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ADVENTURER THE FIRST INSIDERS GUIDE TO G E O R G I A ISSUE 3 SPRING 2019 SPRING OF PLEASURES

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4 EDITOR S LETTER I n the spring issue of Adventurer we seduce the readers to join us along the most unknown paths in Georgia a country which has both great and glamorous destinations but at the same time the disparate ruins of Soviet era resorts that that still need to be revived and modernized as if waiting for better days to come This publication is sort of summing these contrasts up While reading about the places collected in the Good for Your Immune System section you ll be persuaded that Georgia is not only fun to travel to not only a great history lesson or a time travelling machine but also a country that s good for your health Spring is a special time for Georgians many classics of Georgian cuisine are connected to this time of year Most importantly though it s when we celebrate our Independence Day and Adventurer gives you a chance to revisit all the locations in Tbilisi connected to this big day in May Happy travels and great discoveries E D I TO R I A L Project Director Tina Osepashvili Chief Editor Tamar Babuadze Translator Irakli Beridze Native Speaker Editor Shawn Basey Art Director Designer Anna Shukhaeva Sales Director Tina Osepashvili Distribution Manager Tamar Papava Logistics Alex Mamasakhlisi Text Nini Darchia Tamar Esakia Nino Chimakadze Nini Sparsiashvili Tinatin Mosiashvili Photo Tamar Esakia Cover Image Wonderplants series by Sarah Illenberger Printing House Dios 2017 PUBLISHING INDIGO Publishing LTD INDIGO 24 a I Abashidze St Tbilisi Email info indigo com ge Advertising 591 333 399 All rights reserved No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without permission from the publisher ISSN 2587 5388

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Shopping and Entertainment City Tbilisi Kakheti Highway 2 AI Tvalchrelidze st

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CONTRIBUTORS Sarah Illenberger We met the author of this beautiful image on the Internet the Berlin based artist illustrator and designer Sarah Her works are amazingly dreamy and magic when its needed and very precise and witty whenever the content requires She created the spirit of Spring for the 4th installment of the Adventurer magazine As her bio notes Sarah s visual language is defined by giving common things a new meaning She creates installations using various materials and techniques We are proud of our collaboration with this talented illustrator Thank you Sarah Nini Sparsiashvili When I m traveling I always look for places that make me feel at home that is back in Tbilisi It s very important for me which is why I want to introduce my city s guests to spots where they can feel comfortable happy and tranquil where they won t feel out of place and where they will enjoy homelike peace and quiet Trust me Tbilisi can do that So let me help you discover where Tbilisi really is www sarahillenberger com Nini Darchia I am the newest member of the team an art critic by profession contemporary art is what interests me most and that s what I will try to introduce to the Adventurer readers I will guide you through the latest trends of the Georgian contemporary art scene In every issue I will write about one outstanding artist Let me start with Salome Jokhadze who creates wonderful comics on religious themes Stay tuned

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8 CONTENTS MY PERSONAL FAVORITE Ana MikadzeChikvaidze 21 Ben Wheeler 35 page 96 GEORGIA IN THE INTERNATIONAL HEADLINES page 22 14 Forbes National Georgraphic Eater Daily Beast FOOD AND DRINKS 22 Immigrants Cook Ovsyanka 26 Best Restaurants 36 Bar Hunting KIDS FRIENDLY TBILISI Cafes and Eateries 46 Canape Ezo 47 Fabrika Tsibakha 48 Strada Brotmeister 49 Sakhachapure 1 Burger House 50 Tsiskvili Luca Polare 51 Tamashobana Kikliko 52 New Mziuri Hiking and Biking 56 Mtatsminda Park 58 Botanical Garden 59 Ethnographic Museum 61 Turtle Lake 62 Lisi 63 Tbilisi Sea 64 Vake Park 66 Mushtaidi

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995 322 40 30 90 10 LERMONTOV STREET WINEOBSERVATORY WINEOBSERVATORY WWW IOTAHOTELS COM

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10 67 Deda Ena Park 68 Mziuri Park 69 Hippodrome Entertainment 70 Tbilisi Zoo 72 Circus 73 Experimentorium 74 Museum of Illusions page 119 SHOPPING Concept stores 78 Chaos Concept Store 78 Sauvage Concept Store 79 They Said Books 79 Pierrot Le Fou 80 Aromateque 80 Frequently Asked Questions GUIDE 84 A three Year Glimpse of Freedom 114 Feodal Tbilisi ARTIST S SPACE 94 Salome Jokhadze page 94 CLIMATE RESORTS 98 Bakhmaro 101 Borjomi 107 Abastumani 110 Tsagveri 112 Surami SPRING EVENTS 2019 136 Art and Shows in Tbilisi

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12 Concierge Tbilisi UNIQUE EXPERIENCES H ave you ever thought what makes an experience truly unique It s not only the places the hotels and restaurants nor even the sightseeing but the people People who meet you people who host you in a country where you don t have friends yet Helpful and nice people are the main factor which influences your future love for the country you visit With Concierge Tbilisi the very moment you land at Tbilisi international airport you have a Georgian friend your personal concierge who makes sure you become a local for a while get introduced to Georgian culture get accepted by the locals and feel at home This time to inspire our guests we decided to offer a truly unique experience of exploring the Hidden Tbilisi yes the one you have never seen and may not see when you come as a regular tourist and are not hosted by Concierge Tbilisi So if you re planning to visit Georgia for the first time or are among those who think they ve explored everything Tbilisi has to offer have embraced its beauty and attractions then you need to experience the ConcierGE Tbilisi signature tour For unique experience and emotions ConcierGE Tbilisi s favorite guide will step off the beaten path to give you the chance to discover unseen and hidden Tbilisi Feel the unique history of the capital its diversity and charm by exploring its authentic and enchanting architecture 18 19th century buildings backyards home entrances and all the tiny age old details you might otherwise miss Tbilisi is all about legends facts and adventures that locals often share with guests so why not become a part of this amazing journey and see the city from the inside with ConcierGE Tbilisi Our professional team of guides will make you feel like a local ConcierGE Tbilisi is all about creating magical experiences and we promise to show the real Tbilisi from close up a beautiful city full of interesting details ready and waiting for you to discover For more information contact at info conciergetbilisi com

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14 GEORGIA IN THE photo by Michel Marang International Headlines Meet The 25 Year Old Georgian Winemaker Named to Forbes 2019 30 Under 30 Europe List by Chloe Sorvino Himitsu cofounder and beverage director Carlie Steiner says the wine is unlike anything I ve ever had flavor profile wise Georgians have been making natural biodynamic wine decades before it became a trend Her wine is an exemplary wine that balances tradition with new age approachability says Steiner who herself is an alum of the Forbes 2018 30 Under 30 Food and Drink list Its bouquet bursts with thyme and soft herbs and it drinks with a savoriness and salinity perfect for the food at Himitsu The wine is selfcontained umami Why Georgian Wines are Among the Most Unique on the Planet by Lana Bortolot Even where we think a culture like France or Italy is so wine centric Georgians just take it to a whole different level much deeper than what we re exposed to said Taylor Parsons an Los Angeles sommelier who has visited Georgian wine country three times Simon J Woolf author of the newly released Amber Revolution How the World Learned to Love Orange Wine a book that devotes a large discussion to Georgian wine agrees One of the most important things about Georgian wines is that it s a window into a culture that most of us as Westerners simply don t have he said

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15 FACEBOOK POST 11 Things You Can Only See in Georgia by Georgia Tourism With seaside mountains lakes historic ruins and rich cultural heritage there s an abundance of incredible sights you can only see in Georgia 6 Udziro Bottomless Lake One of the most beautiful views in Georgia this incredible lake located in the mountainous region of Racha takes two days to hike to and can only be visited in the summer months What sets it apart is its stunning reflection of the mountains surrounding it The 18 Essential Restaurants in Tbilisi Georgia by Natalie Shafrir Nestled in Georgia s central Kartli region the ancient city of Tbilisi is the crown jewel of Eurasia Today the city of Tbilisi is in a unique moment of transition out of its Soviet past and its burgeoning wine food and cultural scenes are drawing travelers from around the world While classic Eurasian cooking still reigns supreme a number of experimental restaurants and bars pouring natural Spanish mountclimber Pipi Cardell announces on her Facebook page that Denis Urubko s and her ascent of Mount Ushba was named as the best ascent of 2018 at the 9th annual gathering of Andalusian climbers During the 6 8th of August Pipi Cardell and Denis Urubko ascended on the north side of Ushba on a totally new route They named the route as Matsoni actual name for acclaimed Georgian version of plain yogurt wine and craft cocktails have taken root among the traditional taverns and bakeries 5 Mapshalia Elsa Kalandia opened her restaurant in 1980 serving exclusively dishes from her home region of Samegrelo In 2001 Mapshalia moved to its current iconic location under the old Apollo theater An art nouveau relief depicting old Tbilisi covers two of the four walls and Elsa is still there watching over the dining room every day ensuring all whims are cared for Don t miss the elarji best enjoyed with a side dish of kharcho which is cooked in a walnut tomato sauce Wash it all down with a pitcher of the house wine

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16 GEORGIA IN THE INTERNATIONAL HEADLINES Tusheti Georgia The Last Wild Place in Europe by Benjamin Kemper That s how I found myself riding shotgun with Kartlos a longtime friend and the founder of InterGeorgia Travel lurching up hairpin turns toward the Russian border as Lela Tataraidze s Ra Lamazia Tusheti How Beautiful Is Tusheti quavered over the stereo Out the window the dusty farmscape of the Alazani Valley gave way to lush groves of boxwood birch and pine A sudden racket of unfamiliar bird calls in the canopy reminded me I was in a protected national park Georgia may be smaller than Ireland but it boasts more endemic flora and fauna than any other European country barring Russia Here in the 440 squaremile Tusheti Protected Landscape you might spy mountain goats imperial eagles brown bears and if you re lucky rare indigenous species like the Caucasian black grouse and East Caucasian tur a goat antelope with horns so enormous they look like they belong on a triceratops There are even occasional if uncorroborated Persian leopard sightings At the treeline we hit a traffic jam of the ovine variety Kartlos leaned on the horn cursing in Georgian at the wooly expanse Rush hour in Tusheti brother he said raising his palms in a whaddya gonna do gesture

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18 THE ADVANTAGES OF A MODERN APARTMENT IN AN OLD CITY A story for those ready to rent an apartment in Tbilisi A t first glance renting an apartment in Tbilisi promises to be a piece of cake because the market seems to be divided in two On one hand you have old Soviet and pre Soviet historical buildings where along with a place to stay overnight you are renting for Tbilisi s exotic attractiveness On the other hand there are new modern residential apartments that help you forget Tbilisi s antiquities and offer you modern comfort in this old town The developer company m2 Real Estate however tells us that there is a difference even within that second segment not all modern houses are equal in m2Rent comfort and quality and their services differ in terms of their flexibility and focus on the costumer s interests Since inception the developer company m2 Real Estate has been setting new standards for quality and comfortable living in Georgia The company s innovations have a much larger scope than just the process of construction or creat

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19 BEST PROPERTIES FOR RENT ing a comfortable environment for clients Even after the completion of construction the company continues its work by developing commercial and residential spaces for rent introducing its advantages to clients and offering simple but effective formulas for house hunters m2 stands for the best apartment for the best price on the best terms Formulas like this working in practice are few and far between m2 Rent was introduced by the

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20 REAL ESTATE company in 2017 This service involves a virtual space serving those renting apartments at residential complexes from m2 This service brings together complete information about the rent or sale prices in every m2 complex ensuring that no difficulties arise after choosing an apartment On the contrary it is very much possible to enjoy simple and rapid rental services and to register your rent lease agreement with the Public Registry through the m2 Gallery service without waiting in line Naturally the www m2rent ge digital platform designed to simplify the process of pinpointing the right apartment is not the only advantage this developer enjoys The biggest advantage lies in the rental spaces and property areas themselves These apartments are noted in the Georgian market for their quality innovative approach es and technical equipment all of which intensifies a double pleasure effect in that you are in Old Tbilisi enjoying its multicultural history and yet its modern dimension is part of your everyday life and your living environment Only m2 apartments convince you that taking in Tbilisi s historic charm does not exclude living in a modern home By renting an apartment in an m2 building you receive the following Excellent infrastructure Green environment 24 hour security Cleaning of entrance hallways elevator and courtyards Parking Sports field leisure area and children s play zone Fire safety systems that correspond to international standards You will also enjoy services from an m2 assistant to solve different household or technical issues for example moving furniture or spring cleaning after the expiration of your lease term m2 also offers a free discount m2 guest card valid at the company s partner equipment and furniture stores In a nutshell if you are looking for an apartment to rent in Tbilisi look no further FOR DETAILED INFORMATION 577 19 09 53 577 19 09 54 m2rent m2 ge www m2rent ge

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21 MY PERSONAL FAVORITE Ana Mikadze Chikvaidze is a natural born reformer and activist who has revitalized the popularity of the long history of Georgian cheese its large assortment of cheeses and its once lost and neglected varieties Ana has revealed to scores of Georgians themselves that Georgian cheese in terms of diversity is far more than its Imereti style Sulguni smoked or Guda varieties Ana lives in Teleti She runs a small cheese factory raises goats and not only makes top quality dairy products but also helps other cheesemakers in raising the bar and promoting less popular varieties ABSOLUTE MUST SEES You cannot leave Georgia without visiting Samegrelo Lake Tobavarchkhili and Martvili Canyons the Shurubumu Cave with its river and ever green mosses and mysterious sounds coming from underground lakes and rivers All these ensure an unforgettable sight and experience Go down to Shurubumu Cave near Chkhorotzku where you will learn the deciphered meaning of this word Shurubumu going back all the way to the time of the ancient Kingdom of Colchis and listen to the many legends related to Shurubumu An absolute mustsee at least once ABSOLUTE MUST EATS Chopped beetroot pkhali with walnut paste hot mchadi cornbread and Imereti style chkinti squeaky cheese and dry wine don t miss a chance to enjoy these genuine gifts from paradise

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22 ROUBRIC B E S T Restaurants in Tbilisi

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23 Ovsyanka Bar C hovelidze Street started its transformation from the very bottom several years ago and the process has already hit the middle of this long and steep street going all the way up to the foot of Mtatsminda It starts with a super modern European mood with Stamba Hotel on one side and Keti s Bistro with its French accent on the other But before you hit the first crossroad of Chovelidze Zandukeli streets pay attention to the wooden green door or to the old and steep balcony that reveals Ovsyanka Bar a brunch hangover and cocktails place all in one located on the second floor of a crumbling Soviet building that once housed a privately owned ovsyanka tbilisi ovsyanka_bar kindergarten in the early 2000s Ovsyanka Bar claims it is a breakfast place it is for those new working class people who would like to have breakfast a healthy one while holding first meeting of the day or answering mail

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24 FOOD AND DRINKS IMMIGRANTS COOK 23 Tamar Chovelidze St Call 599 85 00 65 Open from 10am till 10pm on Workdays till 12 am on Weekends Brunch Restaurant Place for Friday night cocktails Good for a coffee stop and working on your laptop Nice hangover spot Ovsyanka offers 4 sets of breakfast and the breakfast 4 fried potatoes with an egg sausages a salad mix cherry tomatoes and toasted bread is especially heavy specially designed for hangovers That s another accent of Ovsyanka it is a perfect place if you are suffering from a hangover Fresh juices a great selection of soups including a Norwegian salmon soup all the trendy ingredients like quinoa and avocado granola with yogurt and oatmeal porridge even with coconut milk that will assure you that you are healing yourself with healthy stuff after an alcohol attack One of the walls is a work of contemporary art the bare cement wall is covered with a metal net from floor to ceiling that is lit up with neon lights during the evenings and warmed up with plants the classic theme of industrial poetry

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25 Special recommendations Try their homemade ice cream with Russian bread a true delicacy The owners of the place are Russian expats four friends who ve concluded that the general temperament they share with Georgians and the local state of mind suits them well The interior and the menu they ve created indirectly proves that these people are far beyond the general taste that Russians have often acquired towards the Georgian cuisine To be more precise Ovsyanka is far beyond kindza shashliki or khinkali the terms Russian tourists often use to describe their knowledge and affection towards Georgian food Ovsyanka radiates more of a cosmopolitan post industrial vibe with certain aesthetics that transcend nationalities and moreover Russian expansionary politics the recent war and its aftermath It s a place where nationality is a new device that connects people of all political and cultural backgrounds Even some Georgians have started visiting the place European visitors often stop by too but mostly it s a place of Vera locals and Russian speaking expats for them spending a Friday evening here with in house cocktails and music is a must Important to note Sunday is a brunch day at Ovsyanka guided with a special menu accompanied by sparkling wine as a gift with each ordered dish The menu includes homemade zucchini quiche a Slavic speciality syrniki with caramel Georgian inspiration pancakes with nadugi type of Georgian cottage cheese and with poached egg and Hollandaise sauce

