In the spring of 2022, I was fortunate enough to travel to Georgia, which really piqued my interest in the Caucasus. I stayed at Hotel TbiliSee in the old city of the capital. Here are some historic sites I saw:

  • Church of Saint Abo, who lived between 756 and 786
  • 2nd century Roman sulfur baths at the Archaeological Museum. The popular legend of Tbilisi says that King Vakhtang founded the city in the 400s CE, but these baths suggest otherwise. Some evidence places the earliest settlement around 300 BCE
  • Chreli-Abano Sulfur Bath (Tbilisi means “the place of warm water”)
  • Rezo Gabriadze Marionette Theatre, opened in 1981
  • Holy Trinity Cathedral, completed in 2004

I also got a chance to do several day trips outside of the capital, including to:

  • The David Garejeli Monastery complex, founded in the 500s by a Syrian monk, famous for a story in which the monk confronted a dragon who was living in the area
  • Katskhi pillar, where one monk named Maxime lives alone
  • Uplistsikhe, built between the 6th century BCE and 1st century CE
  • Gori, the birthplace of Stalin, where you can see a museum about him
  • Sighnaghi, a historic town in the east

My favorite daytrip was to Chiatura, which was an important mining town during the Soviet Union. You can visit an old stadium and see former cable cars still hanging in the air. In an old Soviet-era swimming pool, there is a beautiful mosaic of Jason and the Argonauts (western Georgia was known as Colchis in ancient times and was famous for its gold, making it the supposed location for the myth). There are also lovely mosaics at an abandoned gas station.

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