თბილისი [tbilisiTbilisi
Tbilisi is the capital city of Georgia. Fifteen centuries ago King Vakhtang Gorgasali found a pheasant he was hunting at a warm-water spring. This is now where Tbilisi’s age-old sulphur baths are to be found. The water is flowing once again and once more there are lots of people who want to bathe there. Tbili means ‘warm’ in Georgian. That is where the city got its name from.
In the course of the centuries it used to be an ordinary military river port and a rich caravan city, too. Historically, Tbilisi has suffered a great deal; it has been burnt down many times, it has been conquered and its population has been massacred. But what is astonishing is that travellers have repeatedly used an apparently contradictory phrase to describe it: a house of joy. One invisible basis for attributing joy to Tbilisi was probably that, for better or for worse, it never stopped being the core of the whole of the Caucasus, a city that gathered together and linked everyone.
At the same time, this was the west as far as the orient was concerned, and it was the orient as far as the west was concerned, which made Tbilisi a charming mixture of cultures and linked the turbans that the Persians left behind to the helmets of the Crusaders. In Tbilisi Muslims, Jews and Christians were able to pray side by side.
That may be the reason why the city is still full of life, colour and emotion, and is elusively passionate, and full of gentle romanticism.