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26 FOOD AND DRINKS BEST RESTAURANTS Umami Tbilisi ASIAN FUSION RESTAURANT Usually when a restaurant is incorporated into a hotel guests just can t wait to get outside and explore the new city However what happens in Umami one such restaurant owned by the Radisson Blu Iveria Hotel is exactly the opposite people from all around flock here and can t wait to get in Web page umamirestaurant ge A s you can see for yourself on the establishment s Facebook feedback section it s the best Asian fusion restaurant in Tbilisi Never expected to find the best Wagyu steak here and I never leave here without ordering shrimp tempura or You get value for your money expensive but absolutely worth it In a nutshell when it comes to culinary reviews in Tbilisi Umami is always topping the list This restaurant which never goes out of fashion used to be TripAdvisor s number one choice but now holds 6th place because rules are rules to encourage startups according to the web portal s policy veterans

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27 Radisson Blu Iveria Hotel 1 Rose Revolution Square Call 995 322 402 200 must voluntarily take a back seat to rookies To double check the cited comments we visited this best loved restaurant a few days ago The interior is very unpretentious dark wooden frames and furniture wide windows lots of space with an open kitchen enabling you to watch the cooks work on your dish Service is polite and fast Uniformed personnel address you quietly in a low voice to explain everything you need to know Many Tbilisi residents have come here absolutely clueless about Asian fusion but thanks to the establishment s chefs and servers have soon grown truly knowledgeable and even enamored with Japanese Chinese Vietnamese or Korean cuisine The regularly updated Umami menu is user friendly The dishes are categorized by country so you can make your quick order and easily guess which particular flavors or ingredients to anticipate depending on the country Our dinner is a combo plate as it were something we planned in advance to sample dishes from every country Sure enough the shrimp tempura is balanced to perfection with a fresh taste and seasoning right on target Sizzling scallops and eel teppanyaki with wasabi sauce and sesame seed paste this dish boasts ideally balanced tastes and fresh fish flavors simple and yet intense enough to leave a pleasant lasting aftertaste Classic rolls here are complemented with an innovative approach For example salmon rolls are more popular here than California rolls and I recommend the former too Roasted duck meat with vege

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28 FOOD AND DRINKS BEST RESTAURANTS tables and hoisin sauce I simply can t recall the last time I tried such perfectly roasted duck meat The abundance of dishes does not necessarily mean overstuffing By the end of our meal we still feel quite light ready for good coffee and yummy desserts puff mango and cocoa pastries Umami is a frequent destination of special weekend afternoon outings because Tbilisi s residents know well that the joint offers the perfect remedy for a hangover soups Many are religious about going to Umami on Thursdays when the chefs work their magic in a teppanyaki show to the amusement of their guests Last but not least being a fine Asian fusion establishment in Tbilisi is not as easy as it used to be just a year ago for instance because Asian fusion restaurants have mushroomed in town over the course of the last 12 months And this is why we offer you a shortcut of sorts to the best Asian fusion establishment of the apparently many found in Tbilisi The restaurant boasts panoramic views of Tbilisi and has pioneered many things in town sparing no effort to keep up the good innovative work and continue its convincing progress And one more thing the rice chips served as appetizers like all the other items on the menu are just as perfect here as on the opening day

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29 82 Uznadze St Tbilisi Call 577 22 29 09 Open 6 pm 12 am Walk Ins Welcome I wouldn t call it a fusion It s more like a synergy of different cultures or flavors working in harmony that comprise our cuisine G VINO The Uznadze Street branch Everybody in Tbilisi knows about the wine bar g Vino which has a very diverse and nice selection of Georgian wines made using the traditional qvevri method as well as those done in the European style g Vino has opened another space recently The Uznadze Street branch houses a lifestyle hotel with limited rooms and an interesting concept with a restaurant connected to it The restaurant has a signature menu Web page gvinohotel com gvinohotel by the local young chef Tamta Kikaleishvili who has a casual style of cooking with a focus on artisanal wines and natural healthy meals aiming to fit ingredients that are staples to the Georgian taste and that also represent impressions from international dishes and cooking techniques You can decide for yourself the menu features tenderloin with wine and salvia butter beef carpaccio with green adjika catfish with tkemali sour plum and tarragon sauce pork belly confit with Rachan ham bread ham from Racha is famous in Georgia and if any restaurant or your host says that there is a chance to taste ham from Racha don t even hesitate The chef of the restaurant says that her main aim was

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30 FOOD AND DRINKS BEST RESTAURANTS Little hint The restaurant is situated on the left bank of the Mtkvari River It is a wonderful chance to stroll through the old and beautiful or renovated and still beautiful 19th century residential houses Then have your dinner late at this interesting new place with artisanal wine and signature dishes that might give you an idea of how Georgian cuisine can be interpreted and explored with cooking techniques and ingredients that are more familiar to the taste and attitude of the modern gourmand beyond nationalities and patriotic preferences 32 Vasil Barnovi Str Vera Area Call 0322 98 54 39 Open 12 pm 11 pm Serves breakfast lunch dinner coffee and drinks RAINERS EUROPEAN RESTAURANT There are not many businesses in Georgia especially small businesses at that which can claim that they ve been around for 20 years 20 years that s as old as independent Georgia itself 20 years ago that s when the business sector started its biography in the post Soviet country And this restaurant with a cozy family friendly though more pub like interior and the outdoor space that looked even weirder back then 20 years ago with tables and benches cramped right on the cement stair case managed to stay and to develop further Today Rainers European Restaurant is connected to the hotel next door but it s still popular for the tradition that yet endures Rainers is the place for Web page hotel kartli com rainerspizzeria

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31 Rainer s has a very interesting take on modernizing Georgian food classics delicious pizza with dozens of interesting toppings for German style shared food accompanied with quality beer Vera area locals especially expats often go there during warm spring evenings for exceptionally tasty food be it German Italian French Hungarian or Georgian Rainer s has a very interesting take on modernizing Georgian food classics The author of the recipes is the Restaurant owner himself Rainer Kauffman who can be regarded as a specialist in Georgian history and modern affairs He changed the classic recipes and gave them an even more interesting touch He also has a book available about Georgian cuisine ask for it at the same place So the Rainer s section for Georgian cuisine is worth exploring It has coriander cream soup sturgeon dumplings a khachapuri burger chicken breast a la chkmeruli eggplant with walnut pesto beef fillet with saperavi sauce gorgonzola mchadi Adjarian khachapuri a la Kartli And from the desserts pancakes baked with endemic Georgian flour tsiteli doli garnished with walnuts and honey and also vanilla ice cream with watermelon muraba the Georgian version of sweet fruit preserves or fig salad with churchkhela ginger and cream these are truly very brave experiments on Georgian classics worth to try Check the international section too you will find some rare examples of traditional cuisines from various countries like roasted pork legs Maultaschen Ravioli Swabian style beef rolls german style stuff that are not from the usual pop and worn out repertoire Visit Rainers if you want to find a restaurant that has a huge diversity on its menu nice outdoor seating space dubbed to be the pivotal meeting point of the expat scene in Tbilisi and if you also want to feel all the charm that the Vera area radiates

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32 FOOD AND DRINKS BEST RESTAURANTS GHUMELI Restaurant In and Out at Once Text by Tamar Kvinikadze I t is common scientific knowledge that everything we experience on a daily basis such as eating or enjoying landscapes boosts pleasant experiences tenfold To relive this ancient wisdom you must visit Ghumeli Oven a restaurant on the top floor of IOTA HOTEL TBILISI on the corner of Lermontov and Tabidze Streets Inside the restaurant consists of a wide and long hall with windows lined up on either side to offer views of Mtatsminda and Tbilisi and to take in the sunlight ever changing depending on the time of day The star accessory here is an enormous stone oven separating the open kitchen from the dining section of the hall with the chef and the confectioner taking care of business on the other side of the oven One cooking up Georgian and European dishes and the other tending to exquisite Web page iotahotels com ghumeli 10 Lermontov St Tbilisi Call 032 2 40 30 70 European desserts Other equally exciting accessories of the restaurant include the said views Just snuggle down by one of the windows try the establishment s signature dishes with a glass of wine and contemplate Tbilisi from afar Trust me seen from a distance Tbilisi is stripped of all its artiness and chaos leaving only its modern charm and cryptic historical context To bring out the best in Tbilisi s quintessence we order a Georgian meal and conclude that the leek beet and spinach pkhali dishes here are seasoned to a T classic in both form and flavor This implacable harmony of flavors is amazing indeed The

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33 restaurant s pkhali dishes inspire us Georgians to exclaim That s what I m talking about while helping foreign visitors discover the true colors of pkhali The mchadi cornbread at Ghumeli is what we call homemade it is thicker and baked on a layer of nesho husks and leaves something you will not find anywhere else in town Just glancing at it you can rest assured that it is made from premium quality flour We the Georgians as picky as we are pay special attention to this aspect so you can take our word to the bank The boneless hen tsatsivi dish with walnut paste is excellent in that it firstly enables you to en

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34 FOOD AND DRINKS BEST RESTAURANTS joy the best part of both the paste and the meat and secondly no flavor sticks out to dwarf the others neither cinnamon cilantro nor garlic everything is balanced to perfection homemade style The khinkali dumpling soup is the chef s calling card The smaller khinkali dumplings are swimming in their own juice in a bowl This way you can kill two birds with one stone as you may have heard from Georgians the juice is the beauty of khinkali dumplings Similarly the chef offers his own versions of kubdari double crust meat filled pies and khachapuri cheese bread baked until crisp in the shape of long sticks Thus if you are looking for the conventional variations of these baked goods you should try someplace else Here however you are sure to be treated with modern interpretations Most importantly put your trust in the Ghumeli chef in his finesse and in his talent for finding harmony in eclecticism He is equally good when it comes to European dishes too be it pasta or his own version of goulash a la Paul Bocuse Thus you can visit Ghumeli any time you are fatigued by Georgian cuisine and feel like trying other more acceptable flavors After a nice meal at Ghumeli you are welcome to enjoy good coffee with yummy pastries We now go for some red silky cake and cr me br l e kudos to the confectioner for both As it gets warmer this place becomes doubly pleasant The restaurant s corrugated roof is removed to make you feel closer to Mtatsminda and the houses dotting its slope on one side and Tbilisi s rooftops on the other with some of them still boasting the antique charm of red tiles or the radiance of silver copper coming back to life

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35 MY PERSONAL FAVORITE Ben Wheeler Ben Wheeler is a musician composer and ethnomusicologist specializing in the music of the Caucasus region He also performs frequecntly as a member of the experimental music scene in Tbilisi WHERE TO EAT Kakhuri Dukhani Uznadze Street s Kakhuri Dukhani offers unpretentious delicious food in generous portions served alongside golden Kakhetian wine I don t know many dishes better than their version of shkmeruli pan fried chicken with copious amounts of butter and garlic served in the original Rachan style without milk with some fresh bread to soak up the remnants Add a plate of fresh greens to round things out benwheelermusic WHAT TO SEE Museum of Musical Instruments This small museum is wedged in a small corner behind the old city s main square close to the sulfur baths and some of the district s more famous churches Essentially consisting of two exhibitions one of folk instruments and another of analog music boxes and other oddities donated from a private collector these objects serve as an excellent introduction to the diverse musical cultures and histories of the region Rural urban classical and folk musics are all represented and the museum s tour guides will help to give you some context and introduce you to some unique sounds

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36 ROUBRIC BAR HUNTING in Tbilisi Bars visited and reviewed by local party goer Nini Sparsiashvili

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38 BAR HUNTING BAUHAUS BAR POLITIKA Bauhaus Dedaena Park Bauhaus is open from 3 PM to 2 AM on weekdays and from 6 PM to 4 AM on Friday and Saturday in summer with crowds flocking in the bar works extended hours Pet friendly Bauhaus is a free space strongly recommended if you are big on music drinking partying and mingling with crowds This bar captured the hearts and minds of both Tbilisi s residents and visitors from the very outset almost three years ago The key attraction was its location in Dedaena Park a space to sprawl across the lawn sing play cards and enjoy drinks something Bauhaus sought to establish Generally that is why so many people would gather here but what happened in summer 2018 was total madness Music blasting through the night mingling making friends loving it was like a melting pot Needless to say I kept pace with the rhythm of Tbilisi nightlife and joined the endless ranks of partygoers Some were dancing others lying on the grass tired of moving their bodies while some holding nighttime confession sessions somewhere in one of the park s nooks And why not do the same this coming summer in 2019 Let s do it again Here you can find all kinds of people coming in all shapes and sizes I for one have made scores of tourist friends here You can go to Bauhaus alone connecting is like shooting fish in a barrel during these noisy helter skelter nights And there are always the bar s cocktails to fuel up a conversation The establishment s menu is mixed and bauhauscafetbilisi bauhausbar1 gmail com

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39 Politika 164 Aghmashenebeli Ave Politika is open from 12 AM to 2 AM on weekdays and from 11 AM to 3 AM on Friday and Saturday contains both Georgian and familiar all European dishes About a year ago Bauhaus announced the establishment of Politika by Bauhaus another joint with a slightly different concept with the same bomb cocktails and comfortable setting defining the atmosphere and again an outdoor area a small park next to the bar before hitting the noisy street but as the place s name suggests the establishment has a special room to discuss politics among other things a beautiful room with an old fashioned tiled fireplace and cushiony beanbags This place hosts a variety of events announced on the bar s Facebook page Here you can witness people discuss environment youth activism and attend musical events and exhibitions Both bars offer affordable prices but Politika is slightly pricier politikabybauhaus politikabybauhaus gmail com Call 995 593 271 969 Pet friendly

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40 BAR HUNTING DEDAENA BAR The Dedaena Bar which joined Tbilisi s nightlife just a few months ago was quick to receive recognition Similar to Bauhaus it is located in Dedaena Park a place increasingly associated with nighttime entertainment As the bar s Facebook page reads it is a magical place with the smallest stage but the biggest heart At the Dedaena Bar you will meet people who play music for you inspiring you to jump onstage and perform the most big hearted dance Also you can have fun on the balcony terrace overlooking river I have this weird habit though Sometimes amid this hullabaloo with boozed up people all around I tend to strike up blunt conversations You can try it It may be a perfect setting for bluntness You can have a nice meal and enjoy excellent cocktails Just don t let yourself climb over the rails in front of the bar and attempt to swim across the Mtkvari River Other than that all s fair in Tbilisi especially at night Dedaena Park Working hours Closed on Monday Tuesday and Wednesday from 7 PM to 3 AM Thursday Friday and Saturday from 7 PM to 4 AM sometimes even longer Pet friendly MOZAIKA 8 Vashlovani St Vera connecting Kostava and Akhvlediani Streets Working hours Weekdays from 6 PM to 2 AM Friday and Saturday from 6 PM to 3 AM Call 995 599 99 89 41 Pet friendly dddedaena Tequila and tequila only is the first thing that comes to mind in relation to Mozaika I know how to hold my tequila liquor I m feeling good after three shots and even better after five Tequila aside Mozaika is a narrow two story space that seems small and awkward at first It is thanks to these two floors however that it is divided into micro areas that make the place so cozy The two rooms are still too small so once you re on the balcony you end up making friends whether you like it or not Everyone working the bar is friendly They can even customize your drink to match your character or wishes I remember pestering a gorgeous girl at the bar by repeatedly asking her to give me another slice of lemon Still that never wiped the smile off her face In a nutshell it has been over 3 years since Mozaika which now boasts a large clientele sheltered its first of the scores wandering through Tbilisi streets in search of fun and entertainment Many frequent this place in groups and I take it as a sign of the bar s positive aura If you re hungry keep in mind that the kitchen is strictly vegetarian mosaic123

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41 CACTUS BAR Once I get started I find it hard to stop talking about this place because I used to work there Cactus opened on April 5 2018 and quickly turned into a favorite spot in the neighborhood The caf has both interior and exterior spaces and partying at full throttle on the patio is very much possible as early as spring The menu consists of mixed dishes mainly European The bartender is the place s heart and soul an English speaking African a very sociable fellow who fixes mouthwatering cocktails Besides cocktails I recommend trying Cactus Wine made from grapes the establishment s branded calling card Pets are especially cherished at Cactus which has a cat of its own In the caf s courtyard you may find stray animals duly taken care of and provided with warmth and food and thoroughly entertained and petted until their owners turn up Cactus Bar organizes occasional costume parties announced on its Facebook page cactusthebar 64 Barnov St Vera Working hours Every day from 2 PM to 2 AM Friday and Saturday until the last customer Call 995 571 87 40 40 Pet friendly

