Tbilisi: Modern yet Antiquated

Weaving in and out of cobblestone streets of old town Tbilisi, the view is ever changing as church steeples come into view at every turn. Whether you are looking at the opposing hill at the monstrous Holy Trinity Cathedral or discovering little hidden away churches amidst the colorful apartments and hotels, there is history and culture around every corner. The old town of Tbilisi is built right into the hill that ascends to Narikala fort. The streets have no pattern or order, but just wind through the hills at the landscapes convenience. Whether you are looking for your hostel, a niche shop, or a unique place to eat, the colorful old town will never disappoint. Every establishment has a porch that overlooks the Tbilisi valley offering sweeping panoramic views of the remarkable capital city.

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Much of the valley is dotted with cathedrals poking above the buildings. However, throughout the city yo will see little sparks of modernity that starkly contrast the old architecture. The Peace Bridge has a very sleek, bubbly glassy look that spans the muddy river transporting you from old town to the very eclectic city park. Up the hill is the glass domed parliament building and just below that is the brand new modern arts building that is shaped as a giant metallic horseshoe. Above the hills in the distance, you also see a jagged, mirrored building reaching above the mountains. The brand new Millennium hotel is Tbilisi’s first 7 star hotel and will open within the month. Along the river, there is also the iconic Public Service hall that puffs up out of the water taking the shape of floating fungus. 

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Atop Narikala fort you can climb upon castle walls overlooking the whole city. As you look down you will immediately notice this strange contrast of architecture. The red roofs of old town, the stone church steeples, the towering chapel across the river, the Millennium hotel down the river, as well as the shiny, modern shaped pieces of art along the central park. The view is strange and a bit confusing, but it is what makes Tbilisi, Tbilisi. Its modern and hip, yet old and historic. The cobblestone streets and castles take you back to medieval eras, but then the the modern architecture reminds you you are in the 21st century. You could get yourself lost in either of these worlds, but enjoying how they work together is the wonder of Tbilisi. 

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