About History – Ilia Chavchavadze

Ilia Chavchavadze is widely regarded as one of the founding fathers of modern Georgia. Revered as Pater Patriae (Father of the Fatherland) of Georgia, he spearheaded the revival of the Georgian national movement in the second half of the 19th century. Chavchavadze championed the revival of the use of the Georgian language, the cultivation of … Continue reading

About History – Early Photographs of St. David’s Church in Tbilisi

St. David’s Church (Mamadaviti) is located on the slope of Mount Mtatsminda (Geo. მთაწმინდა, meaning the Holy Mountain) in Tbilisi. The church is named after St. Davit Gareji, a Syrian priest who helped spread Christianity in Georgia in the 6th century and lived in a small cell where the church is now located. Each week, … Continue reading

About Celebrations – Saint George’s Day

St George has always been especially honored and respected as a patron saint of Georgia and there are hundreds of churches dedicated to him. Georgian Orthodox Christians celebrate Saint George’s Day, Giorgoba, (Georgian: გიორგობა) twice a year; on May 6 and on 23 November. St. George was born in the latter part of the third century … Continue reading

About History – XI Century Gilded Bible

A beautiful XI century gilded Bible that had been on display in the central hall of the president’s palace was given by the President of Georgia to the National Center of Manuscripts. The president was presented with the Bible during his visit to the United States in 2004. Photos courtesy of the President’s Administration. CLICK on … Continue reading

About History – Dzalisa Archaeological Site

Excavations in the 1970s at Dzalisa, near Georgia’s old capital of Mtskheta, revealed the remains of a Roman town dating to the 1st-4th centuries AD. It is considered to be one of the most significant archaeological sites of the Classical period in the kingdom of Kartli (Iberia) and has been identified as Zalissa, a town mentioned by the 2nd … Continue reading

About Sights – Old City Wall in Tbilisi’s Pushkin Street

Pushkin Street is one of six streets that radiate out from Freedom Square in Tbilisi. Named after the famous Russian poet and author Alexander Pushkin, the street underwent refurbishment in 2012 during which part of the city’s XII – XIII century fortified wall was discovered. The remains of several towers were also discovered. The wall … Continue reading

About History – Tourism in Georgia in Soviet Times

During the Soviet era, Georgia was the “Riviera of the Soviet Union”, with 3 million visitors annually. Georgia appealed to Soviet tourists because of its sunny weather, its culture, wines and food, health spas, beaches and skiing. Tourism was centrally planned and the market was monopolized by Intourist, a state owned tourism agency that arranged … Continue reading

About Sights – The Mtkvari River

The 1,515 km (941 mi) long Mtkvari River (Georgian: მტკვარი) originates in Turkey (where it is called “Kura”) and flows through the broad valley between the Greater Caucasus and Lesser Caucasus mountains and down into the Caspian Sea. The Georgian name “Mtkvari” means “good water”, and in Megrelian – “the river, that eats mountains”. About 174 kilometers (108 mi) … Continue reading

About History – Georgia’s Former Parliament Building in Tbilisi

Georgia’s former Parliament building on Rustaveli Avenue in Tbilisi was built between 1938 and 1953 and was used until Parliament was re-located to a new building in Georgia’s second city, Kutaisi (Georgian: ქუთაისი), in 2012. These photographs show the building when it was used as the seat of Parliament. Earlier this year, Parliament announced a … Continue reading

About History – The First Children’s Railway in the World

The first children’s railway in the world was opened in Tbilisi, Georgia 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, … Continue reading

About History – Color Photographs of early 20th Century Georgia by Sergey Mikhaylovich Prokudin-Gorsky

Sergey Mikhaylovich Prokudin-Gorsky (1863 – 1944) was a Russian photographer known for his pioneering work in photographing the early 20th-century Russian Empire in color. In 1901, Prokudin-Gorsky established a photography studio and laboratory in Saint Petersburg and a year later traveled to Berlin to study color sensitization and three-color photography. His best-known work during his … Continue reading

About Celebrations – Independence Day in Georgia (დამოუკიდებლობის დღე)

Georgia became part of the Russian Empire in 1800. On May 26, 1918, shortly after the collapse of the Russian Empire and in the midst of the Russian Civil War, it declared independence and The Democratic Republic of Georgia was created. Independence was short lived. Unable to withstand an invasion by Soviet Russia the Democratic Republic of … Continue reading

About History – Ballooning in Tiflis

The first hot air balloon flight in Georgia was undertaken by a French balloonist called Bede on 10 November, 1882. Bede rose into the air in a Montgolfier balloon from Mushtaidi Gardens in Tiflis (old name of Tbilisi) and reached a height of 200-300 meters. The Frenchman went on to carry out several flights in Tiflis, including … Continue reading

About History – “Savage Svânetia” by Clive Phillipps-Wolley

“Savage Svânetia”, by Clive Phillipps-Wolley, was published in 1883 and describes the author’s experience of travelling in Svaneti in the late 19th century. Though it has a hunting focus, the book also vividly describes life and culture in this mountainous region in the northwestern part of Georgia. The book has several wonderful illustrations of the mountains, … Continue reading

About Art – Vasil Roinashvili (ვასილ როინაშვილი)

Vasil Roinashvili (ვასილ როინაშვილი) (1879-1958) studied the basics of photography in the studio of the famous Georgian photographer Alexander Roinashvili before traveling to Europe and Russia. In 1905 he returned to his homeland, settled in Telavi and married Sophio Kazakhashvili. He built a house and made a photo studio on the first floor. He also created a garden that … Continue reading

About History – 19th Century Georgia in The Illustrated London News

Established by printer and newsagent Herbert Ingram The Illustrated London News was the world’s first illustrated weekly newspaper. The first issue appeared on Saturday 14 May 1842 and by 1863 the newspaper was selling more than 300,000 copies every week, a huge circulation in comparison to other British newspapers of the time. From about 1890 onward The Illustrated London News made increasing … Continue reading