Rustaveli Avenue

Outside of Old Tbilisi, I walked down Rustaveli Avenue to get a look at the more modern parts of the city. I generally stayed along the busy street but wandered off it to see a few things.

Rustaveli Avenue in Tbilisi, Georgia

Rustaveli Avenue

Rustaveli Avenue in Tbilisi, Georgia

Rustaveli Avenue

I started at Tavisuplebis Moedani (Freedom Square). On one end is the beautiful city hall building and in the center is a tall monument with St. George on the top. In the same spot, a monument to Lenin once stood.

Tavisuplebis Moedani in Tbilisi, Georgia

Tavisuplebis Moedani

Tavisuplebis Moedani in Tbilisi, Georgia

Tavisuplebis Moedani

St. George monument in Tbilisi, Georgia

St. George monument

From there I took a little detour along the city walls to Orbelianis Moedani, a nice square with a fountain. Then I walked back towards Rustaveli Avenue past the Museum of Georgia. I was really hoping to have some time to visit it, but unfortunately that didn’t happen. It seems like there are some really interesting exhibits inside and I will definitely make time for it on my next visit.

Orbelianis Moedani in Tbilisi, Georgia

Orbelianis Moedani

Museum of Georgia in Tbilisi, Georgia

Museum of Georgia

Across the street from the museum is the old Parliament of Georgia. It was built by the Soviets between 1938 and 1953 and completed by German POWs. A Soviet massacre of 20 Georgian hunger strikers took place here on April 9, 1989, and on the same day two years later, Georgia declared its independence on the same spot. The new parliament building is located in the city of Kutaisi, 231km away.

Old Parliament of Georgia in Tbilisi, Georgia

Old Parliament of Georgia

Next door to the old parliament is School Number 1, a school founded in 1802 for children of Georgian nobility. It was reconstructed after being destroyed in fighting in 1991-92.

School Number One in Tbilisi, Georgia

School Number One

Across the street sits the Kashveti Church. The first church on this site was built in the 6th century and the current church was built in 1910. I spent a few minutes inside. It’s nice to stop into.

Kashveti Church in Tbilisi, Georgia

Kashveti Church

Kashveti Church in Tbilisi, Georgia

Kashveti Church

I then took a detour and walked uphill about 20 minutes to the Mamadaviti Church on the slope of Mount Mtatsminda. The church was built in the 1850s on the site of the hermitage of St. Davit Gareja. It has a very somber mood on the inside.

Mount Mtatsminda in Tbilisi, Georgia

Mount Mtatsminda

Mamadaviti Church in Tbilisi, Georgia

Mamadaviti Church

Mamadaviti Church in Tbilisi, Georgia

Mamadaviti Church

The Georgian National Pantheon is below and next to Mamadaviti Church. It contains the graves of many important Georgians. The views of the city are spectacular from up there. Further up at the top of the mountain is an amusement park and restaurant accessible by funicular.

Georgian National Pantheon in Tbilisi, Georgia

Georgian National Pantheon

View from Mamadaviti Church in Tbilisi, Georgia

View from Mamadaviti Church

From there, it was back down to Rustaveli Avenue to walk to Rustavelis Moedani. On the way, I saw some interesting buildings, but none more interesting than the Moorish style Paliashvili Opera and Ballet Theatre.

Paliashvili Opera and Ballet Theatre in Tbilisi, Georgia

Paliashvili Opera and Ballet Theatre

Paliashvili Opera and Ballet Theatre in Tbilisi, Georgia

Paliashvili Opera and Ballet Theatre

I finally made it to Rustavelis Moedani, a very busy square with lots of traffic, a McDonald’s and Starbucks, and the Georgian National Academy of Sciences. The academy was established in 1914. The tower reminded me of a smaller, less ornate version of La Giralda in Sevilla.

Rustavelis Moedani in Tbilisi, Georgia

Rustavelis Moedani

Georgian National Academy of Sciences in Tbilisi, Georgia

Georgian National Academy of Sciences

I walked to the Tbilisi Concert Hall down Kostava Street to see more architecture, and back up through some of the streets uphill from Rustavelis Moedani. That ended an exhausting day of exploring Tbilisi.

Tbilisi Concert Hall in Tbilisi, Georgia

Tbilisi Concert Hall

Kostava Street in Tbilisi, Georgia

Kostava Street

Cool old building in Tbilisi, Georgia

Cool old building

Tbilisi, Georgia

Tbilisi

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