The city of Tibilisi is said to have been founded by the Iberian King Vakhtang I Gorgasali. The popular legend says that the present location where the city stands was an uninhabited forest area until the second half of the fourth century. As per the account,King Vakhtang went hunting into this forest area where his falcon caught a pheasant and both the birds in the bargain fell into the hot spring and died. The King was impressed by the discovery and decided to build a city around the location.
Statue of King Vakhtang I Gorgasali
Though there are archaeological evidences pointing to human settlement in this region as early as 4th millennium BC, the earliest written account is said to be around 458 AD. This could also be the reason why the legend is popular. Archaeological evidence shows that King Vakhtang could have revived or rebuilt the parts of the city (old part of the present city) that existed then.
Views of the King Vakhtang Statue & Metekhi Church
Views of the old city
The name Tbilisi is derived from Georgian word meaning “Warm Location” due to the large number of warm sulfuric hot springs in this area. The sulfuric hot springs are still present and is used by the public bathhouses in this area.
Statue of a Falcon at the hot springs
Sulfur Bath Houses
The capital of Iberia was moved to Tbilisi by King Dachi the son and successor of King Vakhtang.
The city has started to grow since the 4th century to what it is today. Today the city is teeming with tourists and one that should never be missed from one’s to visit places.
Shall return soon with posts covering other key locations of this wonderful city.