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42 BAR HUNTING AMBAVI 12 Galaktion Tabidze St Weekdays from 6 PM to 2 AM Friday and Saturday from 6 PM to 4 AM Call 995 599 99 89 41 Pet friendly Ambavi is a bar occupying the second floor in an old shabby building on Tabidze Street a semi car free zone in Tbilisi s oldest neighborhood It has a balcony and a floor of modest dimensions but it also has a DJ capable of enchanting everyone bartenders who listen to others stories and share their own chefs who can make dishes tell their stories No wonder After all the word ambavi means story in Georgian The Ambavi team was the first thing that drew me to this place They welcomed me as their own an old friend or family member This place is ruled by openhearted conversations free dancing delicious dishes and enough alcohol to make up stories as you go stories that will later bring a smile to your face or stories that you may forget but friends will make sure of reminding you about PS Everybody knows everybody here but don t let that make you feel out of place at Ambavi making friends is easy here And you can take my word for it Ambavi bar barambavi gmail com

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A KidFriendly Tbilisi CAFES AND EATERIES Tbilisi now offers many comfortable kid friendly cafes and restaurants with excellent infrastructure clever menus and play areas as part of their services Many Tbilisi residents are taking advantage of these places feeling free to go out with children on weekends or early evenings Text by Nini Darchia

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46 KID FRIENDLY CAFES AND EATERIES CAF CANAPE 14 Abashidze Street 7 Kazbegi Street 15 6 Abano Street CAF EZO 16 Kikodze Street You can visit Canape in the company of your children and find an outdoor table in spring or summer though you may change your mind because of the emissions the seating area is right on the sidewalk A visit to Canape with the kids is especially pleasant when you have no time to cook for them at home here you can order any meal including both soup and mashed potatoes Most importantly Canape uses only healthy certified ingredients so you can rest assured that visiting a caf does not necessarily mean eating junk food This caf in the Sololaki neighborhood was one of the first to install a baby changing station in the restroom and to offer wooden toys in one of the rooms and a part of the courtyard an approach Ezo is committed to keeping up Dining here with children is especially rewarding from early spring to late fall when kids can play in the courtyard and even pet cats under parental supervision of course All this the family oriented establishment Georgian cuisine with a touch of modernized flavors smiling personnel fluent in English and a children s area may inspire you to come here even for lunch or an early bird dinner before the place swarms with youth seeking social drinking and entertainment Canape cafe canape EZO Restaurant

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47 FABRIKA 18 Ninoshvili Street Fabrika in Tbilisi is a large multifunctional space not just for young adults but even children Here you will find conceptual clothing flower and other types of shops a ceramics studio a workhub and a variety of cafes with spaces leading into the courtyard The courtyard is large enough to accommodate scores of people having fun here on the weekends allowing space for your children to run and play while you can sit nearby and watch level and suitable for all kinds of interests They include games that kids can play alone and those to be played in the family circle While the game is on you will be treated to fruit based Cumbo Pops popsicles and other snacks that can make board games extra exciting Fabrika also includes Tsibakha Game Club established by Tbilisi based designer Giga Tzibakhashvili a big fan and collector of board games Giga loves to share his passion about board games not only with his friends but also his son which is why the club s collection includes games for all ages of any difficulty FabrikaTbilisi TsibakhaGameClub

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48 KID FRIENDLY CAFES AND EATERIES CAF BROTMEISTER 16 Eristavi Street 7 9 Taktakishvili Street CAF STRADA 7 Sandro Euli Street 5 Marjanishvili Street Visiting Strada with children is a guaranteed pleasant experience The caf has special high chairs and natural wooden toys for the youngest ones and coloring books and pencils for toddlers The Saburtalo branch has a baby changing station in the restroom while the Marjanishvili location shares a large courtyard with other cafes and offers an excellent open space on spring days StradaTbilisi A bakery and a cafeteria in one Brotmeister has a special kids menu listing a variety of dishes like pasta sandwiches and sweets The little ones who can also play with coloring books enjoy high chairs while dining and participate in a variety of activities on kids days In a word kids are priority customers here a breath of fresh air among Tbilisi s cafes and restaurants Brotmeister s Taktakishvili outlet has a larger space that helps avoid noise and crowd related stress which makes it a better choice for a visit with children Brotmeister ge

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49 SAKHACHAPURE 1 5 Rustaveli Avenue Yes khachapuri cheese bread is the face of Georgian cuisine but there s not just one kind Khachapuri itself comes in all shapes and sizes with dozens of versions prepared in Adjara Guria Samachablo Meskheti Javakheti and Svaneti Moreover even the simplest Imereti style variation prepared by two different cooks tastes different Sakhachapure 1 invites you to its urban setting with a clean modern interior to embrace the diversity of khachapuri This place is a perfect fit for kids in that it helps them appreciate Georgian flavors through khachapuri just like pizza is the best way to embrace the savor of Italian food Sakhachapure 1 offers portion sizes defined by the kids themselves along with Tbilisi s refreshing pride and joy Laghidze Waters carbonated juice and coloring books and colored pencils to entertain themselves while the khachapuri is cooking Sakhachapuren1 BURGER HOUSE TBILISI 25 Pushkin Street Hankering for a hamburger Head to Burger House where famous Georgian chef Giorgi Iosava sizzles his signature burgers made from organic products The menu offers the little ones special easy to eat mini burgers made from healthy and yummy ingredients From here you can promenade down Vertskhli Silver Street and surprise yourselves with an improvised tour of Old Tbilisi and see places you may otherwise overlook unless you live there BurgerHouseTbilisi

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50 KID FRIENDLY CAFES AND EATERIES TSISKVILI 99 Beliashvili Street 75 Chavchavadze Avenue 10a Rustaveli Street in Tskneti You may decide to make having khinkali dumplings your first stop on your journey into the realm of Georgian cuisine In that case you will come across a number of suitable establishments in Tbilisi Yet kids may not find traditional classic khinkali joints overly amusing which is why we recommend going khinkali hunting to one of the Tsiskvili chain restaurants This place serves special bite sized khinkali dumplings for children in clean large facilities In addition all three Tsiskvili stores are surrounded by sizeable yards where your little ones can play while their juicy khinkali are boiling LUCA POLARE Round Garden Galleria Tbilisi 52 Rustaveli Avenue Luca Polare with almost 60 varieties of ice cream is the finest ice cream parlor in town They use authentic Italian recipes and organic products such as fresh milk and fruits to make their yummies without artificial colorings or flavors Gluten free ice creams and treats for diabetics are also available along with pencils and coloring pages for kids and high chairs for babies of course Tsiskviliinvake LucaPolareOriginal

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51 TAMASHOBANA 13 G Akhvlediani Street The Tamashobana Georgian toy brand has opened a caf where apart from buying the company s products you can check out their delicious menu targeting kids and their parents alike listing dishes favored by the little ones and decorated to draw their attention and make them fall in love with colored bite sized khinkali dumplings khachapuri cheese bread chicken croquettes kikliko French toasts and pasta Parents can try scrumptious avocado toasts while their children are having fun with each other or with Tamashobana s animators On weekends the establishment organizes entertaining workshops In a nutshell this cozy place is dedicated to kids first and then to kids with their parents a space created with children s well being and parents comfort in mind As for the word tamashobana it means a game Tamashobana is the first brand to launch mass produced popular Georgian toys linking many generations of children to this day The place also exhibits different types of children s games popular in the past and today so that you may see the differences or similarities for yourself Creation of Tamashobana Space is a commendable trend pioneered years ago by the Ezo Restaurant and still developing and becoming more entertaining tamashobana ge KIKLIKO Mtskheta Street 28 Looking for a breakfast spot Kikliko is one of the best places serving kikliko French toasts using traditional methods that first appeared in old 19th century Tbilisi recipe books Technically kikliko is a slice of bread soaked in beaten eggs then fried but this breakfast caf offers a diversity of delicious variations Apparently kikliko French toast has always been favored for breakfast by every generation in Tbilisi and so has the word itself a tongue twisting challenge for foreigners meaning a cock a doodle doo a term frequently found in nursery rhymes KiklikoTbilisi

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52 KID FRIENDLY CAFES AND EATERIES Mziuri park territory Open from 11 AM to 10 PM For the schedule of events please contact 995 571 29 10 20 NEW MZIURI CAF 23 Chavchavadze Ave Healthy food is the priority here No fast food Add to that Meat Free Monday a strictly vegetarian menu on Mondays Diverse dishes like soups salads pizza and others are made with top quality products here The menu includes non alcoholic refreshments for children and cocktails and wines for adults The Mziuri Caf is adapted to accommodate persons with special needs and children of all ages with a changing table for infants and high chairs for toddlers also a variety of fun things like books coloring pages and colored pencils for older children In summer the caf holds film screenings and hosts a Sunday school in winter akhalimziuri

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53 Olafinia PLAY THE GEORGIAN GAME Olafinia might not sound Georgian to you but it actually transports you into the depth of Georgian folk culture The founders of the newly established brand for toys chose Olafinia as its name since it s the Megrelian word for toy Olafinia is a DIY toy the child sews their toy themselves The toys have an authentically Georgian look they come from different regions of Georgia and they wear modernized Georgian traditional costumes Each costume is based on traditional elements of Georgian folk culture and children learn quite a lot about the traditions and characteristics of the various parts of Georgia Keto the toy is from Kakheti Nato comes from Samegrelo and so forth Another side result is the overall well being that is associated with the DIY process as various research often suggests sewing and handicraft Olafinia olafinia activities are beneficial for children s development vigilance and motor skills By collecting characters of Olafinia every child can make their own collection or in other words they can make up a story of their own little Georgia olafiniatoys gmail com

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54 KID FRIENDLY ENTERTAINMENT FOCUS MOKUS Focus Mokus is the largest entertainment center in Georgia Focus Mokus is located at East Point on the 1 Floor It offers visitors a wide range of attractions to fulfill the amusement needs of every age Focus Mokus consists of 15 major attractions more than 60 video and redemption games a thematic family restaurant a stage for animation programs and two party rooms for birthday celebrations The concept of Focus Mokus is built entirely around the circus theme every little detail is the reminiscent of times when circus was in town focusmokustbilisi East Point the 1 Floor Working hours Monday Thursday 11 00 22 00 Friday Saturday 11 00 22 30 Sunday 11 00 22 00

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55 The unique concept along with outstanding attractions like Max Flight Drop Tower Typhoon Magic Mountains 7D Games that are novelties on the Georgian Entertainment market make Focus Mokus the ultimate destination for all day fun for the whole family The project serves two main objectives boosting the quality of entertainment in the country and raising the standard of the entertainment industry in the whole region Entertainment overall is a complex industry and to stay afloat a center must satisfy different important criteria w Variety of attractions w Unique concept w Joyful environment w Qualified staff w High quality of service w Positive atmosphere w Out of this world fun The entertainment center achieved an international award in the entertainment industry the Golden Pony in the category of Family Entertainment Center The Awards Ceremony was held on March 3rd 2016 Visit us and enjoy with your family at our largest entertainment center

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56 KID FRIENDLY Hiking and Biking Mission hard but still possible how to find green spaces in and about Tbilisi Text by Tinatin Mosiashvili T rue Tbilisi s green spaces continue to shrink but there are still numerous spots enabling both adults and children to enjoy the fresh air Central parks aside such as Dedaena Mushtaidi Vake Vera and Kikvidze with green areas park infrastructure and playgrounds here and there let s focus on larger areas this time Website park ge ka 1 MTATSMINDA PARK Mtatsminda Park is a favorite with Tbilisi s residents The park stretches across Mtatsminda Ridge at 770 meters above sea level marking the highest point in the city with the Tbilisi TV Tower overlooking the area Even more beautiful is the view of the city at night as seen from the Panoramic Giant Wheel The park s development started with the construction of the historic funicular in 1905 The project met an untimely end due

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57 to ensuing revolutions and wars Under Soviet rule though the area was bent into shape In the post Soviet period this primary park in town was overhauled and reinvented The Mtatsminda Restaurant one of the most popular joints in the 20th century hosted the city s most cherished guests The renewed restaurant continues to offer high class services The park incorporates other eateries as well so you can leave your lunchbox at home in case you are planning to spend all day at Mtatsminda or its surrounding areas The park consists of three sections kids adventure sports and family zones Bombora Park is Mtatsminda s most popular destination one favored by all kids without exception Its attractions target children of different ages and adults alike The park also offers a variety of entertainment such as a shooting range a hall of mirrors its own version of Jurassic Park and a wax museum You may want to steer away from the crowded attractions and just while away sprawling about on the green lawn unlike some parks in Tbilisi Mtatsminda is a walk on grass destination Ways to get to Mtatsminda Park On foot from Vera Rustaveli Avenue Mtatsminda or Sololaki There is also the 4 kilometer scenic route connecting the Narikala Sololaki Alley and Mtatsminda a fun walking experience with your kids or friends Drive your own car or catch a cab up the Tbilisi Okrokana route You can take the same route by taking a bus 124 or 90 departing from Rustaveli Avenue or Orbeliani Square for a regular fare of 0 5 GEL Still the renovated historical Funicular Tram is the most exciting route to the park On your way you can visit the Mama Daviti Church and the Mtatsminda Pantheon of Writers and Public Figures both located halfway to the park The lower funicular station is found near Vilnius Garden Square Contact 995 59149232 995 322 492323

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58 KID FRIENDLY HIKING AND BIKING on Chonkadze Street The station is a 10 minutes walk from the Freedom Square subway station past the Parliament building You will need a special 2 GEL plastic card to use the tram A oneway fee is 2 5 GEL or 5 GEL if you decide to drop by the Pantheon The plastic card is also valid to pay for the park s attraction fees BOTANICAL GARDEN The Botanical Garden one of the oldest in the world at almost 400 years old is located in the heart of Old Tbilisi between the Sololaki and Tabori Ridges in the Leghvtakhevi Gorge also known as the Tsavkisistskali Gorge What is known today as the National Botanical Garden of Georgia one of the favorite green areas of Tbilisi s guests used to be the Royal Gardens at some point in history The garden boasts a unique botanical collection a gorgeous waContact natia nbgg ge 995 32 272 43 06 NBGGEO

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59 terfall and historic arched bridges The garden s territory includes a caf or you can just bring your lunchbox with you The garden frequently hosts different types of festivals A free playground also operates here so you can avoid paying extra on top of the entrance fee The garden offers educational programs for adolescents and college students Tour guides are standing by to walk you through a variety of sections and collections The best time to visit the garden is from April to November There are two routes taking you to the garden One is up Botanical Garden Street at the foot of the Narikala Fortress in Abanotubani and the other is up the Sololaki Alley across from Narikala near the Kartvlis Deda Statue where you can either walk or take a cable car from Europe Square From the upper station you can go zip lining for 35 GEL Adults can visit the Botanical Garden for 4 GEL while children under 12 enjoy free admission Schoolchildren and pensioners pay only 0 5 GEL Regular customers are advised to purchase special passes valid for 6 or 12 months Depending on the season visitors are admitted until 7 or 8 PM OPEN AIR MUSEUM OF ETHNOGRAPHY The Open Air Museum of Ethnography of Georgia the first ethnographic museum in the Caucasus was established in 1966 on the initiative of Georgian

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60 KID FRIENDLY HIKING AND BIKING scientist Giorgi Chitaia Today it is part of the umbrella Georgian National Museum Covering 50 hectares of land across the Mtatsminda Ridge the museum consists of 11 sections featuring the key historical and ethnographic provinces of both East and West Georgia Fourteen dwellings were transported here from Georgia s regions to make up the museum s collection alongside a Svaneti style tower farming facilities almost 8 000 exhibits and archeological materials The museum s educational center for students offers a wide range of gripping programs The Museum of Ethnography is accessible via the 2 kilometer uphill road from Turtle Lake in Vake General admission is 3 GEL for adults and 0 5 and 1 GEL for schoolchildren and college students respectively Tour guides offer their services for a fee fluctuating between 10 and 45 GEL The Museum of Ethnography and Turtle Lake are ideal for a one day tour for both schoolchildren and parents with children Website museum ge Contact 995 32 272 90 45 46 info museum ge

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61 TURTLE LAKE Korki Lake is an alternative name for this destination though Tbilisi s residents for the most part refer to it as Turtle Lake The lake is located on the Trialeti Range namely on one of its sections known as the Mtatsminda Ridge at 687 meters above sea level southwest of the city s center The road from Chavchavadze Avenue to the lake stretches about 4 kilometers You can cover this distance on foot or catch a cab Unfortunately no minibuses or buses shuttle to the lake s complex The turn up to Turtle Lake at the end of Chavchavadze Avenue is as far as some of the minibuses can take you Cable transport is another popular way to reach the lake The aerial tram system was renovated just a couple of years ago with its lower station near Vake Park and the upper station west of Turtle Lake It takes the tram 6 7 minutes to reach the lake and it will cost you just 1 GEL if you are a Metromoney card holder A jogging path is arranged around the lake which is just fine for running and strolling alike In summer you can swim in the lake or enjoy a boat tour The lake s maximum and average depths reach 2 6 and 1 7 meters respectively Cafes and bars are lined up around the lakeshore and the stage on the east section of the shore frequently hosts concerts and other events The north section of the lakeshore accommodates a playground though with a limited choice of entertainment for kids unfortunately Adolescents on the other hand are welcome to try zip lining Having said that arguably the

