Discover Georgia
History of ancient trade centers in Tbilisi
07 May, 2019
Bazaar has always played an important role in the life of Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. In 1887, there were four major trade centers in Tbilisi namely Avlabari, Saldati, Meidan and Vera Bazaars. The Meidan Bazaar was considered to be the central one in the capital. The Median square used to host seasonal construction workers, gardeners, and laborers from the early morning.
The Meidan bazaar in Tbilisi was available for over 20 000 customers. The square would accommodate space for a
bazaar, workshops, and Duqanis (a small workshop sometimes with a dining room). Vendors offered customers clothes, shoes, various types of textiles, household or outdoor equipment. Besides, the bazaar hosted gold, silver, stone and wood works, hairdressers and bakers.
The bazaar activity would come to its end at night around 10 o’clock. The Meidan bazaar served not only as a trade center but also as a public gathering place. The Saldati Bazaar would organize a special event on Sundays called “Iarmarka”. At “Iarmarka” local soldiers were selling their works such as furniture, clothes, shoes and various household items.
Duqanis, ancient workshops were one of the key venues in Tbilisi Bazaars. They belonged to the members of the royal family and the noblemen. Besides, the Georgian church used to own most of the trade places in Tbilisi. In the 18th century, there were about 500 Duqanis in Tbilisi.

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