east of Freedom square.
Anchiskhati Basilica is said to be the oldest church in Tbilissi, and indeed, it has been built during the 6th century, and renovated several times, since, following a few wars with Persian or Turks and a few earthquakes. . . . The brick belfry has been built end 17th (picture 5).
This is a small church, rather discrete and you could pass by without noticing. . . but when you see the recent Christ’s face looking at you in typical Georgian icon style (picture 1), you know you are there; the walls mixture of stone and brick (picture 2) have certainly suffered during time. Inside, from the ceiling of the nave few dozens of angels look at you, next to saints from the Orthodox Church.
Modern and old furnishings can be seen and the sight of an old wooden cross next to a modern cast iron cross is not chocking.
It is a modest nice litte church which deserves a visit!
Tbilisi is very “walkable” and I decided one morning to walk from my hotel to the left bank of the river, but not in the old city, rather the modern city, finding here or there some monument or statue.
The walk began near the concert hall, in front of which is this statue (picture 1) looks like inviting you to enter the circular glass building. From there you can walk down Kostava street and arrive at the Heroes place; I did not see any hero on this place; it seems the monuments were being renovated and hidden. (picture 2). Whatever, no heroes, so walk up the woods covered hill, pass by the fisherman (picture 3) and go to the circus (picture 4). All this walk was in fact a pretext and detour to go to visit the left bank of the Kura. After walking down from the circus, you cross the Kura on the Kvamli bridge and have a nice view on the river, fishermen (picture 5) and big buildings.
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