Posted by: Kejeradze | ოქტომბერი 12, 2011

Tbilisi – legend or truth

The history of Tbilisi, as the capital of Georgia, dates back to the late 5th century AD. In its 1,500-year history, Tbilisi was an important cultural, political and economic centers of the Caucasus region. Located on a crossroad of major trade routes, the city had been occupied at least twenty times by external enemies. Since 1991, it is the capital of independent Georgia.

Legend has it that the present-day territory of Tbilisi was uninhabited and covered by forest as late as 458 AD. According to one account King Vakhtang I Gorgasali went hunting in the heavily wooded region with a falcon (sometimes the falcon is substituted either by a hawk or another small birds of prey in the legend). The King’s falcon caught/injured a pheasant during the hunt, after which both birds fell into a nearby hot spring and died. King Vakhtang became so impressed with the discovery that he decided to build a city on this location. The name Tbilisi derives from the Georgian word “Tpili”, meaning warm. The name Tbili or Tbilisi (“warm location”) therefore was given to the city because of the area’s numerous sulfuric hot springs.

Archaeological studies of the region have revealed that the territory of Tbilisi was settled by humans as early as the 4th millenium BC. The earliest actual (recorded) accounts of settlement of the location come from the second half of the 4th century AD, when a fortress was built during King Varaz-Bakur’s reign. Towards the end of the 4th century the fortress fell into the hands of the Persians after which the location fell back into the hands of the Kings of Kartli (Georgia) by the middle of the 5th century. King Vakhtang I Gorgasali (reigned in the middle and latter halves of the 5th century), who is largely credited for founding Tbilisi, was actually responsible for reviving and building up the city but not for founding it. The present-day location of the area, which Gorgasali seems to have built, includes the surroundings of Metekhi-square(Abanot-Ubani historical  district)

This is the history of Tbilisi. Is it founded by King Vakhtang or not? It’s just question. The most important is that it’s Tbili – warm : )



  1. […] We visited the statue of Tbilisi’s founder, King Vakhtang Gorgasali, whose hand served as a perch to a real bird (although not the falcon of legend). […]

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