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62 KID FRIENDLY HIKING AND BIKING best kept secret is that you can take a trail from Turtle Lake to Mtatsminda Park a most mesmerizing walking trip unknown even to many Tbilisi residents Skillful bikers can try wheeling down this path And make sure you remember the sweet sounding name Bulbulebis Chala Nightingale Meadow denoting another celebrated spellbinding route from Turtle Lake LISI LAKE Lisi Lake is located in the northwestern section of Tbilisi north of Nutsubidze Plateau at 624 meters above sea level Lisi Lake is also among the recreation areas favored by Tbilisi s residents especially in light of the recent infrastructural development around the lake In 2016 a 2 5 kilometer concrete pavement and a pedestrian path were put in place along with a drainage system and landscape lighting Needless to say you can enjoy swimming in the lake in the summer The place has locker rooms and showers and a sulfur LisiLakeRecreation bathhouse also operates here as well A large green area is arranged for both kids and adults Children can also enjoy the playground with slides trampolines and a climbing wall They can also

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63 engage in soccer or basketball games here The territory is suitable for simply enjoying swimming or a picnic in the company of friends or family members The territory of the lake is open for visitors 24 7 You can access it from Kandelaki Street or Nutsubidze Plateau Just take bus 29 departing for the village of Tkhinvali from Station Square via Nutsubidze Street or buses 63 and 107 departing from the Delisi subway station for the villages of Lisi and Tkhinvali TBILISI SEA Tbilisi Sea technically Tbilisi Samgori Reservoir is in reality an artificial lake northeast of Tbilisi at 630 650 meters above sea level respectively A single bus fare costs 0 5 GEL However the intervals between the buses running are quite long so you may prefer to hire a cab around Kandelaki Street or Delisi for 4 6 GEL Three saline bodies of water used to be in its place Avlabari Kukia and Iaghluniani Lakes Later the Iori River waters were diverted into an artificial water course and the reservoir was

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64 KID FRIENDLY HIKING AND BIKING commissioned in 1953 Admittedly the reservoir s vicinity cannot boast an abundance of well functioning recreational infrastructure Still there are beaches here and there a dendrology park a yacht club and Gino Paradise with outdoor and indoor pools attractions and a wellness center Failure to tap into the potential of this space does not do justice to the city of 1 5 million Means of municipal transport here are few and far between accessing the sea only from the Sea Settlement Lotkin or Hualing One would assume that introducing a circular bus or minibus route orbiting Tbilisi Sea would be greatly appreciated One way or another Tbilisi still offers a wide range of green areas to choose from Yes infrastructure has yet to be built in many areas and they can be challenging to get to but who knows you may like semi wild natural settings better If so the Vera Gorge is a likely candidate for a trip Equally appealing is the uphill route from the Mukhatgverdi Cemetery to Chili Lake Conversely you can descend from the lake and enjoy unique unconventional views of the Mtkvari River the Zemo Avchala HPP and the former nuclear reactor VAKE PARK Vake Park a breath of fresh air in the heart of the city The construction of Vake Park kicked off in 1945 when 200 hectares were allocated to

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65 create a green area in this part of town The modern day park incorporates 34 hectares with a long staircase leading from Ilia Chavchavadze Avenue followed by an alley of tall shrubs taking you straight to the circular fountain in the center of the park and a whole cascade of fountains stretching up to the World War II Memorial Every year on May 9th veterans gather here when the main fountain is turned on to provide refreshing coolness throughout summer By walking down the main staircase you leave behind the city s noise and hubbub and embrace an illusion of being out of town thanks to the rich greenery of the park The place is large enough to take a long walk or bike tour and to jog or exercise The park encompasses several cafes and Shumbaland a fun town for kids including a shooting range as well as a variety of attractions for children between 3 and 12 The youngest ones can play with molds of different shapes in a sandbox or paint gypsum figures with the help of adults On weekends a mini petting zoo is organized here The entrance of Vake Park features Mediatheka a branch of the city s multifunctional library and a comfortable cozy space offering locals and international visitors a rich assortment of Georgian and foreign literature Mediatheka is adapted to suit the needs of people with disabilities Besides its key services the place provides guests with bike tours throughout the park s territory see its Facebook page for more

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66 KID FRIENDLY HIKING AND BIKING MUSHTAIDI One of the oldest parks in Tbilisi Mushtaidi was established by a Mujtahid religious leader of Azerbaijan s Persian Shiites in the 1830s The park s name Mushtaidi is a slightly distorted version of this religious title Back then the garden covered a far larger territory Although much smaller today Mushtaidi remains an extremely exciting place for both adults and little ones to visit A point to ponder from the park s history it was here that celebrated Georgian naive artist Niko Pirosmani first saw his muse French actress Margarita and gave her a wagon of roses as a gift which cost him everything he had had This park also saw the first hot air balloon flight in Asia accomplished by French aeronaut Jean Bede in 1882 Out of fright nobody agreed Mushtaidi Park to accompany him so he hired a donkey rented from a greengrocer placed it in his lap and flew off In 1935 the first children s railroad in the world opened at Mushtaidi But it was no ordinary railroad for kids It was built with the participation of the Tbilisi Railroad School s students who later grew to operate it as conductors car attendants and switchmen The train consisting of a steam locomotive and three cars had three stations Today the train s circular route stretches 1 2 kilometers The park also has a variety of attractions such as a 7D movie theater a chess club buggy rides a

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67 funhouse mirror room a shooting range and more The carousel built by French specialists in 1905 has been restored and renovated to offer its services to guests There are two cafes in the park and active zones provide a Wi Fi connection DEDA ENA MOTHER TONGUE PARK Deda Ena Park at 1 Sanapiro Street is found near the so called Dry Bridge The park was established there after World War II Before the park this territory was an island with a branch of the Mtkvari River running under the bridge instead of the modern day highway In 1978 after the Georgian nation rose up to keep the Georgian language s official status the Statue of the The Movement Theater which is based in the park s territory performs a mix of modern dance mime drama acrobatics pantomime physical theater ballet martial arts and circus as well as folk and auteur music Adults are strongly advised to enjoy the theater s performances

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68 KID FRIENDLY HIKING AND BIKING Mother Tongue was erected at the park s center and the place became known as Deda Ena Park which is also the name of the famous Georgian language textbook published for the first time in 1876 A busy avenue practically divides Deda Ena Park in two with Tbilisi s most famous flea market on the left You can t miss it as all kinds of items are displayed on rugs across the pavement The right side of the park is more popular with the youth which only makes sense just walk down the wide stairs to find yourself in a skate park a place where fans of rollers kick scooters skateboards and bikes gather The skate park enforces no time limits so you can come here and have fun whenever you please Once you feel tired you can enjoy yummy snacks at the comfy Book Corner terraced caf on the Mtkvari Riverbank on the park s premises MZIURI has not taken at least one picture with this statue The idea of this playground city for kids was conceived by children s author Nodar Dumbadze Among others the park features his characters a little boy called Zurikela and the three elderly people in charge of his upbringing Nearby you will also find Murada the most famous dog in Georgian literature The Mziuri City for Children opened in 1982 with the initial monumental plan implemented only in part More The Georgian word mziuri stands for sunny or full of sunshine Mziuri is a genuine island of peace and quiet in a noisy neighborhood with multistory buildings and heavy traffic The figure of a little boy nestled on a metal construction by the entrance seems to be poised to jump down and guide you through the park Next you descend a terraced walkway to bump into Harlequin Hardly any kid in Tbilisi

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69 photo Goga Chanadiri HIPPODROME over development projects in the 1990s annexed much of the park s territory In 2006 a group of young activists set out to renovate Mziuri Consequently this space today is just as exciting for both kids and their parents as it was at first Mziuri incorporates a rejuvenated forest park a game court playgrounds walking trails and an amphitheater for seasonal performances You and your little ones can spend all day here and visit Mziuri s cozy terraced caf a perfect spot to grab snacks see p 52 Location 37 Leo Kvachadze St Open from 8 AM to 8 PM on weekdays and from 10 AM to 6 PM on weekends Call 032 21 53 13 The Tbilisi Hippodrome is located in the neighborhood of Saburtalo Equestrian arts aficionados are welcome to rent horses or stables and even to learn how to ride a horse Children aged 6 12 can enjoy a pony ride 15 minutes for 10 GEL 30 minutes for 20 GEL Adolescents under 16 pay a single rent fee 35 GEL for 1 hour Adults pay 50 GEL for an hour The School of Equestrianism also offers regular classes To summarize hiking and camping fans should expect oodles of fun in Tbilisi Just have good maps at hand and establish the right contacts together you are guaranteed to discover many unusual and gorgeous destinations

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70 KID FRIENDLY Entertainment TBILISI ZOO In 1927 a zoo opened on the riverbank in one of Tbilisi s suburbs now a district regarded as being in the city s center The zoo s main entrance faced Heroes Square Stretching five hectares this unique facility featured animals from all over the world such as white lions Anatolian leopards Asian elephants a white rhinoceros a hippo and many others including rare and endangered species Equally impressive was the zoo s collection of birds The establishment s oldest resident the Andean condor had lived there for over 50 years For an additional fee you could view painted fish venomous and constrictor snakes and other reptiles in the renewed facility for exotic creatures In 2015 a flash flood wiped nearly the entire zoo off the map The photo of Begi the hippo featuring him wandering in Heroes Square during the flood went viral throughout the world and turned Begi into a symbol of the zoo s restoration The construction of an international standard zoo is now underway on 48 hectares of land near the Tbilisi Sea Until its completion however the zoo on a much reduced capacity continues to host visitors at the old address TbilisiZoo

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71 64 Kostava St Open from 10 AM to 9 PM Various attractions are scattered throughout the territory of the zoo some of which may seem old fashioned or dull but there is one you just cannot pass by right at the entrance thick ropes are stretched to build paths of different levels of difficulty Kids love overcoming obstacles along these suspended trails in the company of their parents The zoo is open every day from 10 AM The longest workdays from June 1 to August 20 last until 9 PM From December through February the zoo closes at 6 PM Children under 3 enjoy free admission guests under 12 and adults pay 1 and 2 GEL respectively The zoo also offers complementary programs equally exciting for both children and adults The project Visiting the Animal World as part of which you can spend time inside a cage with animals of your choice such as lemurs tapirs llamas and others You can feed brush caress and take pictures with them If you are daring enough you can come in contact with non venomous harmless snakes Horseback tour fans are advised to visit the Equestrian Club at the new address while the little ones will be greeted with open arms at the Pony Club after all these miniature horses are suckers for carrots and cookies handed to them by kids The club also offers day camps for both children and adults including 6 hours of fun in an environmentally friendly area with horse riding under supervision two meals and camping E mail zoo zoo ge Web zoo ge For detailed information about said tours and project admission fees rules deadlines for reservations please call the Zoo Educational Center at 995 32 2 13 10 88 For more information about the horseback riding please call 995 599 71 12 05 Gia Ghoghoberidze Chief of the Equestrian Section Reservations are required Call 995 32 2 213 050 2 213 080

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72 KID FRIENDLY ENTERTAINMENT TBILISI CIRCUS 1 Heroes Square Open from 10 AM to 7 PM Call 995 32 2 98 30 35 995 32 5 51 75 98 88 995 32 5 95 05 42 25 circus ge If you are in luck and your visit to Tbilisi coincides with a tour of a celebrated circus company we strongly advise you against missing out on this opportunity because besides enjoying a spellbinding circus performance you will also have a chance to familiarize yourself with an attractive example of Soviet architecture The then Head of the Communist Party of Georgia Lavrentiy Beria was the man behind the construction of what is known today as the Tbilisi Circus The project which launched in 1937 cost 3 000 000 rubles The opening ceremony was held in 1940 This domed structure with columns stood out with its technology equipment and dimensions The cumulative diameter of the circular building is 64 meters The circus has 2 000 seats and the height to the dome reaches 25 meters The building is located on a hill near Heroes Square A wide stairway leads from the circus down to the square Automobiles access the back of the building via the Circus Uphill exiting right off Queen Tamar Street Presently the Tbilisi Circus doesn t have a troupe of its own frequently hosting world renowned companies instead

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73 EXPERIMENTORIUM Experimentorium is the most unconventional museum in town a perfect place to visit in the company of children where you do not need to remind your curious little ones Don t touch the exhibits or Whisper if you have a question to ask Touching fiddling with dropping taking apart and reassembling exhibits everything that is a no no in any other museum is allowed and even encouraged here Every item here is interactive and comes to life at touch Children can measure their screams sit on nails lift a friend into the air and catch a bolt of lightning with their hands In a word they can do anything to understand that superpowers do exist and these powers are knowledge knowledge of the laws of physics biology mathematics and anatomy Children can also draw on sand or feel like a rock god by the drum kit in the music room Tours start every hour Tour tickets are included in the museum admission fee and are valid until closing time Keep in mind that children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult Services of Russian or English speaking tour guides must be retained in advance at least one day prior to your intended visit The museum also offers additional programs such as chemistry and nitrogen shows scientific culinary experimentorium ge ok experimentorium ge 17 Ingorokva St Open from 10 AM to 7 PM Call 995 32 2 47 57 37 592 04 29 10 Daily tours are held from 10 AM to 7 PM with no days off The museum s administration recommends planning a weekend or holiday visit in the morning or evening because between 1 PM and 4 PM the place swarms with guests

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74 KID FRIENDLY ENTERTAINMENT masterclasses and also different types of thematic guests like Harry Potter the Grinch Sherlock Holmes the Institute of Secret Sciences and Saving the Earth as part of which children seek the Goblet of Fire probe into crimes discover secret substances or strive to save the earth You can also surprise your children with the most outrageous outlandish parties like a birthday celebration for one The museum runs a caf and a shop with a wide range of smart toys like kinetic sand riddles test kits microscopes kaleidoscopes puzzles plant and crystal growing kits and others All information about the museum and the prices contents and schedules of the additional programs is available on Experimentorium s website or over the phone MUSEUM OF ILLUSIONS A unique interactive space with interesting visual and educational experiences for visitors the Museum of Illusions consists of illusionist rooms optical physical and sensory illusions and a playroom full of didactic games and puzzles where even adults will be able to participate In this museum you can laugh scream take photos and do anything forbidden in other museums museumofillusions tbilisi

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75 The museum is designed for all age categories and generations It also allows visitors to hold birthday events for children aged 5 15 The birthday event program includes a tour of the museum didactic games puzzles and more The museum also offers to host corporate and private events meetings and presentations It should be noted that the Museum of Illusions is growing to become a place for education and entertainment worldwide The first Museum of Illusions opened in Zagreb in 2015 Now there are museums in 14 cities around the world like Ljubljana Vienna Muscat Belgrade New York Toronto Berlin Athens Dubai Hamburg and more with 8 more branches on the way including the one in Tbilisi The general collection of the museum accounts for about 80 exhibits and visitors are able to see the full assortment at the Tbilisi location The collection is renewed on a regular basis All museums including Tbilisi and other franchised locations must follow the directed renovations and offer new effects and puzzles from time to time 17 Pavle Ingorokva St Open from 10 AM to 10 PM Call 032 2 47 57 37

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78 SHOPPING Where to shop C O N C E P T S TO R E S Chaos is a multi brand store complemented by the recently opened vegetarian Chaos Caf Chaos showcases exclusive collections from Georgian designers Nikolas Grigorian Gola and Tamar Kopaliani also the latest from J W Anderson Vivienne Westwood Justine Clenquet Eytys Shrimos Alexander Wang Carne Bollente and RE DONE Besides clothing niche publishers and Pawaka glasses are also found at Chaos Chaos Concept Store Address 14 Merab Kostava Street Sauvage is a conceptual store where you can find glasses from the trendiest niche brands such as the latest collections rolled out by Ann Demeulemeester Kuboraum Rigards Alessandra Rich TavaT Vava Mykita Dries Van Noten and Innerraum The store also offers niche perfumes Inside the facility there is another store MATERIUM Concept Store which displays for the most part women s and men s clothing from young Japanese designers Sauvage Concept Store Address 18 Chovelidze St ChaosConceptStore sauvageconceptstoreTbilisi

