Wednesday, August 31, 2016


Tbilisi's Changing Face

Georgia's new Presidential Palace, which was completed in 2009.
Georgia's new Presidential Palace, which was completed in 2009.
In recent years, much to the chagrin of some commentators, the Georgian capital Tbilisi has been undergoing something of a structural facelift.

With a rich and varied history, the city has always managed to embrace a range of styles, making it a veritable treasure trove of different architectural visions.

Over the years, many classical, medieval, and even Soviet structures have found a home in Tbilisi.

Under the administration of President Mikheil Saakashvili, however, Georgia's main city has seen the erection of many implacably modern structures of glass and steel.

Although there are many who bemoan the gradual disappearance of Tbilisi's rickety, but charming old wooden buildings, their complaints seem to be falling on deaf ears.

Like it or loathe it, this latest wave of development seems certain to leave an indelible mark on the city landscape, changing its appearance forever.

PHOTO GALLERY: Tbilisi's Evolving Architecture
  • A view of Tbilisi's old town
  • Apartment blocks in the old town with the Sioni Cathedral in the background. 
  • A typical Tbilisi tenement house
  • Lermontov House on Gudiashvili Square. City authorities began tearing down this iconic building in May.
  • The ancient Sioni Cathedral, which dates to the 12th century.
  • Sioni Cathedral was the main Georgian Orthodox cathedral until the Holy Trinity Cathedral (pictured) was consecrated in 2004.
  • The Holy Trinity Cathedral at night. Construction began on this building in 1995 and it was completed in 2004.
  • Georgia's Presidential Palace with the Holy Trinity Cathedral in the background. 
  • A nighttime view of the 13th century Metekhi Church (front right), the Holy Trinity Cathedral (back right), and the Presidential Palace (far left).
  • Freedom Square in central Tbilisi
  • Pedestrians walk across the recently built Bridge of Peace, which traverses the Kura River in Tbilisi's old town.
  • The Bridge of Peace at night
  • The newly constructed Rike Park with the Bridge of Peace in the distance.
  • The building that houses Georgia's traffic police in Tbilisi's old Avlabar district.
  • Georgia's new House of Justice, which was opened in Tbilisi earlier this year.
  • The former residence of the oligarch Badri Patarkatsishvili, who died in 2008.
  • Construction is under way on a new opera house in Rike Park. The Presidential Palace can be seen in the background. 
  • The heliport at the villa of Georgia's new billionaire prime minister, Bidzina Ivanishvili, which overlooks Tbilisi's old town.
  • An aerial view of Ivanishvili's opulent residence. 

-- Coilin O'Connor
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Eugenio from: Vienna
November 15, 2012 18:07
Ah, the personality of Mischa is the utmost expression of selflessness: he has spent so much money building this beautiful presidential palace - with the only purpose of letting Mr. Iwanischwili move into it. Well, I don't even know if the prison cell that is waiting for Mischa already will be decorated that lavishly - and this unjustice inspite of the fact that he has so successfully restaured the territorial integrity of Georgia in 2008 and therewith showed these damn Russians their real place :-)).
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
November 16, 2012 09:22
Ah, yes, and a comment concerning the PALACE itself: if one has a closer look at it, one comes to the conclusion that the entire concept has been copied from that of the Presidential Palace of Nursultan Nazarbayev that I saw in Astana in the year 2009 - se ve igualito! So, after all, maybe Mischa's architectural fantasies have not been so original...

by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
November 15, 2012 19:00
Yea,nice as Tbilisi is, it will never be the same without Vahtangovich,who ran away from his compatriots as far away as Mosmadcow.It is high time for the prodigal son to return home!!!Come back,Vahe to make the city even prettier!!!

by: Vakhtang from: Moscow
November 16, 2012 01:40
As we know, the French were against the construction of the Eiffel Tower and also they protested against the construction of the glass pyramid at the Louvre.
Today, both are symbols of France..
Same in Tbilisi, the bridge and the palace built by Saakashvili, in a full harmony with the architecture of the city.
Eternally dissatisfied people are part of humanity...camel a typical representative of this part..
By the way, we know that a camel is homeless...A good idea to build him a refuge in Kurdistan with using the skin and bones of mammoth.
People must protect this poor camel from the cold and rain..

