Tbilisi is the capital city of beautiful Georgia; not the state in the US but the country in the Caucasus region beside the Black Sea. The capital city is also the largest (about 10 times the size of any other Georgian cities), busiest and most economically stable. Several other Georgian cities are in poverty and in need of economic miracles.
Georgia is a former Soviet state. Like most nations coming to its own after the Soviet collapse in 1991, Georgia had its share of economic challenges. Beginning in 2000, the country had seen economic success in several areas and industries, including tourism.
The country sits at the crossroad between Europe and Asia, and had served as an important stopover for passing caravans on the Silk Road or Silk Route. Ancient traders and merchants traveled on this route from Europe, China, the rest of Asia to Africa. Back then, the most important commodity was silk, hence the name Silk Road.
Tbilisi has always been the most important city in the country, although the capital used to be Kutaisi. In 1122, the Georgian king who went by the moniker David the Builder moved the capital to Tbilisi in order to unify the country. This marked the city’s Golden Era but was cut short by the Mongol invasion in 1226. Through the centuries, several invaders, which include Tamerlane, the Persian Shah and the Ottoman Turks came and left, and yet the capital city still stands today, representing an independent Georgia.
Under Soviet rule, the capital surprisingly became even more important and progressive. The Soviet government elevated it to an industrialized-city status and declared it as a center of culture, economy and politics.
After the Soviet breakup, the capital city submerged temporarily into the dark waters of economic and political limbo. Today, it is doing much, much better, especially in tourism.
Through its major metropolis, Georgia is connected with the rest of the world. Travelers from New York, Paris, Munich, Cologne, Frankfurt and other major world cities can take a direct flight to Tbilisi and from there hop to other Georgian tourist destinations such as the mountain region of Svaneti, ski-city of Borjomi, Kolkheti National Park, Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park, ancient towers of Shatili, the lively capital city of Batumi in the autonomous region of Adjara, and many more.
Meanwhile in the capital city, the most important tourist spots are Old Tbilisi, national museums, religious monuments, and the sulfur baths. The Old Town is quite a treat. Tourists are transported back in time as they stroll along ancient churches, old balconies, historic streets, and attractive shops. There are also modern facilities such as art galleries and restaurants.
Museums in the capital city are the Janashia Museum, Chitaia Ethnographical Open Air Museum, Numismatic Museum, and the Museum of Art. The religious monuments, on the other hand, are the Sioni Church, Mamadaviti Church, Holy Trinity Cathedral Church, Metekhi Church, and Kvashveti Church.
Finally, about the sulfur baths. Tbilisi came from the old Georgian word tpili, which means warm location. Folk stories say that the Georgian King Vakhtang I Gorgasali accidentally discovered the natural sulfur springs in the area, which was then covered in thick forest. The king was so attracted to the springs and decided to build a city in place of the forest; thus, the birth of Tbilisi.