‘TbiliCity’ Baths
24 March, 2011
‘TbiliCity’ Baths

Abanotubani is a bath district in the middle of old Tbilisi with “Royal”, “Colorful”, “Sulphur” Baths, situated above naturally hot springs, which go centuries back.


The story goes back to the fifth century when the founder of Tbilisi King Vakhtang Gorgasali was hunting with his falcon near the Mtkvari River. The falcon caught a pheasant but then dropped it. The servants, who were sent to bring the bird back, found it boiled in a hot stream. The King ordered to

build a city there and made it the capital of Georgia. Therefore the name of the city – Tbilisi, is derived from a Georgian word “TBILI”, which means warm.
Arabian geographer, Ibhn Haokal, wrote: “There are hot waters in Tbilisi, which are boiling without fire”. According to the historical sources, there were 65 mineral baths in Tbilisi in the 13-th century.
Old bathhouses are constructed where sulphur springs are sprouting out from the heart of the earth, imparting their therapeutic properties to the baths. Sulphur springs have constant temperature of 38-40 C and they positively affect skin diseases, as well as neurotic ails and blood circulation.
“Mekise” - the masseur, plays the principal part in the traditional bathing process. He rubs and scrubs off the customer’s skin, using a special sponge and gloves made of rough material. 
Speaking about his impression of Georgian Baths, 29 year-old George, tourist from the United States of America says: “Massage was much more painful than I was expecting. It was the first experience of this kind in my life, but it was nice to realize that I experienced something of Georgia’s historic past”.  Special massage by Mekise includes massaging of arms, waist, neck and it has a definite therapeutic effect.
The baths were built under the influence of Iranian architecture. “They are low buildings covered by semicircular domes with glass aperture in the centre that serve as windows in order to illuminate  the interior of the bathhouses, which are situated below the ground level”, Zaza Matiasvili, an expert in architecture explains, adding: “In some of the pools water is so hot that you can hardly endure the temperature, while in other pools water is warm, with sharp sulphur smell. Thus there is plenty of variety to choose the kind of bath you prefer”. 
Apart from having therapeutic features, bathhouses used to be one of the most common gathering places for people. They exchanged the news, discussed the burning issues of the day and had fun.
A number of well-known people from different parts of the world have visited baths of Tbilisi. In thirteenth-fourteenth centuries famous Venetian explorer Marco Polo mentions Tbilisi bathhouses in his book of travels.
Alexandre Dumas was delighted by the baths in Georgia during his Caucasian trip. He stayed in Tbilisi for six weeks and spent most of the time relaxing in the bathhouses. He was so impressed by his trip that lamented in the end of his memoirs: ‘’Why doesn’t Paris, the city of physical pleasures, have such baths?’’
In his “Journey to Arzrum” renowned Russian writer Alexandr Pushkin wrote in 1829: “Never before have I seen either in Russia or in Turkey anything that can surpass magnificent Tiflis baths”. He described in details each procedure that he went through in Georgian bathhouses. ‘’Not since my birth have I witnessed such luxuriousness as I did at Tbilisi baths’’- the famous Russian poet concludes his record of his journey to Georgia. 
Despite the facts that nowadays less Georgians visit the district of baths in the old part of Tbilisi, the professionals who are employed at Tbilisi bathhouses have preserved all ancient traditions of historic baths. Nunu Gogidze, one of the Tbilisi baths’ spokesperson says: “Although we don’t have as much visitors as we did thirty - forty years ago, Georgian baths still attract a lot of tourists.  The significant detail is that among our guests there are many young people from different parts of the world and as long as they keep doing so, we can say that Tbilisi’s famous baths are not merely ancient historic sites; they are functional and part of interesting cultural heritage even now, in the twenty - first century”.

 

