History of Tbilisi
In Mtskheta, King Vakhtang let his hawk loose one day and it chased after a pheasant. The King waited. He could not see the hawk, nor the pheasant. He Followed the path that the hawk had, taken down the valley. At the bottom of the valley flowed steaming waters, the color of sulfur. The pheasant had drowned and the hawk sat above. Enchanted with the source of the hot waters, the King founded Tbilisi in the valley’ (Tbili’ means warm in Georgian).
A blend of cultures, a smell of spices on the air, different nations meeting on street corners, different faiths sharing the same courtyards, …this is Tbilisi, the city that has been dominated by traders, warriors, tyrants and dictators in turn. Take a walk around the old town, and breathe in the living past. Visit the bustling markets, the ancient sulfur baths, the dazzling treasury, and the magnificent churches, and gain a sense of the crossing place of the Caucasus. Tbilisi – It is a town which conquers you with a slow fascination and lodges in your heart forever.
Archaeological studies of the region have revealed that the territory of Tbilisi was settled by humans as early as the 4th millennium B.C.E. 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 A.D. King Vakhtang I Gorgasali (reigned in the middle and latter part of the 5th century), who is largely credited for founding Tbilisi, was actually responsible for reviving and building up the city and not founding it. The present-day location of the area which Gorgasali seems to have built up is spread out around the Metekhi cliff and the latter-day Abanot-Ubani neighbourhood.