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Print page to PDF Tbilisi

Name: Partnership agreement
Signing a contract: 18.10.2014
Population: 1 100 000

Tbilisi is the biggest city and the capital of Georgia. It lies on the banks of the Kura River. The city itself has 1,100,000 inhabitants, while the population of the whole urban agglomeration is 1,300,000. The city covers an area of 350 km². Tbilisi is the main centre of Georgian industry, culture and science (the Georgian Academy of Science, the National Library and other key cultural institutions have their seats there.)

The foundation myth of the city takes us back to the reign of Georgia’s mighty fifth century king Vakhtang Gorgasali (452-502). Out hunting with his retainers and his falcon in the wooded Mtkvari valley, not distant from where Tbilisi lies nowadays, the monarch spotted
a pheasant. He sent the falcon to retrieve the bird, when he suddenly lost sight of both
of them. After searching for a while, he found them in a hot spring. Both birds had been cooked to perfection.

The accident is believed to have convinced the king, surprised with what had occurred,
to explore more profoundly the fertile valley of the river, surrounded by picturesque woody hills. The king admitted that the area abounded with numerous springs, many of them hot. Mesmerised with its beauty, Vakhtang ordered to found a city which received the name
of “Tbilisi” (Georgian 'tbili' means warm). In fact, the remains of human settlement
in the area can be traced back to even more remote epochs. Archaeological excavations confirm its existence in the Copper Age.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Georgians were still an ethnic minority in the city, inhabited mostly by the local Armenian people. Even today, almost 20% of the Tbilisi's inhabitants belongs to one of over 100 different ethnic minorities. The most numerously represented groups are the Russians and the Azerbaijani people. In the modern Tbilisi,
the presence of these ethnic groups is significant not only in the field of religion, but also
in the one of culture. For instance, there is an Azerbaijani theatre in the Avlabari district
as well as other institutions famous for their vigorous cultural activity, such as the Kurdish Cultural Centre.

Tbilisi's key tourist attractions are the following:

- The Old Town with the Narikala Fortress, full of charming town houses and old temples, such as Anczischati, Sioni i Metechi
- stunning ancient thermae (bath complex) which has used the hot springs' waters for over 1500 years
- Mamadavitis Monastery, also called St.David, which stands out for its picturesque out of town location right on the Mtacminda mountain's side. A beautiful panoramic view of Tbilisi can be admired from its top.
- traditional Georgian food, offered by various haute cuisine restaurants
- Szot Rustawele Avenue – the main street which concentrates the social life of the city. It is full of luxury restaurants ans shops located in the old historical buildings.
- „Tbilisoba” Festival – yearly celebration that takes place in the last week of October and comprises a lot of concerts and traditional street fairs that create unique atmosphere

main historical monuments:

the Art Museum

the Narikala Fortress;

the statue of Kartus Deda;

the Anczischati church;

the Sioni Cathedral;

the Matechi church;


typical food:

chinkali – meat stuffed dumplings;
charczo – spicy soup of a beef stew consistency
 lobio – kidney beans soup;

sporting disciplines:

 basketball;

 football;

 rugby;

famous people:

 Abo – the patron saint and martyr;

 Szota Arweladze – football player;

 Józef Chodźko – Polish topographer, died in Tbilisi;

 Leon Chwistek – Polish painter and mathematician who taught mathematical analysis in Tbilisi

 Tytus Filipowicz – Polish political activist;

 Micheil Saakaszwili – the president of Georgia


legends:
the Tbilisi's foundation legend-

Vakhtang Gorgasali (452-502), the mighty Georgian ruler, was once out hunting with his retainers and his falcon in the wooded Mtkvari valley, not distant from where Tbilisi lies nowadays. The monarch spotted a pheasant and sent the falcon to retrieve the bird, when he suddenly lost sight of both of them. After searching for a while, he found them in a hot spring. Both birds had been cooked to perfection. That is how the local hot springs were discovered. Their marvellous qualities convinced the king to found a city, which later on received its present name Tbilisi (warm in Georgian)



festivals:
Tbilisoba Festival– takes place yearly, on the last weekend of October in order to give thanks for an abundant harvest

 

Useful address:

Department for Coordination of the EU Aid Programmes and International Cooperation
Office for Economic Policy
The Municipality of Tbilisi
Tel: +995 32 378 278
Fax: +995 32 378 225

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