Perched on the banks of Mtkvari River, and surrounded by mountains on three sides, Tbilisi, Georgia’s ancient and vibrant capital, will enchant you from the outset. Though small in size, the city has a lot to offer to its visitors, from its historical buildings and monasteries to its quaint cafes and elite restaurants.
Archaeological readings of the region signal human settlement here from as early as the 4th millennium BC. Did you know that Tbilisi has a fascinating story behind its name? According to a popular legend, in mid-5th century AD, King Vakhtang I of Iberia was out hunting in the heavily forested region near Mtskheta. He was accompanied by a trained falcon who allegedly captured a pheasant during the hunt. However, both the birds fell into a nearby hot spring and died from burns. King Vakhtang was so awestruck by the hot springs located in this woodland that he decided to cut down the jungle and build a city there.
Today, that city of hot sulphur springs is known as Tbilisi, deriving its name from “Tbili”, an old Georgian word that means “warm” in English.