Tbilisi is the ancient and vibrant Georgian capital that straddles the steep banks of the Mtkvari River surrounded by mountains on three sides. Its centuries-old history can be traced back to the mid-5th century AD when King Vakhtang I Gorgasali built the city after finding an impressive hot spring. Thus it’s no surprise that the name “Tbilisi” derives from the Georgian word ‘tbili’ meaning "warm".
Among the most important historic sites and an absolute must-sees in the city is Abanotubani - an ancient district known for its unique sulfuric baths. According to a legend the King of Iberia’s falcon fell on this land, what lead to the discovery of the majestic healing hot springs and, subsequently, to the foundation of a new town. Abanotubani is also the unofficial symbol of the Georgian capital.
Tbilisi’s historic Old Town encompasses world-famous landmarks. Firstly, the Narikala fortress dominating in the Old Town skyline that opens a breathtaking panoramic view of the city. Often called ‘the mother fortress of Tbilisi, it withstood numerous invaders’ damages. Narikala dates back to the 4th century when it was a Persian citadel. Unfortunately, much of its walls and towers were ruined by the 1827 earthquake.
Another site of Tbilisi worth visiting is the renowned 12-century cliff-side Metekhi Church overlooking the Mtkvari river. It is an extraordinary example of a domed Georgian Orthodox church. On the whole, this beating heart of the South Caucasus is very impressive. Discover Tbilisi a city that Pushkin described as ‘the fabulous land’!