Discover lesser-known attractions of Tbilisi
09 December, 2017
Discover lesser-known attractions of Tbilisi
Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital, boasts its unique history and culture. However, many people may still know very little about its ancient historic sites.

There are many attractions of historical importance in Tbilisi which are not well - known for wider society. Here we present to you those less famous historical attractions based on the information provided by Georgian historian Jaba Samushia.

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A very important place in Tbilisi, the first and the oldest sulfur bath, is situated in the main tourist zone
of the city – Abanotubani district, but it is still unknown for many foreign visitors of the country. This is the oldest bath located under the Saint 40 Holy Martyrs of Sebaste Church, whose excavation has not been completed yet.
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The oldest sulfur bath is located under the Saint 40 Holy Martyrs of Sebaste Church

Sulfur baths have a special historical significance for Tbilisi. Almost any city had baths in the world, but not oall of them had thermal waters; people had to use thousands of cubic meters of wood to warm up the water. As for Tbilisi, these hot sulfur springs naturally come out of the ground and represent invaluable natural source of the city. The name Tbilisi (warm city), comes exactly from these hot waters that flow underground. Hot sulfur springs with healing features have always been a great advantage of the city. There were dozens of sulfur baths during the middle ages in Tbilisi. Foreign authors specifically referred to the healing features of Tbilisi baths. There were around 65 baths in Tbilisi in the XIIIth century.
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Atashgah

Many of us may have seen the wall of the pagans known as Atashgah, in the vicinity of the Betlemi Church. It represents an ancient Zoroastrian temple in Tbilisi. It was built when Georgia was a part of Persian Empire in Sasanian era (224-651 AD). The name “Ateshga” originates from the Persian “Ateshgah” which means the place for fire.The place it is not well known for the wider society, yet it is one of the oldest historical monuments in the city built in the 5th-6th centuries.
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Shahtakhti Fortress

Another lesser-known attraction in Tbilisi is Shahtakhti Fortress at Narikala, an ancient fortress overlooking Tbilisi. The ruined Shahtakhti fortress on the Sololaki Ridge once housed an Arab observatory. Nowadays, only a small part of its boundary is preserved.
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Old Tbilisi wall which was discovered under the Pushkini Street

Many people do not know the value of the old Tbilisi wall which was discovered under the Pushkini Street close to the Liberty Square. The wall was not fully excavated, so the entire length of it is not known yet, we can presume that it followed the Sololaki Range.The remains of the wall should be located in the foundations of the houses built on Dadiani Street. According to Jaba Samushia, when the rehabilitation of this district is launched, quite interesting new findings will be discovered.
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The ruins of the fortification located in Avlabari District

The wall near the 300 Aragveli (Three Hundred Aragvians) monument is yet another important historic landmark. Above the monument, there is a school and in the yard of it an ancient wall is located. Thatwall used to be the starting point of historic Tbilisi. After passing it, people used to reach Rabati, the agricultural district, where urban workshops were arranged. The wall used to reach Mount Tabor and create the first line of defensive circle. The same can be said about the ruins of the fortification located in Avlabari District, which used to surround the area around the Metekhi.

As the historian explains, the smaller remains of the wall are still preserved on the rock that overlooks Mtkvari River in Avlabari.
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The expert believes that before the construction of the old Tbilisi, the archeological survey must be conducted on the territory as long as there are still many historical monuments to be discovered. “As soon as you find yourself on the territory of Old Tbilisi, consider that there is a historic heritage hidden behind the buildings, because this city was built over and over during the centuries and was destroyed many times, and of course, its ruins are still preserved underground.,” - he adds.

According to him, the old part of Tbilisi, like some European cities, should be preserved with its original appearance.

Author: Mariam Menabdishvili

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