In Response

by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
November 16, 2012 11:10
Vahe djan,I am living in my home land where I was born.I didnt run away as far away from my fatherland as possible to play the patriot in the city of my paymasters.And just as Tbilisi is changing its face,it is high time you change both your faces,or at least to wipe your rear.Greeting from Free Adjaria,SouthOssetia and soon to be liberated Adjaria.Yours,Camel.
In Response

by: Vakhtang from: Moscow
November 16, 2012 12:15
Do you think somebody would believe you, after your great monologues?
It has long been known on Radio Liberty,that camel is liar and on the contrary...
In Response

by: Rasto from: front of my comp
November 16, 2012 20:42
It is the time to free Adjaria from Turks and regain whole Laz Tao -Clarjeti from Turks, Camels and Ataturks as well.
In Response

by: Kodjo Koffi from: Tbilisi
November 16, 2012 11:58
Yes Bateno Vakhtang, but the French also hail Jerry Lewis as the King of Comedy! Perhaps it isb est you stay in Moscow where the works of Zurab Tserateli are revered by the sods of that city. The palace and the "Always" bridge do not fit into anyplace on the planet, except where some 3'd world dictator has full say into what he wants, like it was here. As you obviously unable to see, money cannot buy class.
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
November 17, 2012 08:39
Kodjo Koffi, Mischa does not need "class" - he is just a "high achiever", just like his mentors, George W. and Condy Rice :-)).
If you really are in Tbilissi, what is your prediction: where is Mischa going to be a year from now?
In Response

by: Rasto from: always nearlaptop
November 17, 2012 19:51
Hey Kodjo Koffi ...and what have you achieved except writing zealous comments on the RFERL web ?
In Response

by: kodjo koffi from: africa section of tbilisi
November 17, 2012 21:01
eugenio, not sure if he will be in jail or exile, but he will be justifabily disgraced, probably divorced, lonely, and rating about Nato

by: Ben
November 16, 2012 15:45
Crocodile tears about "implacabbly modern structures" created by Saacashvily (elected president by the way ) and the reality of political prisoners who appeared with the help of the US senator.!
In Response

by: Rasto from: always front of my comp
November 17, 2012 19:49
Hey troll - get some education, the bridge is not a creation of a Ggeorgian president.
The bridge was designed by the Italian architect Michele De Lucchi; the lighting design was created by French lighting designer Philippe Martinaud.[2] The structure of the bridge was built in Italy and transported to Tbilisi...
The roof is fitted with 1,208 custom LED fixtures designed and installed by the Dutch Primo Exposures and RENA Electronica companies, using 6,040 high-power LUXEON Rebel LEDs with 4,200K color temperature, supplied by Future Lighting Solutions. The glass panels which run along the whole length of the walkway are embedded with linear low-power LED arrays. The lighting is switched on 90 minutes before sunset illuminating Kura River below and buildings on both banks of the river.[5]
In Response

by: kojo kofi from: africa section of tbilisi
November 17, 2012 20:54
hey rat, hope to see you in a few weeks, when that bridge is removed, along with that other monstrosty currently under construction in rike. by the way, classless misha had the final say over everything uilt during his horrid reign. noone except that sicko would allow these disgraces tO be built. he fancied himself has david the builder2 but his legacy will be of corruption and out of control madness
In Response

by: Rasto from: nowhere near nerd kodjo
November 18, 2012 18:47
I doubt I will ever see you; you dyslecic daltonik, what you wrote is maybe wishfull thinking and ultimate goal of your wet dreams. I have no particular wish to meet any pitiful individuals who masturbate their egos in anonynous debates posting comments that suppose to be funny, and nowhere near the reality of this universe. On the top of that I do not have any desire to visit the Kamtachtka cave where you dwell drinking fish oil mixed with potato vodka

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