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79 The interior and furniture of this recently opened store which displays books and a variety of exciting items is all designed by the celebrated Georgian artist Lado Lomitashvili The store offers publications by such publishing houses as Phaidon Taschen Abrams Chronicle Moma Books Skira and most importantly IDEA LTD the exclusive publisher supplying Dover Street Market Alongside their books the store carries t shirts purses bags and caps from the same publishers also Andy Woolf glasses School of Life notebooks and games Boy Smells candles and other inspiring products You can also enjoy specialty coffee in a cup designed from the store s concept which is also offered for sale They Said Books 10 G Akhvlediani Street theysaidbooks The name of this store one of the first conceptual establishments in Tbilisi celebrates French director Jean Luc Godard s movie Pierrot le Fou The store s interior was designed by Lenka Tsitsishvili The products here are slightly on the avant garde side Maison Martin Margiela Yohji Yamamoto Rick Owens Haider Ackerman Pierre Hardy and others also clothing from prominent Georgian designer Djaba Diassamidze The store s recent addition is the hot trending brand Jacquemus Pierrot Le Fou 11 Chavchavadze Avenue

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80 SHOPPING CONCEPT STORES The store is owned by artists Detu and Mariam Natroshvili who specialize in text backgrounds and words that were initially spread throughout Tbilisi as stencils but fairly recently were turned into handmade silver jewelry and a variety of accessories You can also shop for brooches with spellbindingly gorgeous examples of Georgian script such as time if and always or hunt for jewelry pieces inspired by the illustrations of The Arabian Nights and museum tote bags Aromateque is an exclusive representative of niche perfume manufacturers in Georgia The store constantly acquires new brands though the list is already quite impressive and includes Kilian MEMO Paris Kurkdjian Welton Alexander J Tom Ford Creed Comme des Garcons and Juliette Has a Gun Frequently Asked Questions 18 2 Kote Abkhazi Street Aromateque 17 Ioane Shavteli Street aromatequeGe frequentlyaskedquestionsTBS

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81 TBILISI MALL In the west end of Tbilisi on a plateau hemmed in by mountains sits Tbilisi Mall one of Caucasus s biggest shopping malls With over 200 brands a sizeable food court a cinema a petting zoo an entertainment center a 15 000 m2 hypermarket and a parking lot that can fit 2000 vehicles Tbilisi Mall has something for everybody friends families couples large groups and loners There is no shortage of things to do here on any day in any weather especially for kids who will find numerous entertainment options here like movie theatre special weekly kids activity programs play zones and many more You can spend your day refreshing your wardrobe buying all the necessary household items then enjoying a tasty meal on foodcourt all of these while your kids are enjoying their day at our entertainment premises Working hours 10 00 22 00 Directions It takes about 20 minutes to get to Tbilisi Mall from the city center if no traffic jams You can find the following minibuses from different parts of the city that will shuttle you to the mall 44 51 87 116 117 as well as bus 121

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84 GUIDE A THREE YEAR Glimpse of Freedom Text and Photo by Tamar Esakia On the photo Rustaveli State Drama Theater

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85 T In 2018 Georgia celebrated its 100th anniversary of independence A century has passed since Georgia elected its first government as an independent state after breaking free from the Russian Empire in 1918 Our tour seeks to canvass Tbilisi to uncover the traces however small of this brief and yet momentous period he first Republic of Georgia lasted 1 028 days Its three year history was meticulously erased for 70 years during sovietization Paskevich Yerevanski Freedom Zakfederatsia Beria Lenin and back again to Freedom Square All these are the former and current names of the central square of the capital of Georgia given and taken back and given back again This unstopped name changing shows indeed the historical shifts that Georgia has gone through in just the last 200 years When Georgia gained its independence 100 years ago the chiefs of the First Republic of Georgia named it Freedom Square On the 27th of May the day following the declaration of independence Kirion II the Catholicos Patriarch of the country congratulated the whole nation from this very square It is noteworthy to say that just before the country gained independence the Georgian Orthodox Church regained its autocephaly in 1917 and Kirion II was the first Patriarch who started to lead the newly independent Georgian faithful finally freed from the Russian domination of 100 years

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86 GUIDE 6 SHOTA RUSTAVELI AVENUE After the establishment of Russian rule in 1801 a Viceroy was appointed as the Caucasus region s administrative and military authority This building was conceived as the Viceroy s Residence The building owes its current form to the reconstruction carried out under the guidance of Georgia based Swedish architect Otto Simonson in 1869 The courtyard with alleys and fountains was also remodeled and open only to high society It was here that in 1918 the National Council of Georgia unanimously voted in favor of the Act of Georgia s Independence and raised the flag of independent Georgia on top of the building Two days after the declaration of Georgia s independence Armenia and Azerbaijan followed suit in the same building by declaring their own independence This building also saw the meeting of the Constituent Assembly of the first Democratic Republic of Georgia On February 21 1921 a few days before the Bolsheviks invaded the Constitution of Georgia was ratified here After occupation began 93 of the Constituent Assembly s 145 members fell victim to political repression The building itself was handed over to the government of Soviet Georgia Later by Lavrentiy Beria s personal order it was reserved for children which is how it became known as the Palace of Young Pioneers and Schoolchildren Today it houses the Youth Palace an educational facility famed for its chess club where World Champions Nona Above Government of Independent Georgia National Library collection Below National Youth Palace Garden

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87 Gaprindashvili and Tigran Petrosian once studied the ABCs of chess 8 SHOTA RUSTAVELI AVENUE a National Hero in 2015 Just a few years into Soviet rule the church was demolished and the construction of the Government House was launched in its place Consequently for 70 years the Palace of the Soviet Government operated on top of the site where youth killed in the fight against the occupation were buried At the end of the 19th century in 1897 the construction of Alexander Nevsky Military Church was completed on this spot to celebrate the victorious Russian army and the ultimate subjugation of the Caucasus by Russia On February 23 1921 young fighters killed in the struggle against Soviet occupant forces were buried in the churchyard including 19 year old Maro Makashvili a natural science student at the Love for one s Tbilisi State Unihomeland is supreme versity By order above all else fighting the enemy to the last of the President drop of blood fight to of Georgia she the death victory or was declared death Above Maro Makashvili National Library collection Below Parliament of Georgia

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88 GUIDE 1 PAVLE INGOROKVA STREET On April 9 1991 and in the same building the newly elected National Government restored Georgia s independence based on the Constitution of the first Republic of Georgia 6 IVANE MACHABELI STREET In 1918 1921 this building was occupied by the Security Service a special squad of the Interior Ministry of Georgia This service gave a good account of itself in that it postponed the downfall of the First Republic by identifying illegal organizations preventing anti state riots and arresting more than 1 000 Bolsheviks including Lavrentiy Beria the future People s Commissar for Internal Affairs of the Soviet Union and one of the masterminds of Soviet repressions The special squad was led by Melchisedek Meki Kedia grandfather of current Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili 8 PAVLE INGOROKVA STREET Built in 1914 this structure accommodated the Chancellery First Chairman of the Government of Georgia s Democratic Republic Noe Ramishvili lived in this building He resigned a month later to take over the Ministry of Internal Affairs Military and Education Later forced into emigration Ramishvili This building where was one of the organizers the future of education in independent of a revolt against the Georgia was once Soviet regime In 1930 discussed currently Soviet secret services houses the Institute of organized his assassinaLinguistics tion in Paris Above Machabeli 6 Below Ingorokva 8

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89 of the Russian Viceroy in the Caucasus During the period of independence the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Education moved here under the leadership of Noe Ramishvili Although the independent country s authorities were struggling to contain anti state acts the system of education was reformed successfully With Ramishvili in charge roads were paved and schools were built in the regions while a large discipline specific library was established in Tbilisi 14 PAVLE INGOROKVA STREET In 1919 1921 the first Diplomatic Mission of Great Britain in the South Caucasus operated in this building under the leadership of Sir Oliver Wardrop one of Above Ingorokva 14 Below Ingorokva 1 Georgia s staunchest champions in Europe Oliver Wardrop first visited Georgia in 1887 after which he wrote the book The Kingdom of Georgia Oliver and his sister Marjory who were close friends with Georgian public figures translated and published Georgian literature in English Marjory authored a prose English rendering of The Knight in the Panther s Skin a brilliant 12th century Georgian epic poem After the

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90 GUIDE country s sovietization Wardrop organized the Georgian Committee in England and the Georgian Historical Society which published its own magazine Georgica The Wardrop siblings correspondence and personal archive of books preserved in Oxford s library remain unique material for Georgian history researchers 1 ILIA CHAVCHAVADZE AVENUE the efforts of the Georgian public and donations from individual philanthropists Formally it was documented as the future building for the Gymnasium for the Nobility a diversion strategy to prevent the Russian Empire from thwarting the idea of a Georgian university In a way the opening of the university was a step toward Georgia s independence A few months after its inception on February 8 1921 the country officially reclaimed its independence In 1918 church treasures collected as early as 1888 were transferred to the university s Museum for Protecting Antiquities which also preserved numerous items donated by churches during the First Republic The museum was closed after the establishment of Soviet rule and its collection of ecclesiastical manuscripts is presently stored in the Institute of Manuscripts 17 SHOTA RUSTAVELI February 8 1918 saw the opening AVENUE ceremony of Tbilisi State UniverOn November 1 1919 the first sity The building proper Georgian lottery drawing took was constructed in In February 1921 1900 1906 through Ivane Javakhishvili place in the building of the the university s founder and rector at the time straightforwardly urged the students to take up arms to defend the country Above Oliver and Marjory Wardrops monument Below Tbilisi state Univercity TSU collection Ivane Javakhishvili National Library collection

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91 7 PAOLO IASHVILI STREET From 1920 1921 the Embassy of the Russian Soviet Federative Republic in Georgia occupied this building This is where Sergo Orjonikidze lived the Georgian Bolshevik who personally 9 GERONTI participated in the invasion KIKODZE STR This house built in the and sovietization of Georgia Tbilisi Na1890s accommodated Armenia and Azerbaijan the Consulate of the tional Theater and in the toppling of their Republic of Estonia currently Shota respective independent governRustaveli Nationments His neighbors included al Theater The idea Georgian avant garde poet Paolo of organizing a lottery was conceived Iashvili one of the members of two years earlier as a fundraiser for the latest literary movement of Tbilisi State University Tickets were that time For a while Iashvili and issued at a nominal price of 25 rubles his friends considered entering amounting to 5 million rubles in all politics The Aesthetic League Prominent Georgian authors actors of Patriots the union of the new and public figures promoted the generation of poets and artists lottery in different regions of Georgia participated in the election of the The proceeds were split between Constituent Assembly of the new the Georgian Theater and Tbilisi Democratic Republic of Georgia State University the latter receiving Years later amid the cruel repres1 077 677 rubles sions of 1937 Paolo Iashvili severely oppressed and intimidated by the Soviet authorities took his 14 GERONTI own life in the House of Writers KIKODZE STREET From 1918 1921 the Consulate of Germany operated in this 171 DAVIT building AGHMASHENEBELI AVENUE During Georgia s independence the Consulate of the Republic of Latvia in Georgia was quartered in this house with the Latvian Diaspora operating nearby at 180 Aghmashenebeli Avenue By the time of sovietization Latvia s Ambassador was Karl Oskar Strau

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92 GUIDE me a public figure ethnographer artist and pedagogue who spent 16 years of his life in Georgia 45 KOTE MARJANISHVILI STREET Lithuania opened its Mission and Consulate in Georgia in 1918 It was headed by Pranas Dailid a mathematics teacher at the 4th Gymnasium for Young Men He also led the National Council of Lithuanians in the Caucasus 11 GIORGI MAZNIASHVILI STREET In an absolutely unremarkable building lived Giorgi Mazniashvili Georgian general and Tbilisi s Governor General since 1918 In 1921 in the fight against the occupation forces near Tbilisi Mazniashvili was in charge of the central line of the front In the Above Agmashenebeli 171 Below Marjanishvili 45 early hours of February 19 he defeated the enemy and captured 1 500 Red Army soldiers After the occupation began he refused to leave the country During the repressions of 1937 his son and later Mazniashvili himself were arrested and executed In 2006 the Georgian Armed Forces established Giorgi Mazniashvili Medal

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93 148 DAVIT AGMASHENEBELI AVENUE From 1919 until Georgia s sovietization this building housed the Cadet School established on the initiative of General Giorgi Kvinitadze This two year school was led by the general himself After his appointment as the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of I m neither a Georgia he was replaced Menshevik nor a by Colonel Alexandre Bolshevik general I am a Georgian general Chkheidze who led the Giorgi Mazniashvili school s cadets in the fight once said against the occupation forces at the gate of Tbilisi Above Giorgi Mazniashvili National Library collection Below Agmashenebeli 148

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94 ROUBRIC VISIT TO THE ARTIST S STUDIO Salome Jokhadze s Space Text by Nini Darchia C To see Salome s works or visit her studio please contact her ontemporary art has its own exciting ways of developing in Georgia with exhibition spaces reinventing their concepts new alternative places emerging and artists whose art media are virtually inexhaustible not only breaking through the confinement of their immediate environment but even making it big on the international scene Give it up for contemporary Georgian artist Salome Jokhadze in her senior year at VAADS Visual Arts Architecture and Design School Salome has showcased her work not only on Tbilisi s artistic circuit but also in Paris at the Palais de Tokyo alongside the Georgian footwear brand Situationist and at the Museum Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt Salome whose media comprise oil painting and computer graphics studies ancient Georgian archetypes in an attempt to modernize them She also works on series Salome tell us about yourself Why painting w I don t remember myself not painting As a child salomejokhadze gmail com Instagram page salomejokhadze_

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95 many found me odd as I lived in my own imaginary world oblivious to everything else And painting was the only way to bring that world to life In a way that is still true today How do you create your series How do you choose topics w As a rule I portray my own life At different points I encounter different topics so I take them all in and turn them into a series Any inspiration be it from a book or movie I always acquire based on my emotional state at that moment What would be the perfect setting to fill you with creative energy w Any casual situation with the slightest imperceptible details which in reality put everything together Any phrase or object may be a source of inspiration Living in Tbilisi also sustains my inspiration and I may come across my next topic just walking through the streets Oil painting and digital arts are your key media Why these two w I m trying to dedicate an equal amount of time on both and to create something new using both every day Digital creation is often like playing a game But oil painting is a far more ponderous process involving much thinking Your works often exhibit criticism with a touch of humor What would you call this state of mind w I am often reminded of the criticism and irony in my works but that s not how I viewed my paintings at first It s just my own way of communication I d rather take a lighter approach humor to problems I may not be able to solve at the moment But that does not mean that I do not see these problems They are reflected in my works It all depends on how you look at them

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96 ROUBRIC B R I E F LY The abundance of resort destinations in Tbilisi is defined among others by their natural position in the middle latitudes The country s northern borders stretch along the high peaks of the Caucasus which prevent cold air masses from penetrating from the north while the Lesser Caucasus ranges to the south stave off warm air masses To the west the warm and humid atmosphere of the Black Sea coastline defines the mild humid subtropical climate of Western Georgia and the relatively dry mild climate of Eastern Georgia Given these natural conditions numerous spots in the country feature unique climates suitable for resorts Georgia s famous alpine climate resorts include Abastumani Bakuriani Gudauri Likani Lebarde Bakhmaro Shovi Tzkneti Manglisi Kiketi Tskhvarichamia Avadkhara Pskhu Gulripshi Abkhazia and others They are ideal for treating respiratory nervous and cardiovascular health issues Late summer is especially beneficial at some of these resorts in that it is a period when firs come into bloom and that unless you are allergic is good for the immune and respiratory systems according to local tradition Source Textbook Georgia s Resort Studies and Resort Therapy 2011

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97 Resorts GOOD FOR YOUR IMMUNE SYST E M Thanks to Georgia s mountains and rivers semi deserts and ravines sea and lakes it does not take a medical background to realize that Georgia is good for your health Still nothing compares to recommendations from specialists Check out just a few of the Adventurer s most favorite resorts Text by Nino Chimakadze

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98 CLIMATE RESORTS Bakhmaro A mountain resort in Guria Western Georgia with an emphasis on preventive medicine and pulmonology A cave of sorts surrounded by perennial fir and pine forests Located at 2 050 meters above sea level Season June September with the road to Bakhmaro often blocked from October to May due to heavy snowfall Prescribed for nontuberculous diseases of respiratory organs anemia neurasthenia lymphadenitis Distance from the Tbilisi Airport 362 kilometers by car 5 hours and 40 minutes From the Kutaisi Airport 80 kilometers by car 1 hour and 55 minutes No direct transportation operates between Tbilisi and Bakhmaro though you can take a minibus from Tbilisi to Chokhatauri or Ozurgeti from where you can take another minibus or hitchhike your way to Bakhmaro Mount Gadrekili found east of the resort is an ideal spot to contemplate the sunrise B akhmaro is a place literally taking you up above the clouds to scan the earth with a curious impression on your face The forests landscapes and detachment are simply unforgettable and the star studded sky is to die for The western side open and unprotected permeates frequent breezes from the Black Sea and creates a unique atmospheric mix This small quaint settlement exudes coziness and a home like peace and quiet There are almost no permanent residents in Bakhmaro because up to 7 meters of snow in winter frequently block the roads Still the number of visitors here increases every year and the destination s popularity has already gone international Many choose Bakhmaro precisely to venture into skiing in ungroomed snow Thus

