About Sights – The Mushtaid Garden in Tbilisi
Mushtaid Garden in Tbilisi was established in the 1830’s by Mir-Fatah-Agha, a religious leader (a mujtahid – hence the name Mushtaid). Accused of spying during the Russian-Iranian war he was exiled from Iran in 1828 and granted asylum and 5 hectares of land in Tiflis (the name of Tbilisi during the Russian Empire).
After his Georgian wife, Nino, died of an illness Mir-Fatah-Agha buried her near his house and planted roses around her grave. This was the foundation for the park. It became a public park in 1858.
The Mushtaid Garden became a popular venue for performances and receptions. On 10 November, 1882 the first hot air balloon flight in Georgia was undertaken from Mushtaid Garden. A French balloonist called Bede rose into the air in a Montgolfier balloon and reached a height of 200-300 meters.
The famous Georgian artist Niko Pirosmani (Niko Pirosmanashvili) (Georgian: ნიკო ფიროსმანი) saw French dancer/actress Margarita perform in Mushtaid Garden in 1905. He was immediately besotted and it is said that he sold everything he owned to buy thousands of roses that were strewn in front of Margarita’s hotel.
The first children’s railway in the world was opened in Mushtaid Garden on 24th July, 1935. Operating on a 1.2 km track, it was a narrow-gauge railway, complete with real wagons and locomotives.
The railway was operated by schoolchildren aged 9-15 years old who, under supervision of the adult instructors, drove trains, worked as traffic controllers, assistants to station-masters, guards and conductors.
Mushtaid Garden remains one of Tbilisi’s most colorful and popular public places.
Photo source: Photo source: დიდუბის რაიონის გამგეობა / Didube Region.