Under the Holy Mountain

It takes not much time, and the Tbilisi will celebrate the 1600th anniversary of their city. The legend of his foundation is in two versions, both are connected with hot springs in the Valley of the Chicken. On one, the king Vakhtang Gorgasal, hunting in these places, shot the Pheasant, who fell into the boiling key and welded. On the other – the prey of the king was not Pheasant, but deer: washing the wound in the healing source, deer left the persecution. The legend does not contradict archeology, in any case, in the topographic part of it: the place of base of Tbilisi is tested between the Sololak Mountain and the Metekh Rock, rich in sulfuric sources. The rock is now crowned by a stone sculpture of Gorgasal (Sculptor E. Amashukeli), and on the mountain rented Ruins of the old fortress. Let’s say right – the place is uncomfortable for the settlement, but the royal caprose accompanied luck. Arragging on the slopes of the mountains, fading on a circle and hanging over the rocks, the Eternal City of the Caucasus grew here, and to this day there are alive such corners, like Avlabar and Syidabad, Harpuch and Chugureti. Doesn’t these words smell of wine, garlic, gray from bath, camel, then and Asia, caravan sheds and Dukhans, in which he drove … Yes, who just did not drink them!

Over the years, it turned out how the royal choice was successful – the city rose on the trade routes and quickly rose and Ros. And later, the geopolitical postulate, which stacked – "The key from the Caucasus is in Tbilisi". Alas, sixteenth history confirms its accuracy. The location was the cause of endless misfortunes: Tens times Tbilisi was burned and destroyed, but every time I got up from the ash. Urban walls from a river cobblestone and a small citadel could not protect against enemies, and the city learned to defend the carelessness and life. The one who has risen so many times and survived, has the right to believe in his immortality. Is it not the beginning of his character? "I have not seen such a motley and light city like Tiflis", – wrote Konstantin Powest.


Let’s leave the confusion of streets, where from balconies of houses standing on different directions, you can greet your hand and drink on Brucershaft. Having bowed to the two ancient temples, witnesses all his history, – Ancholhatsk Church and the Zion Cathedral, are chosen from the labyrinth and, having passed on the extensive area, turn out to be at the beginning of the famous prospect.

Avenue was laid in the XIX century, and there is something symbolic in that, leaving the humpback in the east "City of Roses and Bangeal Fat", He rushed to the West. This is the vector, and not only geographical, but also political: here the beginning of the military-Georgian road, the shortest way to bind Georgia with Russia. This road was worked out not only in the distant past, but also at the time of the Great Patriotic War, when it was crawled by a string "Studeskeckers", Assistance from allies arrived through Iran. Our street in general, was formed by the middle of the XIX century, with prince’s prince.WITH. Vorontsova, and by the end of the century, its main architectural dominants were already built, about which it was ahead. For many years, the prospectus was called the Golovinsky named one of the predecessors of Vorontsov and consisted of two parts – the Palace Street and the Avenue of the Avenue, until finally in 1918 he did not receive the name of Shota Rustaveli.

In urban development it is difficult to read the border between East and West. On the square, at different times wearing the name of Paskevich-Erivansky, Beria and Lenin, and today the name of the svobody named the name, is noticeable to architectural. There is a lot of rebuilding, gradually folding in harmony.

Square with a modest fountain and monument to Pushkin. Bust work F. Hodorovich is considered one of the first monuments to the poet in the territory of the Russian Empire. At first, addressed to the restaurant, in which the poet stayed during his trip to Arzrum (this building was not long), today the bust will turn to a massive building with portico and colonnade. For tourists, this building is a double interest: the Tiflis spiritual seminary, famous for the biography and.V. Stalin, and now there is a Museum of Arts of Georgia. From its various exhibits the greatest value is the Golden Foundation with invaluable masterpieces of medieval chasing (VIII-XIII century) and the seducing enamel (X-XII century) and the richest collection of paintings by Niko Pirosmani. The brilliant self-taught was extremely fruit, which is explained as an impressionability of the artist, and the technique of painting. In addition, an ordinary fee for the picture was a bowl of Harcho and the famine was often forced to take in the hands of the brush.