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99 extreme sports fans liven up this nearly desolate depopulated place in winter Bakhmaro s climate has been hailed for its healing properties for centuries though it didn t start to emerge as a resort per se until the late 19th century Ozurgeti County Physician Artem Davidiants was the first to pay due attention to Bakhmaro s prospective medicinal significance Having served in Ozurgeti since 1875 he would send hives and tuberculosis patients to various destinations for treatment At some point he learned from local shepherds about this special place with unique weather conditions in the mountains of Adjara and Guria This place long used by shepherds for pasturing cattle belonged to Guria s grand dukes Davidiants referred his first patients to Bakhmaro in 1892 followed by those with more severe conditions only to discover that they all eventually recovered Next people flocked to Bakhmaro built small raised wooden houses resting on posts to make up individual neighborhoods It was then that Bakhmaro was formally established as a settlement gradually turning into a summer destination favored by many In 1900 the Health Society of Bakhmaro s Patrons was established with the goal of developing and protecting the resort The first store soon opened its doors to the public and so did the local theater featuring actors from Guria in The Robbers by Schiller and other plays It is also known that in 1913 1917 a string orchestra under the leadership of acclaimed Georgian composer Victor Dolidze toured Bakhmaro In 1923 after Georgia was coerced into becoming a Soviet republic Bakhmaro was declared a resort of state importance Scientific studies were launched for medicinal purposes and to ensure the destination s development As early as the 1930s a 12 month expedition to Bakhmaro concluded that the local meteorological conditions were well suited for the treatment of tuberculosis Before the belated construction of roads to Bakhmaro in the 1980s the Vakijvari and Chokhatauri footpaths and horse trails were used The distance from Vakijvari and Chokhatauri was

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100 CLIMATE RESORTS 23 and 40 kilometers respectively though the longer but wider Chokhatauri allowed for reaching Bakhmaro in wagons Traditional horseraces and other similar activities are held in Bakhmaro on August 19 to celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration It is their way of bidding farewell to yet another summer season leaving behind not just new friends but also the beautiful scenes of the village raised houses on wooden posts the sun the starry sky and unique sunrises and sunsets Visit this destination while it is still homey and in a way untamed There is a plan in the making to turn Bakhmaro into a year round resort so you have a chance now to discover it before everyone else Where to eat There are no restaurants or similar eateries as such in the village There is a small establishment however founded by a 17 year old girl in 2017 called Art Caf She decorated the place by hand and created a comfortable friendly environment where you can enjoy simple but delicious dishes Where to stay Bakhmaro is the only hotel operating here Double room 100 USD Triple room 150 USD Quad room 200 USD In addition Bakhmaro offers attractive comfortable cottages with porches and peace and quiet for rent An approximate price per season between 21 days and a month is 1 800 2 000 USD There is also the Sunrise Cottage for 10 12 people offering rooms for 400 GEL per night There are simpler relatively cheaper cottages You can locate them once on the ground or you can use your contacts in Tbilisi to make a reservation

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101 Borjomi Borjomi This destination 160 kilometers from Tbilisi and 810 850 meters above sea level is located in the Mtkvari and Borjomula River Gorges and is surrounded by high mountains covered with green vegetation and forests The resort is famous for medicinal mineral waters from the carbonic acid and hydrocarbon sodium group Borjomi is noted for its moderately warm pollution free climate medical treatment is offered all year round The name Borjomi derives from the word borji that stands for a rampart a cliff or a fortification in other words it means that the place is naturally protected by high mountains Borjomi was developed as a resort in 1921 as early as 1925 the Borjomi Factory manufactured 3 601 000 bottles of Borjomi mineral waters B orjomi is a resort town in the southern region of Samskhe Javakheti located 160 km from Tbilisi and at 800 900 meters above sea level The place is famous for its mineral waters which has unique healing properties Borjomi was one of the most popular resorts all vanillasky ge over the Soviet Union and was a favorite place for the political and cultural elite of the regime as well The sulfuric water s healing properties are proven to be directly beneficial to the digestive system and metabolism as well as biliary and kidney diseases It is a unique source of carbonated sodium bicarbonate mineral waters These curative spring waters of volcanic origin can be found in several villages and places around town but the main source of the mineral water is in the area of Borjomi Central Park However water is not the only beneficial thing for health in Borjomi Pine forests and fresh mountain air make this place wonderful for healing respiratory diseases and problems with the nervous system With a picturesque landscape the World Wide Fund for Nature site Borjomi Kharagauli National Park the famous Romanov Palace and of course the mineral waters Borjomi is a famous destination in Georgia for both local and international visitors The Borjomi mineral waters rise to the surface from a depth of 8 10 km pushed up by natural carbon dioxide pressure Unlike many other sodium bicarbonate mineral waters Borjomi s water does not cool down before it reaches the surface and comes out warm 38 41 getting enriched on its way with a composition of 60 various minerals found in the rock layers of the Caucasus

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102 CLIMATE RESORTS Mountains The mineral springs of the Borjomi Gorge were discovered over one thousand years ago It is said to be a famous treatment since ancient times Borjomi s mineral waters were first mentioned as early as the 15th century but gained wider acclaim in the 19th century when the daughter of Evgeny Golovin the Viceroy of the Russian Tsar in the Caucasus was cured there The fame of the curative properties of the spring water spread all over the Russian Empire In 1894 Grand Duke Mikhail Romanov built a bottling plant in Borjomi s Mineral Water Park Soon Borjomi began to grow and the authorities began building new palaces parks public gardens and hotels After the establishment of Soviet rule in Georgia the place transferred to state ownership and was declared as a national resort in 1921 Today Borjomi mineral water is one of the most recognizable Georgian brands sold in over 40 countries around the world There are dozens of mineral spring health spas recreation complexes and rest houses in Borjomi All of which are located within the vicinity of Central Park You can enjoy several popular attractions in the park as well as hiking and walking tours Where to eat Borjomi Tzagveri and Bakuriani and the village and settlement resorts between them or adjacent to them draw on the same culinary traditions www paragliding ge influenced more by Southern Georgia and famous for a variety of shechamandi vegetable soups with wheat or other grains exquisite honey dishes cooked

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103 with ghee and top quality dairy products You can enjoy all these if you are hosted by a local household Otherwise Borjomi s several restaurants will offer you a most garden variety standard menu heavily influenced by Soviet period trends and by Soviet influence we mean standardization with the same dishes all over the place the same seasonings in every dish and even the same size portions Even the names of these establishments sound suspicious Metropolis or Roots These restaurants target tourists and locals stuck in the initial post Soviet years the audience that does not mind downgrading Georgian cuisine to dull uniformity On the contrary what they demand is the standard flavor of shish kebob or khinkali dumplings suitable for their conformist taste Borjomi may leave an impression of its infrastructure being exclusively tailored to please visitors from the post Soviet Republics And that is a sad reality which at the same time makes sense given Russia s enormous political and cultural influence on Borjomi since the 19th century Nonetheless right by the town s entrance you come across an eatery called Inca Caf Apparently the owner is a big fan of Inca civilization or maybe he finds refuge in it an escape of sorts from the gray reality in this small settlement On the main street leading to Borjomi s Bus Station on the other side of the Mtkvari River you will find a cozy confectionery called 1978 judging by the name it is no brain surgery figuring out the historical background it stands for Still drop by because this establishment seems to have the most modern and clearly defined concept among Borjomi s diners The name Lyova s Cakes is very unlikely to draw your attention especially since its signage reads only in Georgian Nonetheless ask around and visit it Lyova is Borjomi s brand a local celebrity known to several generations of the resort s guests as an amazingly skillful pastry chef After Lyova passed away at an advanced age his children followed in their father s footsteps running Lyova s brand keeping up the reputation and offering the genuine taste and flavor of old Borjomi As for an abundant meal you can visit any of the restaurants down the road to familiarize yourself with post Soviet exoticism by ordering the plainest most harmless menu including khachapuri cheese bread or mchadi cornbread with cheese tomato and cucumber salad and fried potatoes For more refined and quality food you must visit the restaurants at Borjomi s couple of top notch hotels

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104 CLIMATE RESORTS Where to stay CROWN PLAZA Address 9 Baratashvili St Borjomi Contact 0322 221 221 Prices for a twin room starts from 110 40 USD Crowne Plaza Borjomi is situated in the heart of Borjomi a picturesque Georgian resort town well known for its artesian natural springs Nestled between hills and by a small river nearby Borjomi Central Park the Hotel features 101 guest rooms six conference rooms Restaurant Wine Bar and most importantly a 2400 sq m Spa Wellness Center providing generous living space comfortable working environment and relaxation area Visitors of the Crowne Plaza have the Borjomi Central Park almost next to their hotel It is a wonderful place for morning cpborjomi Web ihg com crowneplaza or evening stroll fresh air quite meditation in solitude and for finding the open air sulphur baths at the end of the Park trail The restaurant of the Crown Plaza Borjomi is also exceptional in the area for its quality ingredients healthy food choices and diverse menu You can also visit lobby bar with its separate menu that can be checked at their facebook page

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105 Restaurant Arfaye is a perfect destination for all day dining where you can enjoy breakfast lunch and dinner The Lobby Bar offers a stellar list of various cocktails whiskies Champagne and finally Georgian local traditional choice of wine as Georgia is one of GOLDEN TULIP BORJOMI Address 48 9 Aprili St Borjomi Contact 0322 880 202 The building in which this luxury hotel is situated now always had been one of the main touristic attractions of Borjomi Built in 1892 and commissioned by the Iranian ambassador to Tbilisi Mirza Reza Khan was the metaphor for luxury living wealth and architectural experiments The central attraction of the building still is its balcony decorated with goldentulipborjomi Web goldentulip com sparkling turquoise details After being Mirza Reza Khan s summer residence and then changing the function several times this building houses hotel Golden Tulip now The Golden Tulip has comfortable well equipped rooms facilities and the various hotel outlets will make your stay a memorable one Decorated in a clean modern and typically mixture of Persian European and Georgian style the 17 boutique rooms available at the Golden Tulip Borjomi are air conditioned offering amenities satellite tv safe boxes and coffee makers

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106 CLIMATE RESORTS BORJOMI LIKANI HOTEL Address 16 Meskheti St Borjomi Contact 0 322 292 292 info borjomilikani com The lowest price 118 USD Luxury 5 star Hotel Borjomi Likani is located in the middle of the coniferous park in Borjomi city on the former territory of once popular Sanatorium of 4th deparment in Likani The famous Summer Palace of Russian royal Romanovs Family resided on the territory of the hotel is another reason for the guests to visit Borjomi Likani complex The Hotel has 151 guestrooms Indoor pool Spa services Children s club Terrace and restaurants The Borjomi Likani Restaurant is distinguished by its rich choice of International Cuisine Guests can enjoy a rich buffet blending various Georgian European and Asian tastes for breakfast lunch and dinner Outdoor terrace linked to the restaurant is especially attractive for guests in summer Web borjomilikani com If you wish to try the variety of famous Georgian cuisine and wines you should visit Restaurant Bagrationi on the 6th floor with linked rooftop outdoor terrace with beautiful views of the picturesque nature surrounding the hotel They can host up to 40 seated guests

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107 Abastumani L ocated in the Samtskhe Javakheti region the Abastumani Resort is the most famous balneological resort in Georgia and in the region as well known for healing respiratory and other diseases Situated at a height of 1250 1690 meters above sea level Abastumani provides fresh air all year round The mountain climate pine and fir forests and thermal waters make this place exceptionally beneficial for treating many diseases People come here to treat tuberculosis open and closed forms chronic bronchitis and mild forms of bronchial asthma as well as many cardiovascular diseases Abastumani has a moderately dry mountainous climate with a relative humidity reaching 50 only in summer The annual average number of hours of sunlight is 3 000 Average annual precipitation is 626 mm The average annual temperature is 6 4 to 6 5 C 44 to 44 F in January and 17 2 C 63 F in July Abastumani s three thermal springs 39 48 5 C are little mineralized rich in sulfate sodium chloride waters They have long been used in the treatment of tuberculosis You can also try the bath houses there some of them for a very low price to improve your health in sulfur waters There are also some oth

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108 CLIMATE RESORTS er kinds of thermal waters with an average temperature around 42 C Having a bath there is highly recommended for those who have some issues with their nervous system or muscles Besides healing properties Abastumani s main attraction for international and domestic tourists is the Georgian National Astrophysical Observatory Founded in 1932 by Professor Evgeny Kharadze Abastumani Observatory was the first astrophysics observatory in the Soviet Union The area though had been linked to astronomy long before Tsar Nicholas II s brother Georgy Romanov an avid amateur astronomer had brought the first wave of scientists over from St Petersburg in the 19th century upon discovering the town famous for the quality of its air and thermal waters By the end of the century Abastumani s first telescope had been built What to see ABASTUMANI ASTROPHYSICAL OBSERVATORY The first alpine astrophysical observatory was founded in 1932 on the territory of the former Soviet Union It is located on Mount Khanobili 30 km in the north west from Akhaltsikhe at an altitude of 1700 meters above sea level Mount Khanobili is characterized by unique conditions observatory iliauni edu ge for astronomical observations The first buildings were erected telescopes installed and the first observations conducted in the fall of 1937 these observations later became of larger scale thanks to the newly constructed observatories as well as the implementation of new technologies and facilities

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109 Excursion services in Abastumani Astrophysical Observatory INDIVIDUAL EXCURSIONS ONE VISITOR Adults Day 4GEL Night 6 GEL Midnight 20 GEL GROUP EXCURSIONS Adults Day min 10 persons 2 GEL Night min 10 persons 3 GEL Midnight min 5 persons 10 GEL DAY NIGHT AND MIDNIGHT WE CONSIDER AS THE FOLLOWING HOURS Day from 11 00 to 21 00 Nightfrom 21 00 to 24 00 Midnightfrom 24 00 to 03 00 Where to stay GREEN HOTEL Address 16 Asatiani St Abastumani Contact 577 14 41 22 Green Hotel is located in Abastumani and features a garden With free WiFi this 3 star hotel offers free shuttle service and a shared lounge Each room includes a balcony with views of the mountain At the hotel each room is fitted with a patio Each room comes with a flat screen TV and some units at Green Hotel have a river Green Hotel Abastumani view All rooms have a seating area A continental breakfast is served every morning at the property The accommodation offers a terrace You can play table tennis at this 3 star hotel

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110 CLIMATE RESORTS Tsagveri T sagveri resort is located in a favorable climate region 14km from Borjomi The climate condition allows for resting and healing all year round Mostly sunny with almost no winds and an insignificant temperature cycle it s a perfect place to enjoy your stay both for vacation and healing purposes The pine forests and mineral water gives this place multiple healing possibilities The mineral water which is found in the natural mineral springs and a few wells contains iron magnesium calcium and sodium It is used in the treatment of the digestive and cardiovascular systems gastric and duodenal mucosa inflammation diabetes and chronic diseases of the liver and biliary tract It is also recommended after surgical inter ventions Regular administering of Tsagveri water enhances oxide processes in the body Because of its small flow rate Tsagveri mineral water is not used for distribution It loses its carbonic acid gas while heating storing and through light exposure so experts recommend taking this water at its discharge location The water may be stored in the refrigerator for only up to a week The Tsagveri mineral water deposits were discovered by the Borjomi estate ruler Adolph Alexander Remmert who made a report on its climate and mineral water at the session of the Caucasus Medical Society on June 16 1867 On the site of Tsagveri there is another resort and sanatorium called Kechkhobi Here you will find hydrocarnobate calcium natrium water with an increased concentration of ferrum The place is especially beneficial for anemic people

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111 Where to stay KECHKHOBI SANATORIUM erties especially good for treating gastrointestinal disorders Vacationing at the Kechkhobi Sanatorium is like time travel Though less visible today the resort still bears the signs of the Soviet glory days because it used to be a very prestigious destination during the Soviet years It continues to function albeit at a relatively modest scale The sanatorium is located in the outskirts of Tzaghveri though the settlement itself is tiny so you can even walk to your destination a 3 story building for 330 guests including rooms with 2 3 and 4 beds also with central heating and hot water and accommodating guests from May through September and in January February Kechkhobi itself is positioned as a balneology climate resort The coniferous forest massifs surround it create a special microclimate beneficial for the respiratory system The resort also features waters with medicinal prop ECO COTTAGES TIMOTESUBANI TZAGHVERI kechkhobi If you are planning to spend a night in Tzaghveri you can visit this small isolated wooden cottage complex arranged across a beautiful meadow The cottages visible from the road are surrounded by mountains and coniferous forests and their yards boast abundant trees all of which makes it an excellent place for vacationing and solitude Starting in mid May when pines start to bloom the Eco Cottages are especially busy The cottages also offer hotel type rooms with meals three times a day which is perfect for family vacationing among others All types of facilities here are built with environment friendly materials ekokotejebi