Print
Other Stories
Young Georgian Soprano Made Soloist of Vienna State Opera
Tamuna Gochashvili, a 24-year-old Georgian opera singer, is a new discovery for the international opera industry
Saudi sisters have been offered help in Georgia
Two sisters from Saudi Arabia released a video saying that they have arrived in Georgia to seek asylum.
Dumbo Gets It Right: Behind the Curtain at the Animal Circus
INTERESTED IN ATTENDING THE PROTEST: 4.8K
Israeli Embassy addresses Georgian citizens, who intend to attend Holy Fire Ceremony
The Embassy of Israel to Georgia has released a statement addressing the citizens of Georgia, who intend to attend the celebration of the Holy Fire in Jerusalem.
Georgian Minister, who could have started a Nuclear War
An involuntary soviet officer, who could have plunged Turkey into the “nuclear winter”,
The Guardian: How Jack Shepherd tried to elude British justice in Tbilisi
The Guardian has recently published an article about Jack Shepherd “How Jack Shepherd tried to elude British justice in Tbilisi”.
Photography Workshop with Karolina Jonderko
Karolina is an award-winning photographer with a master's degree in photography from the Polish National Film,
Jennifer Lopez wearing David Koma in her New Music Video
A new song “Medicine” by American singer Jennifer Lopez featuring Moroccan-American rapper French Montana has just released.
Lithuanian Embassy releases statement regarding April 9 tragedy
The Embassy of Lithuania to Georgia has released a statement regarding April 9 tragedy in Georgia.
6 streets in Tbilisi to be named after April 9 female victims
Six streets in Tbilisi will be named after female victims of April 1989 tragedy.
Exclusive interview with Erik Høeg, Head of EUMM Georgia
Georgian Journal offers its readers an exclusive interview with Erik Høeg, Head of Mission of the EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) Georgia.
30 years since April 9 tragedy
30 years have passed since 9 April 1989.
Georgian actress Vika Kalandia on the set of a new TV show by Netflix
Georgian actress Vika Kalandia has recently published photos
Georgian actress Vika Kalandia to appear in a new TV show by Netflix
Georgian actress Vika Kalandia will appear in a new TV show on Netflix.
Remains of Georgian soldiers identified in Holland
The remains of Georgian soldiers killed on Texel Island, Leusden were identified using DNA analysis in Holland.
Georgian Inventor students will travel to NASA Space Center
The winner of the Millennium Innovation Competition has been revealed.
Lady Gaga chooses Georgian designer Tamuna Ingorokva
Tamuna Ingorokva is a successful Georgian designer.
Gifted teacher Lado Apkhazava warmly welcomed back in Georgia
Lado Apkhazava is a Georgian teacher who is among 10 finalists of the Global Teacher Prize 2019.
 Georgian TV presenter, who has traveled to 112 countries and 5 continents
We are sitting by the fire and the chief tells me: You behave as if you were one of us;
Malkhaz Kobauri sentenced to life imprisonment for killing the Smiths family
Malkhaz Kobauri, the shepherd accused of murdering three members of the Smiths family in Khada Gorge, has been sentenced to life imprisonment.
Georgia gave the world wine – what did Jeremy Clarkson find amazing in Georgia?
Last autumn The Grand Tour team Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond visited Georgia and recorded one of the episodes here.
Jury find shepherd, accused of killing American family, guilty
A jury has found Malkhaz Kobauri, the shepherd who is accused of killing American family
The Grand Tour team, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, James May visit Georgia's occupied territories
A new video featuring The Grand Tour’s trip to Georgia has recently appeared on the internet.
Ukraine and Georgia fighting for the common occupant
Georgian brand Giovanni Morra issues anti-occupational passport holder for Ukraine.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
25.04.2019
26.04.2019
USD
1
USD
2.6984
2.6984
EUR
1
EUR
3.0246
3.0246
GBP
1
GBP
3.4912
3.4912
RUB
100
RUB
4.2125
4.2125
Other Stories
World famous British singer Jessie J has decided to wear clothes made by Anouki Areshidze, Georgian designer and wife of the mayor of Tbilisi.
Bassiani, one of the most popular underground clubs not only in Georgia but throughout Europe as well, has opened today
An amazing video made in Georgia by tourists from the Philippines have gone viral on the internet.
Over the recent two days May 12-13 Tbilisi city saw a peaceful protest rally in the center of the city.
Hundreds of people took to the main street Rustaveli Avenue in Tbilisi to protest the raid in Tbilisi’s popular night clubs.
Two bear cubs listed as endangered on the red list were handed over to Tbilisi Zoo,
Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze and Deputy Tbilisi Mayor Ms. Sophio Khuntsaria have gifted a food stand
Pamela Anderson, famous Canadian American actress and model has appeared in the chic sunglasses by internationally acclaimed Georgian designer George Keburia.
A ski lift accident in Georgia’s eastern Gudauri resort,in particular at Sadzele 5 lift, has left 8 people with injuries.
The ski lift in Gudauri winter resort in Georgia has broke down in the aftermath of which several people have been injured.
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.6984
EUR
1
EUR
3.0246
GBP
1
GBP
3.4912
RUB
100
RUB
4.2125