Tbilisi’s oldest cemetery with mystique stories and incredible statues
18 March, 2016
Tbilisi’s oldest cemetery with mystique stories and incredible statues
Kukia cemetery in Tbilisi is considered one of the oldest and most mysterious graveyards in Georgia. One may ask what makes this place special and why does it stand out from other graveyards throughout the city. In fact, this place is more than cemetery, since it conveys many interesting stories, some of them surrounded with mystery and
besides, it has its cultural significance. It is believed by many that it represents one of the oldest cemeteries and is thought to be around 400 years old. It is noteworthy that, before the cemetery a village used to be here that belonged to Queen Darejan Dadiani, the third wife of King Erekle II of Kartl-Kakheti in Eastern Georgia. geotv.geAccording to some sources several families settled on this area known as New Village under the queen’s order.

It is notable that this village served as a home to part of the Germans who moved to Georgia in the beginning of the 19th century as well. In 1824 the village was incorporated into Tbilisi city and time by time the area turned into a cemetery originally called after Alexander Nevsky, Prince of Novgorod and Grand Duke of Kiev. In the past centuries the area was considered a dangerous place, since a gang of robbers used to hide there and attack passers-by.

The cemetery served as a resting place to various religious groups such as orthodox, catholic, coptic and other Christian denominations, yet very few people know that many famous and outstanding figures are buried here as well. The famous Norwegian artist Edvard Munchs’ model Dagny Juel and the first wife of Joseph Stalin.

As for the Edvard Munchs’ model, red-haired Dagny Juel, who can be seen in the many artworks by Munch, she died with a mysterious death at Grand Hotel while her stay in Tbilisi. Her grave is located near the main entrance of the cemetery close to a marble Madonna figure.

In addition, the cemetery is notable for its fascinating tombstones and statues dating back to the past centuries that represent real works of art. Unfortunately it is not clear who are the authors of some of these amazing sculptures or whom they belong to, yet there is no doubt there are interesting stories behind them that need to be uncovered.


Edvard Munch’ s Jealousy (model Dagny)
geotv.ge
It also should be mentioned that many of them have been left unattended for many years and are on the brink of destruction. Some of them are planned to be transferred to the museum. Here we present to you photos of few gravestones photographed by Nick Infest.

Photo courtesy of Nick Infest

geotv.ge

Photo courtesy of Nick Infest
geotv.ge

By Lika Chigladze

Related Stories:

“Tfilisi is in details” – Old architectural gems of Tbilisi


The hidden beauties of old Tbilisi

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