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112 CLIMATE RESORTS Surami S urami resort is located in Shida Kartli Central Georgia at about a onehour drive from Tbilisi Surami is located on the southern slopes of the Likhi Range which divides Georgia into its eastern and western parts The place is good for chronic respiratory diseases the nervous and immune systems and skin and cardiovascular diseases The climate is ideal for children with respiratory problems and weak immune systems Surami is extremely helpful for people with asthma as well The resort is surrounded by evergreen forests of fir pine oak and beech This diversity makes the climate exceptionally beneficial and makes the air fresh and healthy Surami located at 1250 1450 meters above sea level offers alpine landscapes a moderate mountain climate lower climate belt and cold and snowy winter with January s average temperature reaching 60C summer is moderately warm and August s average temperature is 160C Surami s flora consists of coniferous forests spruces pines and firs Natural healing factors include the mild climate of the lower belt in the middle mountain zone and thermal sulfate chloride calciumsodium waters Types of medical treatment passive climate therapy and mineral water baths The climate is moderately continental with a mild almost snow less winter and a warm summer The average annual temperature is

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113 9 6 C and the average monthly temperatures of January and August are 0 9 C and 20 2 C respectively Precipitation reaches 781 mm per annum Besides its salubrious lower alpine climate Surami has mineral springs of a weak sulphide hydrocarbonate magnesium calcium variety with a low salination 0 6 g l containing up to 68 mg l of silicic acid The daily yield of the springs is 40 000 liters The waters are used for curative baths Treatment is provided for patients having diseases of respiratory organs of a non tuberculous character and also concomitant diseases of the locomotor system and the peripheral nervous system What to see THE MUSEUM OF LESYA UKRAINKA Address 5706 2 David Guramishvili St Surami Khashuri district Contact 995 0368 27 14 35 lesiaukrainka52 mail ru Entrance is free The museum is dedicated to the memory of the notable Ukrainian poet Lesya Ukrainka who spent SURAMI FORTRESS The exact date when the Fortress was built is unknown The earliest version according to some sources date to the 12th century Everybody knows the legend associated with the fortress and you can also check out the film version of it Award winning feature film the Legend of Surami Fortress by Tbilisi based Armenian filmmaker Sergei Parajanov her last months in Surami The Museum consists of the house where the poet died a library and Ukrainka s monument authored by the Georgian sculptor Tamar Abakelia 1952

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Feudal 114 ROUBRIC Tbilisi

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115 It s true that Tbilisi has been Georgia s capital since the 5th century AD though the first human settlement appeared here much earlier But let s start our tour today with a bit of contemporary history a story from the 21st century when an excavator unearthed the city s previously unknown past Text and Photos by Tamar Esakia A few years back construction work kicked off around the Botanical and Samghebro Dyers Street crossing where today The Forty Martyrs of Sebastia Monastery is Shortly thereafter archeologists delved into the hole dug for a future hotel where they first discovered the foundation of a church under which a wine cellar was revealed 6 meters under it all a 2nd 3rd century Roman bathhouse was unearthed reaffirming that Tbilisi s history goes back much further than its status of being the country s capital You can see all that for yourself if you visit the archeological site along with a small museum in the backyard of the monastery which is where our tour starts Next we cross the bridge once the only way to get over to the left Mtkvari riverbank and ascend Narikala the main fortification in Tbilisi Chreli Motley Bathhouse

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116 GUIDE ROUBRIC 20 Baratashvili str Mtkvari 19 18 21 17 16 Erekle II square Antimoz Iverieli str 15 Freedom square Ko te Kote Afkhazi st Route End Point Af k Peace bridge ha zi st r Erekle II str 14 13 12 11 Shardeni str 10 Saint George Armenian Cathedral Cable car upper stop 4 Tbilisi Botanical Garden 5 Waterfall

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117 ON THE MAP loz o Nik ise ili R shv a rat Ba Rike Park Cable car base stop 2 3 Mtkva ri 1 Route Start Point Monument for the birth of Tbilisi 9 8 1 Forty Martyrs of Sebastia Monastery 2 Church of Saint Abo 3 Statue of King Vakhtang Gorgasali 4 Narikala 5 Entrance to the Botanical Gardens 6 Mosque 7 Leghvtakhevi 8 Chreli Motley Bathhouse 9 Abanotubani 10 Meidan 11 Tamada Toastmaster 12 Tbilisi History Museum 13 Sioni Cathedral 14 Small caravanserai 8 10 Erekle II Street 15 First Georgian typography monument 16 Patriarchate of Georgia 17 Church of St George 18 Anchiskhati 19 Marionette Theater 20 Lamplighter and the Konka Tram 21 Tbilisi defensive wall s ruins 6 7 Main route

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118 GUIDE FEUDAL TBILISI Archeological Museum and ethnographic garden at the Forty Martyrs of Sebastia Monastery Working hours 10am 7pm Entrance Fee 1 GEL including the guided tour In front of Metekhi Church on top of the cliff there is a statue of King Vakhtang Gorgasali of Kartli who declared Tbilisi as his capital city Many surviving legends surround his incredible physical abilities His nickname Gorgasali which means the wolf s head was coined by Persians after the shape of the stylized helmet he wore in battle Below the statue we find the small Church of Saint Abo Shortly after Arab rule was established in Georgia in the 7th century the Tbilisi Emir ordered the execution of Abo an ethnic Arab for converting to Christianity Abo is venerated as the patron saint of Tbilisi The flatland on the other side of the bridge used to be known as Bza Boxwood or Tiva Hay Square where in the 19th century visiting merchants kept their pack animals Conveniently hay was sold nearby Today cable cars operate here and offer the shortest route to Narikala Fortress Once at the end station turn right and walk down the path with a guard rail to reach the fortress gates Cable Car Working Hours 10 am 10 pm Ticket price 2 50 GEL one way you must use the Tbilisi transport card extra 2 GEL Above the Forty Martyrs of Sebastia Monastery below Narikala Fortress

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119 He steps on Mount Elbrus and mountains quake and tremble a folk poem reads struck the church The explosion was so massive that fragments of the fortress were later discovered far away on the other side of the Mtkvari River Once outside the defensive wall stroll down the trail with the guard rails to your right Soon you will find yourself at the main entrance of the Botanical Garden see detailed information on page 58 Now let s take Botanical Street down to the Leghvtakhevi Fig Gorge neighborhood and while we re at it drop by the Sunni Mosque substantially reconstructed in 1864 currently the only Muslim house of prayer in Tbilisi long with other buildings on the Mtkvari riverbank the 16th century Shiite mosque was demolished during the reconstruction in the late 1950s leaving the mosque on Botanical Street as Narikala which translates from the Mongolian language as a small castle was built in the 4th century and the city first emerged and developed within and around its walls This unapproachable fortress had underground passages leading to two different rivers Until the mid 17th century Narikala served as the political and administrative center of the Kingdom of Kartli The Russian army had been using the fortress s abolished church as a gunpowder magazine In 1848 lightning Above the statue of King Vakhtang Gorgasali of Kartli below Blue Mosque interior

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120 GUIDE FEUDAL TBILISI

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121 the only house of prayer for all the Muslims where Sunnis and Shiites perform their religious services in turn Swerve right after the mosque and with the help of tourist signs make your way through the maze of narrow short streets Still not sure where you re going Well just ask around or if you come across a little girl selling her color pencil paintings in front of her house sometimes then you re on the right track Eventually you should run into a black spiral staircase that leads down to the Leghvtakhevi Fig Gorge neighborhood that owes its name to the abundance of fig trees in the area This narrow deep gorge is the embodiment of peace and quiet in the noisy city especially in summer providing shelter from the Tbilisi style heat to enjoy the cool air and shade Leghvtakhevi was crowded with washerwomen the river coming from the Botanical Garden forms a waterfall and on its way to Mtkvari richly absorbs sulfur offering a perfect way to do laundry without soap Come out of the gorge and you are in Abanotubani Bath District the oldest historical section of Tbilisi known for its sulphur baths Legend ties Tbilisi s establishment to the discovery of to these exact thermal waters One version relates that King Vakhtang Gorgasali stumbled upon the springs while hunting a wounded Above Legvtakhevi center tourist signs on the cobblestones

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122 GUIDE FEUDAL TBILISI 13th century sources confirm that 65 bathhouses operated in Tbilisi at the time deer that healed itself in the hot waters and escaped the hunters According to another more popular version the king s falcon was chasing after a wounded pheasant and they both fell into a sulfur spring There is an opinion that this territory was chosen by ancient cattle farmers who found processing cowhide in the local natural hot springs quite convenient and trouble free The fact is that the future city was named after these mineral springs the word tbili in Tbilisi stands for warm in Georgian The domed underground halls of Abanotubani have a piping system supplying it with cliff side sulfur waters fluctuating between 35 and 45 C A 10th century Arab historian described these waters as boiling without fire Generally sulfur waters possess a variety of healing properties but the uniqueness of Tbilisi s bathhouses has always been defined by their mekise masseurs handing down their art from generation to generation This art involves cleansing and massage that turn your visit to the bathhouse into an unforgettable experience The 19th century Russian poet Alexander Pushkin praised the Tbilisi baths as the most glorious thing he had ever seen The poet visited the so called Chreli Motley Bathhouse one located in the depth of Above Abanotubani below Pheasant s statue

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123 No other place in the world brings together so many people of foreign descent You are bound to come across Armenians Greeks Jews Persians Indians Tatars Muscovites and Europeans alike Jean Chardin a 19th century French traveler the district with its multicolor tile decorations architecturally differing drastically from its counterparts At first glance it even resembles a mosque Bathhouses in Old Tbilisi were places for socializing feasting recreation and even for hosting wedding receptions Traditionally it was where future mothers in law would meet their daughters in law for the first time Generally women would set aside an entire day for a visit where they among other things would take care of their laundry New attires were even customarily set aside for a visit to the baths Those coming from the East were obligated to bathe themselves and clean their pack animals before entering the city to mitigate outbreak related risks From here let s follow the route of the city s historical expansions which leads us to Meidan This ancient square was a marketplace in old times crowded and noisy especially on Sundays Imagine pack animals wagons and camels carrying exquisite goods emerging from narrow streets early at dawn and entering the square encircled by two story buildings Taverns are already open The aroma of freshly baked bread fills the air Thin Armenian lavash flatbreads string up like laundry Fish turning twisting and writhing on trays and fresh fruits and vegetables arranged in conical piles in baskets and sacks Left mekise right tavern on Meidan National Librar collection

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124 GUIDE FEUDAL TBILISI Rug traders showcasing their colorful merchandise on baluster balconies All the vendors praising their goods to entice buyers An enormous weighing scale in the middle of the square while a flag is flown over the scale only the city s residents are allowed to purchase goods delivered by villagers and that s the law After midday merchants and retailers make their move Tbilisi s residents continue to refer to this place by its traditional name Meidan even though the fortress church Saint George Armenian Cathedral and mere fragments of the original structures are all that is left of it after its reconstruction in the 20th century Let s take a pedestrian underpass and cross over to Chardin Street French traveler and jeweler Jean Chardin visited Georgia in the 1660s In his book A Journey to Persia and Other Countries he provides interesting information about Tbilisi at that time The book features engravings by Chardin s companion artist Grelot the earliest surviving graphic images illustrating the city At the end of Chardin Street we bump into the Statue of the Tamada Toastmaster holding a horn in his hand It is a traditional wine drinking vessel made from the horn of a wild or domesticated goat ox or cow The cleverest part about the horn vessel is that you cannot put it down until you Meidan old and nowdays National Library collection

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125 Chorkhana Hatters Row Sirachkhana Vodka and Wine Sellers Row Lilakhana Dyers Row and others The place where you are standing right now was called Sirachkhana From here you take Sioni Street where just half a block away to your right you will find the Tbilisi History Museum occupying the former caravanserai Among other things this multifunctional caravanserai served as a hotel This one was built in the early 1900 s on the foundations of its 16th 17th century predecessor and practically repeated its contours incorporating several tiers of showrooms open galleries and wikipedia org down its contents Tamada leads the feast and regulates the order of toasts and accompanying songs and dances Looking back from the Statue of the Tamada you can clearly see the zigzagging lineaments of Chardin Street and the one running its parallel To your left there is Bambis Rigi Cotton Row one of the rare Tbilisi streets that have kept their medieval names Its name is an homage to the cotton wool calico and brocade merchants running their businesses here Shops owned primarily by cookware manufacturers and textile retailers were lined up on either side of Chardin Street which was also known as Bneli Rigi Dark Alley as this narrow street was permanently enclosed permeating little light if any Tbilisi was a city of artisans who formed respective trade unions known as amkari a Persian word meaning association or cooperation Each amkari had its own banner patron saint and trade area in Tbilisi Most of these trade specific areas were known by their Persian style names For example there were Above pedestrian underpass Below Tbilisi first engraving by Grelot

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126 GUIDE FEUDAL TBILISI The museum offers exhibition halls and a permanent exposition dedicated to the history of Tbilisi open from 10 AM to 17 30 PM Tuesday Sunday hallways clustered around the large hall in the center The basement served as a warehouse Tailor and shoemaker workshops occupied the first floor The second floor was reserved for 25 stores selling European and Asian merchandise and the top floor housed a 33 room hotel a typical arrangement for caravanserais in general with the only unconventional detail being the Modernist fa ade dating to the early 20th century In 1795 the Qajar Shah Agha Mohammad Khan sacked Tbilisi and razed this caravanserai and indeed the rest of the city to the ground Though the subsequent reconstruction repeated the old city s planning Tbilisi apart from rare exceptions was virtually rebuilt from scratch on its 16th 17th century foundations Next is Sioni Cathedral the Tbilisi History Museum Karvasla most important Orthodox Christian monument in Tbilisi Undoubtedly it has been demolished and rebuilt nearly as many times as Tbilisi itself Once in the 13th century Khwarazm Sultan Jalal ad Din used materials from the cathedral s dome for his throne The building proper shows several distinct layers of building materials However the remnants of the original 7th century church are practically untraceable because the monument repeatedly devastated by enemies and earthquakes was substantially rebuilt and rehabilitated in the 12th 15th 16th 18th and 19th centuries Most of the murals were painted by Prince Grigory Gagarin in the 1850s 1860s The Sioni Cathedral has two bell towers one is a brick building in the churchyard and the other is a three story tower with a spire

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wikipedia org 127 facing the church The latter one of the earliest examples of Classical Russian Architecture was built based on a blueprint sent from Saint Petersburg in 1812 Sioni Cathedral preserves some of the relics of the Georgian Orthodox Church including Saint Nino s cross Saint Nino preached Christianity in Georgia in the 4th century According to church tradition the cross in the cathedral was made by Nino herself using two grapevine stalks tied together with her own hair Nino is one of the most venerated saints in Georgia as evidenced by the fact that even today Nino is the most popular feminine name in the country In 1726 Georgian Prince Givi Amilakhvari used generous gifts to talk the Ottomans out of converting the Sioni Cathedral into a mosque Ever since a special divine liturgy is held at the Sioni Cathedral to honor Givi Amilakhvari and his descendants From Sioni Cathedral we proceed down Erekle Street I strongly recommend stopping by 8 10 Erekle Street a seemingly garden variety building eclipsed by rows of cafes and Above Sioni Cathedral Saint Nino s cross Below small caravansarai

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128 GUIDE FEUDAL TBILISI bars Here you will find a small caravanserai This building once remodeled into a communal apartment still shows the functional details of the old building such as an open wooden balcony stretching across the second floor and stairs down into the basement in the middle of the courtyard along with stucco plasterwork spared from a rough coating Stucco is a highly artistic technique for decorative plasterwork in relief with numerous examples found in Tbilisi s architecture Erekle Street bumps into Erekle Square It used to be the central section of Old Tbilisi the royal district where from the 17th century to 1795 the king s residence included a palace bathhouses The First Georgian Typography Monument stables churches a garden and so on No other neighborhood in Tbilisi has seen so much change and drastic transformation Agha Mohammad Khan s invasion left this area so desolate that it did not even make sense to restore the old setting The said lavish residence was in shambles with only fragments of one of the bathhouses and the smaller palace church surviving After the Erekle street let s turn right towards the famous Peace Bridge use stairs to take us down and let s turn left On the wall facing the river near where a restaurant operates today you will find a plaque stating that this side of the structure used to form a section of the royal bathhouse In the early 19th century a mint opened in the bathhouse s half ruined building to manufacture Russian Georgian coins The First Georgian Typography Monument in front of the wall marks the place where in a special structure built here the first Georgian print operated Its first book The Knight in the Panther s Skin was published in 1709 Notably this edition contained an academically approved text of this brilliant medieval Georgian epic poem along with relevant commentary Take the Antimoz Iverieli street back to the square and turn right to Shavteli Street where you will find a building with a tall defensive wall It is the Patriarchate of

