What to see in Tbilisi, itinerary including the main monuments and places of interest, including Sioni Cathedral, Metekhi Church, Bagni Orbeliani and Ponte della Pace.
Capital of Georgia, Tbilisi is located in the southern Caucasus on the banks of the Mtkvari river, known by the Turkish name of Kura.
The city extends as an amphitheater on several levels, from a minimum altitude of 380 meters up to a maximum of 770 meters, surrounded on three sides by the mountains.
The area where the city was founded, in the fifth century AD, is rich in sulphurous hot springs, for this reason it was called Tbilisi, which in ancient Georgian means hot place.
Throughout history, Tbilisi has been disputed many times by antagonistic powers, attracted by its strategic position along the main trade routes between Europe and Asia.
Its historic center, through the various architectures, reflects the cultures of the peoples who have conquered it in the past.
The oldest part of the city presents itself with a Georgian architectural style, infected by the Middle Eastern style.
Walking along its cobbled streets, the somewhat decadent houses show characteristic carved wooden balconies.
In this area, always on the right bank of the Mtkvari river, there is the Sioni Cathedral, built between the sixth and seventh centuries, although the current Church is from the thirteenth century, with modifications made from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century.
This Church is very important for the Georgian Orthodox Church, as it houses the Santa Nino Cross which, according to tradition, was brought to Georgia in the fourth century by Santa Cristiana, also called Santa Nino, who converted the country to Christianity.
On the left bank of the Mtkvari river, beyond the old city and the Metekhi bridge, the Avlabari area rises above the cliffs and in a strategic position the Metekhi Church, built between 1278 and 1289, subsequently rebuilt several times.Recommended readings
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The Church stands on the site where, in the fifth century, King Gorgasali erected the palace and the first church on the site at the time of its foundation.
In the Abanotubani district there are the ancient sulphurous spas, also frequented by famous people such as Alexandre Dumas and Pushkin.
The structure appears with domes that rise to the ground level, since most of the bathrooms, many dating back to the seventeenth century, are underground.
The Orbeliani Baths located on the surface, with their beautiful blue tile facade, are the most suggestive.
It dominates the city, the statue of Mother Georgia and the ancient Narikala Fortress, whose origins date back to the foundation of Tbilisi.
The citadel is located on the high ridge of Sololaki, above the western side of the cliff at the bottom of which the Mtkvari river flows.
The Ponte della Pace, inaugurated in 2010, is an elegant footbridge over the Mtkvari river, built in glass and steel based on a project by the Italian architect Michele De Lucchi, it serves to connect the old neighborhood with the new part of Tbilisi.
A gondola lift, equipped with glass flooring, allows you to comfortably reach the area of the Fortress, offering wonderful panoramic views.
Among the museums to visit in Tbilsi are the Georgia Historical Museum, which houses an ethnographic collection and a beautiful collection of ancient goldsmiths, and the Georgia Museum of Fine Arts, which houses a collection of Persian, Georgian and Western art .