The major highlight of the impressive main national museum is the Archaeological Treasury, displaying a wealth of pre-Christian gold, silver and precious-stone work from burials in Georgia going back to the 3rd millennium BC. Most stunning are the fabulously detailed gold adornments from Colchis (western Georgia). On the top floor, the Museum of Soviet Occupation has copious detail on Soviet repression and resistance to it.
The museum also stages temporary exhibitions from its large stored collections, such as Asian art and historical photography. In the lobby (free admission) are exhibits from Dmanisi, the archaeological site in southern Georgia whose 1.8 million-year-old hominid skulls are rewriting the study of early European humanity.
Dominating the Old Town skyline, Narikala dates right back to the 4th century, when it was a Persian citadel. The choice way to reach it is by cable car from Rike Park. Or you can walk up from Meidan. The views over Tbilisi from the top of the fortress are superb. Most of the walls were built in the 8th century by the Arab emirs, whose palace was inside the fortress. Subsequently Georgians, Turks and Persians captured and patched up Narikala, but in 1827 a huge explosion of Russian munitions stored here wrecked the whole thing. The Church of St Nicholas, inside the fortress, was rebuilt in the 1990s with funding from a police chief.
The landmark Metekhi Church, and the 1960s equestrian statue of King Vakhtang Gorgasali beside it, occupy the strategic rocky outcrop above the Metekhi Bridge. This is where Vakhtang Gorgasali built his palace, and the site’s first church, when he made Tbilisi his capital in the 5th century. The existing church was built by King Demetre Tavdadebuli (the Self-Sacrificing) between 1278 and 1289, and has been reconstructed many times since. The building is thought to be a copy of King David the Builder's 12th-century church on this site, which was destroyed by the Mongols in 1235.
Since 2012 the Tbilisi Aerial Tramway has been offering travelers breathtaking bird’s-eye views of stunning Georgian landscapes. Comfortable cable cars with tinted glass windows create the perfect opportunity for cityscape photos in climate-controlled comfort.The tramway connects Rike Park, located across the river from Old Town, to Narikala, a fortress that’s just outside the city The aerial tramway provides easy access to several of Tbilisi’s main attractions, including the Ancient Fortress of Narikala—which dates back to the 4th century, the 300-year-old Botanical Garden, the towering Kartlis Deda and the famed Bridge of Peace. It’s the perfect way to see the sites and take in the beauty of city surroundings!
Mtatsminda is the mountain topped by the 210m-high TV mast that overlooks central Tbilisi. Located 800-metres above the city Mtatsminda Park (known as Bombora) spreads over more than 1 sq km and has been a popular fun spot for generations. In the days of the Soviet Union, Mtatsminda Park was the third most visited public park in the USSR, Gorky Park in Moscow being number one.
The Tbilisi Holy Trinity Cathedral commonly known as Sameba is the main Georgian Orthodox Christian cathedral, located in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. Constructed between 1995 and 2004, it is the largest religious building not only in Georgia but in the region of South Caucasus, and is listed among the largest Orthodox churches in the world.The idea to build a new cathedral to commemorate 1,500 years of autocephaly of the Georgian Orthodox Church and 2,000 years from the birth of Jesus emerged as early as 1989, a crucial year for the national awakening of the then-Soviet republic of Georgia. In May 1989, the Georgian Orthodox Patriarchate and the authorities of Tbilisi announced an international contest for the project of the "Holy Trinity Cathedral.
Kartlis Deda is a monument in Tbilisi.The statue was erected on the top of Sololaki hill in 1958, the year Tbilisi celebrated its 1500th anniversary. Prominent Georgian sculptor Elguja Amashukeli designed the twenty-metre aluminium figure of a woman in Georgian national dress. She symbolizes the Georgian national character: in her left hand she holds a bowl of wine to greet those who come as friends, and in her right hand is a sword for those who come as enemies.
The Bridge of Peace in Tbilisi is a pedestrian bridge and one of the most famous tourist spots in the city. It connects district of Tbilisi Old Town with Rike Park over a river of Mtkvari. This bridge is relatively young, it was opened for public just in 2010. Bridge is constructed in a bow form. There are added zillions of LED lights on the bridge and in the evening you can enjoy a really spectacular views. The bridge was designed by the Italian architect Michele De Lucchi.
Tbilisi’s Old Town is one of the oldest parts of the city and nestles on the mountainside under Narikala fortress .The Old Town is part of the Tbilisi Historic District and contains a number of officially designated monuments, churches, cobbled streets and picturesque pastel colored wooden houses with open, carved balconies. The houses are mainly 19th century as much of the city was destroyed by the devastating Persian invasion of 1795. Much of the Old Town has been restored under a scheme introduced by the Tbilisi government in 2009. Called “New Life for Old Tbilisi”, the scheme is restoring and rehabilitating Tbilisi’s historical districts and neighborhoods.