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129 Georgia occupying what used to be the Royal Palace The Church of St George the only surviving building from the Royal District is found in the garden across from the Patriarchate The upper section of the garden used to be occupied by a cannon casting plant After its demolition a square was arranged for public gatherings and exchange of news and ideas Tbilisi s residents labeled this place salakbo which means something along the lines of talking the bark off a tree in Georgian This narrow street leads to the Anchiskhati Church Anchiskhati built in the early 6th century is the earliest surviving house of prayer in Tbilisi Its current name however originated in the 17th century after the Icon of the Savior was translated here from the Ancha Monastery in Georgia s historical southern The Church of St George province currently in the territory of Turkey Anchiskhati means an icon from Ancha in the Georgian language Some of the murals and the gated bell tower on the first floor date to the 17th century According to urban legends the Anchiskhati Church was the only one in Tbilisi allowed to toll its bells under Arab rule 7th 11th cc Presently the unique repousse Ancha Icon of the Savior is displayed in the Golden Repository of the Art Museum of Georgia A bit past the church you will notice a tower on a metal post but don t worry it s not collapsing but rather it was built using a medieval construction technique The supporting post itself is a detail of one of Tbilisi s old bridges This clock tower has been around since 2010 now a landmark inseparable from Tbilisi Once every hour a golden winged angel rings the bell If you plan your

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130 GUIDE FEUDAL TBILISI tour so as to be there either at 12 PM or at 7 PM you will also enjoy a brief puppet show The Marionette Theater was founded by director and playwright Rezo Gabriadze who writes plays and creates puppets Anchiskhati Church for his shows If you have time you absolutely must visit this unique theater After all where else can you watch the story of two steam locomotives in love Next to the theater there is a caf with Rezo Gabriadze s slogan

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131 inscribed on the second floor fa ade May we never shed tears except when cutting onions Tired Well you can wrap up your Tbilisi tour right here Gabriadze s Caf and the Layla vegetarian restaurant across Anchiskhati will suit any gastronomic whim Still on a roll Then head toward the city s noisy highway with the Statue of the Lamplighter and the Konka Tram right on the sidewalk The first horse drawn konka tram appeared in Tbilisi in 1883 to continue operating all the way up to 1910 Walk uphill To your left you will see the defensive wall A gorge with a seasonal river used to stretch outside the wall proper The artificial wall and the gorge running alongside were a perfect defensive mix in a medieval city Today the river runs through a pipe under the highway and merges with the Mtkvari River If you cross the highway a bit higher toward the Vertskhli Silver Street corner you will find yourself on top of the defensive wall s ruins The Marionette Theater with tower handmade tales and the smallest clock of the city

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132 GUIDE FEUDAL TBILISI During reinforcement work on this street a few years back fragments of the old defensive wall with towers were unearthed The fragments date to the 12th 17th centuries though the inside layer is much older probably from the Arab period in the 7th 11th centuries A carved inscription in the Arabic language was even discovered on the inner wall Medieval Tbilisi was a well fortified city Looking from the highway level you will easily notice how massive this section of the wall was Let s keep walking up Baratashvili street toward Freedom Square presently the central square of Tbilisi which until the 19th century was located outside the city wall At the beginning of Pushkin Street where Kote Afkhazi Street runs into Freedom Square one of Tbilisi s gates must have stood This street was known in the past as Shua Bazari Marketplace in the Middle because it divided the feudal city into two sections It featured rows of stores and workshops on either side Today this street is much wider and looks very different from what it used to be If you keep walking straight down the street you will end up on Meidan and from there in the Forty Martyrs of Sebastia Monastery where our tour started Above defensive wall s ruins below Lamplighter and Konka

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133 Shavteli street

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134 A GLASS OF THOUGHTS The High Class of Wines W inemakers rarely apply the term class to Georgian wine In their world class is defined by one factor whether or not sugar or other ingredients have been added to strip the wine of its natural qualities With large scale streamlined winemaking and factory wine production however a myriad of detailed factors come into play to define a wine s class whether or not only flawless clusters have been used for fermentation the quality of the qvevri vessel and or barrel itself and what outcome the winemaker producer had in mind in the first place These notions cross my mind as I am tasting wines from the SAMTAVRO reserve of Teliani Valley at one cozy sunlit bar First I get down to business with white wines by imbibing an oak barrel aged variety Mtsvane Mukhashi Mtsvane in Oak is a wine produced in Kakheti from Mtsvane grapes hand selected in the village of Ikalto in 2017 and aged for six months in French oak barrels And now straw gold wine is dancing in sunlight in my glass To taste it offers the flavors of vanilla and caramelized nuts with the addition of tangy nutmeg and cinnamon additional properties of Samtavro s Mtsvane Mukhashi 100 Mtsvane variety 12 5 alcohol by volume Class is the word that tasting this wine brings to mind It is rightfully singled out among all the Mtsvane variety based wines I have ever tasted I bet the French oak barrel has had a hand in all this its impact on the wine s taste and color is undeniable Next stop is red wines namely Teliani Reserve a place name dry red wine made 100 from the finest Cabernet Sauvignon grapes harvested in the More info telianivalley com Teliani Valley

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135 Teliani village micro zone in 2016 This wine exudes a whole array of summer flavors At first ripe cherries hit your senses followed by plums and even blackcurrants though balanced to perfection with velvety tannins and a full body The wine has been aged in oak barrels for 12 months which must have contributed to its fullness and harmony I switch to a wine impeccably dark red in color a characteristic that sets it apart from the other red wines and catches your fancy right away It is Saperavi Reserve made from the best Saperavi clusters harvested in the Kondoli vineyards of Kakheti in the late fall High in alcohol content 16 5 this wine too has been aged in French oak barrels for 12 months with 10 15 more years of ageing potential In a glass it looks dark dark ruby and besides black plums and cherries showcase complementary vanilla and dark chocolate flavors It is thanks to its intense and well balanced tannins that the wine has a long finish and brings about exotic associations Tasting these three wines makes me feel that the decisive factor here after all is the winemaker s concept and as long as the concept wagers on class and no effort is spared to bring it to life you can rest assured your wine is high class Don t just take my word for it I recommend trying SAMTAVRO Reserve wines and see for yourself

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136 EVENTS Spring 2019 photo Oleg Elkis A R T A N D S H OW S I N T B I L I S I AQUARIUM April 14th 2019 Famous rock band Aquarium and its famed leader Boris Grebenshikov first played in Tbilisi in 1980 at the Tbilisi Rock Festival unusual event for the Soviet era Aquarium has revisited Georgia since then but it is going to be the very special event in the very specific space Tickets www tkt ge Prices Standing fan first floor 90 GEL Common Fan zone standing near the stage Standing vip st floor 120 GEL Standing vip 2D floor 180 220 GEL Location Republic Bar 6 First Republic Square RepublicTbilisi PHOTOGRAPH ORTHODOX EASTER WITH THOMAS DWORZAK April 26th 2019 Learn from Magnum photographer Thomas Dworzak during an intimate four day workshop in Georgia while discovering Tbilisi a capital city at the crossroads between Asia and Europe and known for its ancient culture as well as for its legendary tradition of hospitality This workshop organized in collaboration with the Photography and Multimedia Museum of Tbilisi will be led by Magnum

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137 photographer Thomas Dworzak a self proclaimed Prisoner of the Caucasus and a resident of Georgia for many years between 1992 and 2012 Photographing Tbilisi with Thomas Dworzak offers a rare chance to discover the various layers that the Georgian capital can offer to the visitors while improving your practice Easter is an extremely important religious celebration in Georgia Traditionally large crowds visit churches and meet in cemeteries to celebrate with their families and honor their dead Immerse yourself into one of the largest cultural events in Georgia while making new work in a vibrant and exciting city The workshop will include shooting time lectures critique and editing sessions as well as social time spent in the city as a group All participants will go home with an edit of the work shot during the workshop The best two portfolios selected by Nestan Nijaradze Director and Curator of the Tbilisi Photo Festival will be screened during the Night of Photography on September 15 Tickets magnumphotos com SLEEPING BEAUTY After 60 years Pyotr Tchaikovsky s ballet in three acts Sleeping Beauty arrives back on the stage of the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre The premiere of the ballet s new edition by Nina Ananiashvili and Alexey Fadeechevis dedicated to the 200th anniversary of the birth of Marius Petipa the genius choreographer Stage Conductor Alevtina Ioffe Scenography and costumes Anatoly Nezhny Lighting Designer Steen Bjarke StateBalletOfGeorgia photo Kikala Studio April 19 20 and 21 Location State Ballet of Georgia 25 Rustaveli Ave

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138 EVENTS SPRING 2019 WELCOME TO GEORGIA THE MUSICAL SEASON 3 A musical romantic theatrical play telling a story about Georgia by combining song dance traditions national costumes and local cuisine The play features more than 15 traditional Georgian songs and dances performed live on stage by 19 actors who will take you on a journey from Maro s wine cellar to the feast table where you ll be welcomed with world renowned Georgian hospitality for an evening of humor and romance Most dialogue is in English including some subtitled Georgian Step inside the World of Georgian Song Dance Traditions Culture and History Adult guests will be welcomed complimentary wine and other beverages before the show and during the intermission Tickets 50 60 70 80 GEL Reservations 995 577 55 00 33 Upcoming shows March 12 19 26 April 2 16 23 May 7 14 21 28 June 4 11 Show starts at 20 00 doors open at 19 00 running time 95 minutes Location Music Drama State Theatre 182 Aghmashenebeli Avenue Tbilisi GET 10 DISCOUNT by using promo code Adventurer during check out at tkt ge musical musical ge Mail info musical ge Web musical ge

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139 PRE EASTER EXHIBITION AND FAIR April 19 27th 2019 A very interesting and beautiful place in Tbilisi for those who love flowers and plants which will host a series of magnificent events Georgian artists will be presenting their artworks created on the topic of Easter The plants will of course be on display It is just another opportunity to spend a nice day surrounded by greenery and people who love green Working hours Until 6 pm daily except Monday Location Gardenia Shevardnadze WINE FESTIVAL ZERO COMPROMISE May 10th 2019 With the support of the Association of Natural Wine and LEPL National Wine Agency Georgia will host the Wine Festival Zero Compromise About 70 natural local wine cellars Natural winemakers from other countries will also participate Tickets price 30 GEL Tickets can be purchased at tkt ge or at the festival in limited quantities Web www nwa ge Location Former silk factory 59 Kostava Street gardenia shevardnadze QisaBags GEORGIAN WOMAN DESIGNERS SHOW May 4th 2019 An Exhibition and Fair of Woman Designers who create modern accessories on Georgian ethnographic themes and or who use old and traditional techniques fabrics in their work To explore their works is the same to see the ethnography in motion For instance khabalakhi is a word for a head covering for Georgian horse riders which is nicely modernized by several designers who currently work on similar themes The Fair also will include modernized Georgian national apparel felt work or purses handbags and similar accessories Contact 577 744 460 Hosted by kisa KisaBags Location 6 Kipshidze str Tbilisi

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140 EVENTS SPRING 2019 Project Partner SOLO Curator Domenico De Chirico Address 19 Ingorokva str 5 9 April str Building B Space 1 THE VELVET SUN Tato Akhalkatsishvili solo show Until May 5 Tato Akhalkatsishvili is a contemporary artist currently based in Tbilisi His current exhibition is based on the incessant research but also is perpetually and deeply imbued with dreams influencing the present in which the earth and its events transcend the limits of reality The exhibition Velvet Sun also contains 11 minute video and two site specific installations The thread that joins all his works remains constant Akhalkatsishvili aims to find that non temporal moment in which past and present meet each other and in which the psychological connections together with our subconscious memory are connected to the actions fulfilled everyday The title of the exhibition More about the artist tato art com ertigallery com artists tato akhalkatsishvi refers to different historical moments Promising force of the Sun brilliance of which is nevertheless given by the reflections of its deep fabric has turned into troublesome and often difficult realities Location Location Erti Gallery

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141 NEW WINE FESTIVAL May 11th 2019 The upcoming New Wine Festival is special for the Wine Club this year marks the 10th Anniversary of the Wine Club and the Festival is the 10th one too The anniversary novelties include the Pre festival Wine Tasting to be held on May 4 featuring over 10 wines of 2009 2010 to celebrate the tenth birthday The New Wine Festival has been established as a truly public holiday over these years the main purpose of which is to promote the Georgian wine improve wine education in Georgia and enhance consumer culture In 2018 the Festival brought together large medium and small wine companies associations and state organizations more than 200 entities The new Wine Festival 2019 New Wine Festival 2019 WineClub ge will start with the traditional Qvevri opening ceremony accompanied by the Georgian song Mravaljamieri As a rule the Qvevri features the best wine made in the family wine cellar carefully selected by the Wine Club The Festival door is open for all guests As always attendance at the New Wine Festival is free Anticipate hundreds of new wines new varieties new names and impressions also good music and a lottery with the opportunity to win gift barrels full of best wines Location Mtatsminda Park

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142 EVENTS SPRING 2019 4GB 2019 17th 18th 24th 25th of May TBILISI ART FAIR 17 19 May This is the 2nd edition of taf that will showcase Georgian and international galleries independent artists curated exhibitions performances workshops artists and professional talks and many other events within the modernist pavilions of ExpoGeorgia and across the city of Tbilisi TAF is a unique occasion to discover within a friendly format emerging art scenes from the Caucasus Eastern and Central Europe and the Middle East Discover TAF discover contemporary art Location ExpoGeorgia Exhibiting Hall tbilisiartfair 4GB will be held during two weekends this year 1 000 early bird festival passes are now on sale As soon as they are sold out the staff will continue selling a 2nd basket of tickets and the price will increase This year all the tickets are personalized so make sure to read the updated Rules for purchasing using and exchanging the tickets Created as a tribute to pioneer Georgian DJ Gio Bakanidze 4GB has been organized every year since 2011 The festival is unique in the region and was recognized as the Best Festival of the Year by Electronauts Music Awards in 2013 2014 2015 2016 and 2017 The festival staff work hard to make the festival unique and unforgettable event They run 4GB as a non profit venture and all income goes to the further development of the event Tickets tkt ge 4gb Location Center for Cosmic Constructions in Saguramo 4GBFestival

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143 PIROSMANI ABROAD Until June 1st 2020 Niko Pirosmani A Wanderer Between Worlds Vincent van Gogh Speed Aplomb From March 2 Niko Pirosmanashvili s masterpieces from Georgian National Museum collection are displayed at Vincent Van Gogh Foundation in Arles For the first time in history artworks of Georgian painter and Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh are exhibited together in the same exhibition hall in France The very same exhibition had 400 000 spectators at Albertina Museum in Vienna Visitors of the French exhibition hall now have a chance to get acquainted with 29 works of Niko Pirosmani including A Woman with Mug Margarita Giraffe and others from the collection of GNM Shalva Amiranashvili Museum of Fine Arts Vincent Van Gogh s paintings such as L Arl sienne Madame Ginoux The Woodcutter after Millet Flying Fox Shoes Path in Montmartre and Sower with Setting Sun painted during the 18841889 years are from the collections of Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam Galleria nazionale d Arte moderna e contemporanea Rome and Foundation E G B hrle Collection Z rich The exhibition also features Ilia Zdanevich s handmade book from Zdanevich foundation of Paris titled Piros maniashvili 1914 The book includes Pablo Picasso s engraving Portrait of Pirosmani The exposition covers works of the best contemporary artists of our time inspired by the painter s masterpieces among them is specially designed Table of Pirosmani dedicated to the memory of Pirosmaniashvili by famous Japanese architect Tadao Ando Arles museum also displays artworks of Christina Forrer Adrian Ghenie Raphaela Vogel Shirana Shahbazi Yoshitomo Nara Andro Wekua and Georg Baselitz The main objective of the exhibition is to introduce the artist s works and Georgian cultural heritage to as wide an audience as possible Location Vincent Van Gogh Foundation in Arles

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144 EVENTS SPRING 2019 RENEWED EXPOSITION OF NIKO PIROSMANASHVILI S ARTWORKS Until October 9th 2019 Visitors will have the possibility to see Niko Pirosmani s artworks preserved at GNM Shalva Amiranashvili Museum of Fine Arts that have not been exhibited for a long time Among them are Giorgoba in Bolnisi Krtsanisi White Bear with Her Cubs Peasant Woman with Children Feast of Five Noblemen Porter with a Wineskin Porter with a Barrel White Wine Cellar and more The National Gallery also displays a very important painting Wedding in Kakheti with this painting starts the history of collecting the biggest museum collection of Niko Pirosmanashvili s paintings In 1916 at the Georgian Artists Union after a meeting organized by Dimitri Shevardnadze a small amount of money was donated to Niko Pirosmanashvili With this money in several days Pirosmani painted Wedding in Kakheti and brought the painting to the Georgian Artists Union Contact 0322 15 73 00 Location Dimitri Shevardnadze National Gallery 11 Shota Rustaveli Ave Tbilisi