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Tbilisi: At the crossroads of history!

2011-12-02

Tbilisi is the capital of Georgia, and also its biggest city. It was founded by a monarch in six centuries B.C. It was overrun and conquered by all known powers of the ancient and modern world. It’s hard to connive it since it’s prominently located on the crossroad between Asia and Europe. It was first conquered by the Persians and lastly, just several decades ago, by the Russians.

The short history mentioned above will help clarify some reasons why this place has become a melting pot among several ethnic groups. The Persians were the first among the several invaders. Then the Byzantines, Arabs, Turks, and others took their turns. These conquerors left a remnant of their people when they were driven out from the country. Their customs and traditions have become part of Tbilisi’s own. It’s not uncommon to see people of diverse ethnic origins in Tbilisi mingling with each other today amidst peace and harmony.

Another contribution that the conquerors left was religion.

Tbilisi predominantly follows the Georgian Orthodox Church, though many different forms of Christianity are also practiced. Other religions include Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. It’s not unusual to see a church standing side by side with mosques, tabernacles, temples, and other religious structures. The religions coexist peacefully with each other.

Tbilisi is a conglomerate between the old and new. Although most of ancient structures are gone, the atmosphere is still full of memories and scars that in the bloody past Tbilisi experienced. New and modern buildings have slowly taken the place of the old. The government of Tbilisi has embarked on promoting the country as a tourist destination.  Beautiful churches, impressive cathedrals, and historical fortresses abound in Tbilisi, all with their own unique designs and styles. Museums, monuments, and opera houses also showcase Tbilisi's glorious past and modern achievements; they combine to make Tbilisi a must see attraction. All these things are amazing in themselves, but Tbilisi’s number one asset is its people. Ruled by several conquering dominions, they developed a mild personality and are usually easy to deal with. The peaceful relationship between the different groups of people in the city is a testament to this. Safety in Tbilisi isn’t a big issue, if one at all. Its crime rate has steadily decreased and economic boom has taken over the country. In fact, Tbilisi is one of the cities that have the lowest crime rate in Europe.

Education system is well provided in Tbilisi. People who speak English and have good computer skills are the high earners. Agriculture is developing and business entrepreneurship is growing. Mining, metallurgy and chemical production are some of major industries in Georgia.

Some of the best hotels in the world are found in Tbilisi. Both luxury and budget accommodations are offered starting from five star hotels and ending up with budget hostels and B&B establishments. So when in Europe or Asia, why not to visit Tbilisi?  It’s easily approachable by planes, trains, cars, and buses. Tbilisi is a gem of a place. It may not have beautiful beaches but its breathtaking cliffs, hills, and mountains will more than fill the gaps.

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