Tbilisi old town tour
Old town are starts with Abanotubani, Abanotubani (Bath District) is one of the oldest districts of the capital of Georgia and probably is the first settlement of old Tbilisi. The district is famous for a group of historic sulfur bathhouses, which are integral parts of city life. The baths are built on natural hot springs and are below ground level, some have small domed ceilings that allow natural light to stream through. The history of the sulfur baths is the history of Tbilisi itself. The name “Tbilisi” originates from the word for “warm place,” and the famous legend of the city’s discovering in holds these natural hot springs (Vth Century). This is the time when Territory of modern Ukraine is established in Kiev.
Nowadays the baths are used for dozen of treatments - rheumatism, dry skin, female problems, etc. But they were not used for medical purposes only – In order to prevent diseases, the first rule for a person coming from abroad was to enter the baths, otherwise he would not be allowed in the city. Inhabitants used to come here all day, swimming, resting and having fun. Women were checked by her future spouse female family members before they got married in the bath. In the Middle Ages it was mostly inhabited by Persians. Most of the baths were built in the Iranian (Persian) style. Baths were destroyed and built repeatedly.
At the end of the XX century (Dissolution of the Soviet Union) there was simply no water and people visited the baths. Visiting one of the baths is a big pleasure and a memorable experience you can have in Georgia.
Later on with the tour you can explore the old town churches, like Sioni Cathedral: Tbilisi Sioni Cathedral of the Dormition of Virgin Mary is one of the most outstanding masterpieces of Georgian medieval architecture. The name of the cathedral was in honor of the holy Mount Zion in Jerusalem. It is located on Sioni Street, Old Tbilisi. The initial church was built in the VI and VII centuries(This is the time when Islam begins in Arabia; the Quran is documented), but since then had been frequently destroyed by loads of invaders – mongols, persians, byzantines, etc. And despite the fact it was rebuilt several times, its architecture didn’t change immensely. During the Middle Ages, the temple was entirely rebuilt by King David the Builder in the 12th century. The modern view of Tbilisi Sioni belongs mainly to the 13th century with some changes from the 17th to 19th centuries. Until 2004, The Sioni Cathedral was the main Georgian Orthodox Cathedral and the seat of Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia. The church is painted by Georgian and Russian painters and is an aesthetic, interesting mix to view. The murals on the western wall were accomplished by the Georgian artist Levan Tsutskiridze in the 1980s.
Tbilisi Sioni is the home of the sacred cross of St. Nino, who brought Christianity
to Georgia. Here is also preserved a magical stone brought from Jerusalem by St.
David from Gareja (Georgia).
Some historical streets are represented in a modern way nowadays like:
Bambis Rigi (Cotton Row) is just a pedestrian street and is one of the oldest in Tbilisi. It is located near Vakhtang Gorgasali Square. In the past, the shops of cotton, wool, chiffon and parchment traders were located here. This street is one of the rarest in Tbilisi, which has a medieval name to this day.
To the right of Bambis Rigi is Chardin Street, former “Dark Row”, which is one of the centers of cultural and public life in Tbilisi. The narrow and short street was named after the French explorer Jean Chardin, who visited Tbilisi in 1863. This is the time when 4 wheeled roller skates were patented by James Plimpton of NY. At that time, the street was called "Dark Row" because it was covered up. The row was crowded with shops and workshops. At the end of Chardin Street, is a monument of the famous producer Sergei Parajanov.
Erekle II Street is one of the oldest streets in the city. In the XVII-XVIII centuries at the beginning of the street there were trade rows. In 1795, during the invasion of Agha-Mohammad-Khan, a large part of the buildings were destroyed. It was rebuilt in the XIX century. This is the time when the World population reaches 1 billion. Houses on the street are preserved from the second half of the XIX century. These three streets give us the opportunity to see local art galleries and souvenir shops. There are many cafes too. Later on within this tour you shall visit Leghvtakhevi waterfall, Narikala fortress, Peace bridge and a puppet theater of Gabriadze and listen to the deep stories about each place.