The capital of the country of Georgia is Tbilisi, although it was known originally as Tiflis.
It has been the capital of the country for more than one thousand years.
Tbilisi is the largest city in Georgia with a population of 1.5 million people. It is an ancient city and archaeological studies have shown that it was inhabited in the 4th century BC. Because the city has been ruled by many different regimes and countries over the centuries, it has a fascinating and colorful history.
Its central position on the trade routes between Europe and Asia, unfortunately, led to a desire by other nations to conquer and control these trade and travel routes.
First, the Roman Empire controlled it, followed by the Persians, then the Byzantine Empire. Then Arabs followed and finally the Turks.
Basically, this change of control went on through the centuries until 1801 when the country of Georgia, including its capital, was annexed by the Russian Empire. The Russians built major infrastructure such as roads and railways to connect Tbilisi to major Russian cities and it again emerged again as a major trade route.
Tbilisi remained part of the Russian Federation until the break up of the Soviet Union. But unfortunately, after that time, it suffered more turmoil with civil wars and uprisings until finally in 2003 when it started to experience a more peaceful and stable period.
Naturally, with such a colorful and turbulent history, Tbilisi has a very mixed combination of ethnic backgrounds, with more than 100 different ethnic groups. The dominant group is native Georgians, followed by Armenian then Russian.
Not surprisingly, it has been known for its religious tolerance because of its diverse population. The majority of its citizens follow some form of Christianity, mainly the Georgian Orthodox church.
Tbilisi is the economic center of the country and it generates the majority of the country’s GDP, but the unemployment rate is high at 22%. The service sector is the predominant industry and contributes 80% of the economic turnover.
Some multinational companies have offices in Tbilisi, such as Price Waterhouse, Liberty Bank, Hilton, and the Peace Corps.
Property prices are quite low in Tbilisi and surrounding areas, with apartments selling from around $30,000.
Of course, owing to its history, Tbilisi is endowed with some beautiful architecture from a variety of different periods, from cobblestone streets in the old town to contemporary modern buildings and remnants of the Soviet era.A highlight is Narikala Fortress, also known as the Mother-Fortress of Tbilisi, a fort originally dating from 4 BC which has been reconstructed and overlooks the city.
Scenically, Tbilisi is in a valley on a river, surrounded by stunning mountains and hills. There is a cable car or funicular to reach Narikala Fortress, which has panoramic views of the city.Other “must see” include the Georgian National Museum, The Tbilisi State Opera and a large number of museums. There are also naturally fed sulfur baths, which legend says are the reason that the city was built where it was.
These have been used by citizens over the years, including famous Russian writer Alexander Pushkin. The high level of sulfurs and other minerals and the constant temperatures of 38 to 40 degrees Celsius make them popular for therapeutic reasons.
Tbilisi has the ideal combination of a tumultuous and varied history, a variety of different styles of architecture in its buildings and streets and beautiful scenery. These qualities make it an ideal spot to visit on a trip to Eastern Europe or maybe to live.
So, what is the capital of Georgia? Outstanding Tbilisi.