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Heritage Journey through Tbilisi

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Heritage Journey through Tbilisi

The old town begins with Abanotubani. Abanotubani, also known as the Bath District, is one of the oldest districts in the capital of Georgia and is likely the first settlement of old Tbilisi. The district is renowned for a group of historic sulfur bathhouses, integral parts of city life. These baths are constructed on natural hot springs, situated below ground level, with some featuring small domed ceilings that allow natural light to stream through. The history of the sulfur baths mirrors the history of Tbilisi itself. The name "Tbilisi" originates from the word for a "warm place," and the famous legend of the city's discovery holds that these natural hot springs were found in the 5th century. This is the same period when the territory of modern Ukraine was established in Kiev.

Today, the baths are used for various treatments such as rheumatism, dry skin, and female health issues. However, they were not solely used for medical purposes. In order to prevent diseases, the first rule for a person coming from abroad was to enter the baths; otherwise, they would not be allowed into the city. Inhabitants used to spend the entire day here swimming, resting, and having fun. In the Middle Ages, the district was mostly inhabited by Persians, and many baths were built in the Iranian (Persian) style, with baths being destroyed and rebuilt repeatedly.

Towards the end of the 20th century, during the dissolution of the Soviet Union, there was a scarcity of water, and people visited the baths less frequently. Nevertheless, visiting one of the baths remains a pleasurable and memorable experience in Georgia.

Continuing the tour, you can explore the old town churches, such as Sioni Cathedral. The Tbilisi Sioni Cathedral of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary is one of the most outstanding masterpieces of Georgian medieval architecture. The cathedral is named in honor of the holy Mount Zion in Jerusalem and is located on Sioni Street in Old Tbilisi. The original church dates back to the 6th and 7th centuries (a time when Islam began in Arabia and the Quran was documented). Despite frequent destruction by invaders like the Mongols, Persians, and Byzantines, the cathedral's architecture did not change significantly. In the 12th century, King David the Builder entirely rebuilt the temple during the Middle Ages. The modern appearance of Tbilisi Sioni mainly belongs to the 13th century, with some modifications from the 17th to the 19th centuries. Until 2004, the Sioni Cathedral was the main Georgian Orthodox Cathedral and the seat of the Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia. The church is adorned with murals by Georgian and Russian painters, presenting an aesthetic and interesting mix. The murals on the western wall were completed by the Georgian artist Levan Tsutskiridze in the 1980s.

Tbilisi Sioni is home to the sacred cross of St. Nino, who brought Christianity to Georgia. Additionally, a magical stone brought from Jerusalem by St. David from Gareja (Georgia) is also preserved here.

 

Duration of the Tour:
5 hours

Accommodation Details:
Not included

Transportation:
Up to 5 pax Mercedes Vito, 5 to 16 pax Mercedes Sprinter, and above 16 pax, there will be a coach.

Pick up and drop off at your accommodation

Pick-up time: 10:00

Inclusions and Exclusions:
Up to 5 pax of English-speaking guide/driver (same person) are included.
Above 5 pax driver and a professional guide service are included.

Choose your tour day and fill in your personal information in the next step, the payment method section

Optional Activities:
For the booking of extra activities, please contact us by mail: georgia@winglet.ge or fill out the enquiry form.

 

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