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ANCHISKHATI

Anchiskhati Church is the only survived church of the first five churches built in Tbilisi in 5th century. This three-nave basilica was dedicated to the Virgin Mary but in 17th century acquired appellation of Anchiskhati, as the Anchiskhati icon was moved to this church from the Monastery of Anchi in the southwest of the country. The icon dates from the twelfth century and is the work of Beka Opizari - a famous goldsmith of the period.
In front of entrance to the church, stands an elegant bell tower, typical of the late medieval Georgian style.

 


KASHVETI

Kashveti Church of St. George (1904-10), situated in the heart of Tbilisi on Rustaveli Avenue, is distinguished by richness of ornamentation, especially by the stone carvings around windows, arches and corners. As a model for the present Kashveti Church, the Samtavisi Church was used. The mural painting is a masterpiece of the famous Georgian painter - Lado Gudiashvili. In this two-storey church the Russian orthodox church functioned in the first floor, whereas the second floor was belonged to the Georgian orthodox church.
 


METEKHI

Metekhi Church, was built in 1289 under the order of king Demetre the 2nd ('The Devoted'), although the former church stood here already in 5th century. This area was considered both religious and royal site, as in 12th century royal palace was moved near the church. The name "Metekhi" may be translated as "the area near palace". The Church was destroyed and later repaired several times. Under Russian rule the site was the home of the infamous Metekhi jail. In the Soviet period the church stopped functioning and was used as a theatre. However, with independence of Georgia, it has regained its original purpose. At present, Metekhi is an active Orthodox Church.
 


MTATSMINDA

Mtatsminda - a holly mountain with the Holly Father David's church. The church dates from 1879 and was built on the original site of Saint David's cell. David came to Georgia as one of the thirteen Syrian fathers to preach Christianity. He has chosen this mountain, uninhabited at that time and slightly away from the town and lived there in a cell. The interior of the present church is fully decorated with frescoes. The church is surrounded by the Pantheon of Writers and Public Figures of Georgia.

 


NARIKALA

Narikala fortress or Shuris Tsikhe - the Rival Fortress, is the ancient site of Tbilisi built by Arabs in 4th c. Much of what we see today, dates from 8th c. With its unique strategic location both local rulers and foreign invaders looked to make Narikala their headquarters.
The Shakhtakhti Tower was built as an observatory. Archaelogical research in 1967 revealed that there was a twelfth century church inside the Narikala complex. The church was rebuilt in 1996 and designed in keeping with the fortress surrounding it. The interior is decorated with frescoes, depicting both biblical scenes and the history of Georgia.
 


SIONI CATHEDRAL

Sioni Cathedral was started in 500 during the reign of King Guaram of Iberia. It was finished in 620 when King Adarnese I ruled. The cathedral has been ransacked, and damaged many times through its history. Despite all the havoc and destruction Sioni has survived and in such terms may be judged as a symbol for the city as a whole. The general structure dates from Georgia's Golden Age in the thirteenth century. After each destruction it was restored to its previous state adding new elements. In 19th century using the designs of Grigory Gagarin the whole church was repainted. Today Gagarin's frescoes are visible in the upper parts of the cathedral. The frescoes decorating the lower walls are very modern. These were completed in 1989 and are the work of the artist Levan Tsutskiridze. All the icons in the cathedral are Georgian.
 


SULPHUR BATHS

Sulphur Baths with numerous domes partially protruding out of the ground are fed by natural hydrogen sulphide water from under-ground springs, and have a curative effect. The baths are called Erekle's Baths. Historians attest that these unique baths probably date from the Arab period (7th-8th cc). During the Golden Age there were some sixty eight baths altogether, but by the seventeenth century, as a result of destructions caused by frequent invasions their number was reduced to just six. The impressive Islamic style building at the far end of the street is called the Orbeliani Bathhouse named after the Orbeliani family. The style of mosaic on the facade is the last surviving example of Islamic influence upon the city. The building dates from the late 17th c but was significantly renovated during both the 19th and 20th cc.
 


NATIONAL ART MUSEUM

Shava Amiranashvili National Museum of Fine Arts is the main gallery in Tbilisi and provides a useful introduction to Georgian painting, particularly of the ninteenth and twentieth centuries: Pirosmani, Kakabadze, Gudiasvili, Akhvlediani, etc;
It holds Georgia's most exquisite and prized possessions both royal and ecclesiastical. The Treasury contains Medieval art from the 9th to 14th centuries; ancient chased icons, cloisonne enamel works, jewelry; 19th - 20th cc collection of European painting.
 


OPEN AIR MUSEUM

The open air ethnographical museum is situated in a picturesque area near Turtle Lake. The wooden houses have been moved piece by piece from their native villages. There are more than 70 dwellings from 10 distinct regions in Georgia and more than 7,000 artifacts. The architectural style and way of living is the main theme of this architectural theme park.
 


STATE MUSEUM

Simon Janashia State Museum is the main museum in Georgia and covers the history of the country from prehistoric times up to the start of the twentieth century. Particularly significant is the treasury, which contains an exhibition of gold work dated from the 6th century BC. These include extraordinary specimens of gold filigree and reposes work discovered at important archeological sites.
 



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