Photos of the Day
Rare photo of Georgia’s prominent public figure Ilia Chavchavadze
08 November, 2016
November 8 marks the birthday of one of the most outstanding and honorable persons in the history of Georgia. 179 years ago, in 1837, in the village of Kvareli, the great Georgian writer, poet, publicist and public figure, the leader of Georgia’s national liberation movement, Ilia Chavchavadze was born. In this photo Ilia, sitting in the center, is depicted at “Ispanakhoba” national festival (Spinach festival in English), a transformed version of Keenoba-Berikaoba masquerade.The festival had such unusual name because it took place during fast and only vegetarian food was consumed at the feast table.

In 1863 he founded a magazine called ”Sakartvelos Moambe” (Georgia’s Messenger) which, in spite of very strict censorship, headed the national liberation movement. In 1877 he founded a newspaper called ”Iveria,” that for years to come was the center of Georgia’s national, spiritual and intellectual life.

In 1863, Ilia Chavchavadze married Olga Guramishvili, the daughter of owner of Saguramo, the nobleman Tadeoz Guramishvili. From this period to his tragic death Ilia’s life and work is connected with her name.

In 1875, Ilia Chavchavadze was elected the president of Manorial Estate Bank which, during his presidency, was transformed into the Georgia National Bank.

In 1905, publicly as well as politically active Chavchavadze created a program, which in 1917 became the basis of newly founded Georgian National-Democratic Party.

On September 12, 1907, while on his way from Tbilisi to Saguramo, Ilia Chavchavadze and Olga Guramishvili were attacked by six armed men. They killed Chavchavadze and managed to escape. In 1987, Georgian Orthodox Church canonized him as Ilia the Righteous, while the people of Georgia call him the “Uncrowned King of Georgia”.

Ilia were notable for his honesty, kindness and courage. In relation to the U.S. current Presidential Elections and Georgia’s recent Parliamentary Elections we present a short fragment from Ilia’s address to public concerning Tbilisi City Assembly’s Elections in 1897:

“Anyone who is able to vote has to go to the polling stations and fulfill their duty to their city. You have to know that anyone who will be chosen by you to represent you at the assembly will be responsible for your wellbeing and the wellbeing of your family, for the next four years.Many things can happen in four years – bad things as well as good things”, - The letter reads.

PHOTO OF THE DAY
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