Tbilisi Botanical garden is located at the foothills of the Narikala fortress in the city center of Tbilisi. The entrance located at the end of Botanikuri Street.There are over 3500 types of plants in the Tbilisi Botanical Garden. Across the area of 128 hectares are both local and world plants, plus pavilions, shady alleys, a few waterfalls, and bridges, all for the comfort of visitors. The gardens are an ideal spot for walking and biking..
Tbilisi has a humid subtropical with considerable continental influences. The city experiences very warm summers and moderately cold winters. Like other regions of Georgia, Tbilisi receives significant rainfall throughout the year with no distinct dry period. The city's climate is influenced both by dry (Central Asian/Siberian) air masses from the east and oceanic (Atlantic/Black Sea) air masses from the west. 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 Mountains Range (further to the north) blocks the intrusion of cold air masses from Russia, Tbilisi has a relatively mild microclimate compared to other cities that possess a similar climate along the same latitudes.
The average annual temperature in Tbilisi is 13.3 °C (55.9 °F). January is the coldest month with an average temperature of 2.3 °C (36.1 °F). July is the hottest month with an average temperature of 24.9 °C (76.8 °F). Daytime high temperatures reach or exceed 32 °C (90 °F) on an average of 22 days during a typical year. The absolute minimum recorded temperature is −24.4 °C (−11.9 °F) in January 1883 and the absolute maximum is 42.0 °C (107.6 °F) on 17 July 1882. Average annual precipitation is 495.5 mm (19.5 in). May is the wettest month (averaging 77.6 mm (3.1 in) of precipitation) while January is the driest (averaging 18.9 mm (0.7 in) of precipitation). 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.
Shota Rustaveli Tbilisi International Airport is Tbilisi's only airport, located about 17 kilometres (11 miles) southeast of the city center. Handling 1.85 million passengers in 2015, it is the busiest airport in Georgia and the twenty-fifth-busiest airport in the former Soviet Union. The airport has experienced rapid growth, having more than doubled passenger numbers from roughly 822,000 in 2010 to approximately 1,847,000 in 2015. Tbilisi International Airport in 2016 started to utilize solar energy and became the first "green airport" in the Caucasus region in 2008.
The airport is the base of the Georgian flag carrier Georgian Airways Natakhtari Airfield, located at 33 km of Tbilisi, is in the town of Natakhtari. It is used only for domestic flights to Mestia, Batumi and Kutaisi.
The Tbilisi Metro serves the city with rapid transit subway services. It was 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. It has 23 stations and 186 metro cars. Most stations, characteristic to 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 in some areas. Two of the stations are above ground.
Tbilisi had a tram network, since 1883 starting from horse-driven trams and from 25 December 1904 electric tramway. When the Soviet Union disintegrated, 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 two trolleybus lines which were left. There are plans to construct a modern tram network.
The most dominant form of transportation is the minibus. An elaborate minibus 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 (80 or 50 tetri in 2018). For longer trips outside the city, higher fares are common. As of April 2018, there are no predefined stops for the minibus lines, except 14 streets, they are hailed from the streets like taxis and each passenger can exit whenever he likes.
The second largest form of transportation are the municipal buses which are operated by Tbilisi Transport Company. As of July 2016, 672 buses of various size were servicing the city, all of them were Ukrainian Bogdan A144 (148 buses) and A092 (524 buses) models. In accordance to the Tbilisi City Hall's 4-year-long renovation program for the municipal buses on July 13, 2016 was signed an agreement with MAN Truck & Bus company to purchase 143 new energy efficient buses MAN Lion's City. On October 6, 2016 first new 10 buses were put into service on route 61. As it is planned rest of the buses will be received till the end of March, 2017.
Historically, the city had seven different aerial tramways, but all of them closed after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Since 2012, Tbilisi has a modern, high-capacity gondola lift which operates between Rike Park and the Narikala fortress; each gondola can carry up to 8 persons. The system was built by the Italian manufacturer Leitner ropeways.
Since October 12, 2016, Turtle Lake aerial tramway (originally opened in 1965) reopened after seven years out of service. It underwent major reconstruction but kept the old designs of gondolas and stations. This tramway connects Vake Park with Turtle Lake.
Since October 2016, another Soviet-era aerial tramway between State University (Maglivi) and University Campus (Bagebi) in Saburtalo District (originally opened in 1982) is being reconstructed after 13 years of abandonment and is due for opening in April 2018. The original Italian-produced cabins produced by Lovisolo and provided by Ceretti & Tanfani, with a capacity of 40 passengers each, are being kept as well as the stations.
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