On the other side of the square, a gloomy gray house from the tower is distinguished by its yummy. It is strangely falling out of the environment and causes a long-lane cloudy chinel. Perhaps the Association is explained by the fact that many years have been the headquarters of the Transcaucasian Military District, and the Red Flag of the Tower. Near "Shineel" The bulky shopping center and the metro station were erected "Freedom Square". Architectural failure soften the centenary planes, reflected in the showcases of the center, and the reconstructed theater them. Griboedov. Russian theater in Tbilisi one hundred sixty years, and his story remembers many glorious names. Here began the creative path of George Tovstonogov, Evgenia Lebedeva, Pavel Luspekayev.

Sketch of portrait

Rustavel avenue to go out what to enter the windows. Acoustic humidity Create age-old planes, populated by sparrows: the noise is as if on hundreds of pans, whistling, crack and shooting, fried fat. Occasionally, newspaper or drink sellers in the annoyance clap by something on the counter – and silence reserves.

Sparrow Gwalt serves as a background for lively conversations and power conversations. Of course, there are people who hurry on the service shoulder, but most strolling, old-fashioned expressing, balls. Once in Tbilisi, the famous author "Hordes" and "Braga" The poet Nikolay Tikhonov seems to get out of the saddle and weakens the flaw: "I just love Rustaveli Avenue without any concerns". And the famous futurist you. Kamensky recalled: "Our puzzle walks were surrounded by piles of shiny youth". Carelessness – the characteristic feature of the main Tbilisi street. Some entails a need to relax and dispel, others – the desire of people to see and show themselves. Avenue with friendly indulgence meets human intentions. There is no reference. Its architectural beauty does not suppress the greatness or luxury. He is commensurate to man and comfortable for life. All over the area of ​​freedom to the Rustaveli Square, it is noticeably disintended – first to the left, and at the end to the right. Tom there is a few explanations: one connoisseur of Tbilisi assured me that Prince Mikhail Vorontsov, who watched the building of the Avenue, spared the old man’s garden on the way, and the other believes that it was not a garden, but a church. But whatever the reasons, the irregularities of the line seems to divide the avenue for three parts and when walking diversifies the perspective. The length of the prospectus is about one and a half kilometers – the distance is not burdensome. However, the most unusual explanation of his attractiveness for walks I heard many years ago: allegedly slid of the prospectus is 4 °, and this is the most convenient degree when walking. Explanation of the highest degree of Tbilisi, smile-irony, but, going around several times on the avenue, you start to believe.

It is obvious to me that the listed advantages are not explained by the design of designers, but by the landscape. Avenue is laid across the Svyatogorsky slope and forced to follow his relief. Holy Mountain (or "Mtazminda", She is the same Mount David, named so in honor of the Hermit Monk, who lived in the cave on her slope) was and will be the best decoration of the Avenue. Holy mountain falls and elevates it. Her silhouette is familiar to each TBILISTRATS, as the baby is familiar with the silhouette of the mother: with a church and bell tower behind the sinus – a white-eyed couple, surrounded by bare and verses of a pantheon, with a blooming almond and alychy on the slopes that indicate the arrival of spring, with a flat line of a cable car, batted from the vertex almost to Government complex leaving for prospectus: What a pity that already fifteen years for it will not crawl cars, silently dismissing in the middle. They were so natural on the mountain, which seemed from technical devices turned into its inhabitants. From the avenue to the mountain literally handed over to the mountain: at night, when the sparrows are mounted on planes, nightingale trills and smells of earth and flowering. "When it is hard for me, quite just a look at this mountain so that the heart grabbed .." – wrote Georgian Bayron Nikolai Bratashvilly in the 1930s of the XIX century.

There is on the avenue its scene – "Farm", Little area, light bulbing lamps and jupiters; There are also sexual scenes – a paved alley in the middle of avenue, leading to a conservatory, filled with soft, mysterious dusk and piano sounds: For some reason, white pants are especially well here – the dreamed of Bender ..

It is not surprising that such a place has become the place of meetings and communication of Tbilisi. Back in those days, when the phone was rare, everyone knew: to see a friend, there was enough time-another to reach avenue. He became a kind of club with an unwritten charter and its rules. These rules were welcomed by goodwill and latitude and rejected sludge and aggressiveness. When sometimes youth "Birzh" There was a need to find out the relationship, for disassembly, went to the neighboring streets or descended to the embankment. What rules a free Tbilisi Club was guided, seen from the episode told in Memochi Georgy Delialia.

He is a world famous filmmaker, it urgently needed to fly to Moscow, and there were no tickets at the box office. Nor the Minister of Civil Aviation, nor the Almighty Secretary of the Central Committee on Ideology. Upset director went to "Lagidze" comforted a favorite drink and met a friend, Tbilisi guy Vova Martynova. Having learned how the Moscow guest is upset, Vova was surprised: "NS! I thought you really happened. Let’s go and take a ticket .."

"The people had a lot of people, "Deltea recalled, – not to come up to the window. Vova, tall and broadly, removed the cap, pulled his hand with a cap up, raised on tiptoe and shouted to the whole hall:
– Nana, this is me, Vova! Look here! Cap my see?!
– I see your cap, Vova! What you want?
– one ticket to Moscow for an hour fifteen! – shouted Vova.
– Passport! Vova took my passport and asked to transfer it to the cashier.
– Wait. And money? Money take! – I said.
– I will give it money, do not worry, – Vova said.

He did not take money; when I started to insist, he sympathetically looked at me and said that I was completely blister.

On the plane I managed. Flew and thought: "The minister is the minister, the Central Committee is the Central Committee, and Vova is Vova". I would add: these were the rules and customs of the main Tbilisi street.

Let’s not close the eyes for the recent past. Errors are harmful to look through rose glasses. The charter of the free Tbilisi club, his crumpled spirit and irresistible charm burned down in the fire of political hotness, experienced by the city in the early 1990s. The first tragic outbreak was the events of April 9, 1989, when, when accepted by the Soviet troops, 16 people were killed by a multi-thousand rally. And in less than three years later, the new opposition with weapons in his hands opposed the hero of the April events of Zviad Gamsakhurdia, at the rally wave of the president of Georgia. Three weeks in the center of Tbilisi were the real battles with the use of grenade launchers, artillery and tracers who caused a sensitive damage … But, thank God, the worst seems to be behind. Today we go out to Rustaveli Avenue, who fully acquires themselves; The time has worked on it, as it works above all ..

Walk: East-West

We start it on the right – odd – side, from the National Museum of Georgia. Spacious strict building (arch. N. Northern, 1929) restrainedly stylized under the Starogruzin architecture and perfectly meets its appointment. Georgia is an ancient country with a rich history and culture, so the museum is of great interest. The geographical position is at the junction of Europe and Asia – it is explained by the diversity of civilizational origins represented in thousands of exhibits – from Parfyan and Hetto-Subar to Hetto to Hellenistic and Scythian. Samples of material culture – utensils, decorations, weapons, the objects of the cult are dated from the IV millennium BC. NS. And on the recent past. The most valuable exhibits of the museum include the findings of the last decades – two truly world sensations. The first made by Georgian archaeologists together with German and American colleagues – the oldest (outside of Africa) parking lot of the distant ancestors of primitive man. The discovery was carried out in the framework of a large international project "Studying the location of early hominids in the vicinity of Dmanisi". The age of discovered remains, rechecked in the most advanced laboratories, was determined in 1 million. 800 thousand years. For two turtles, the latest methods have been done by reconstruction, and visitors to the museum can see our oldest ancestors, cheerful and cleaned MSIUs and a zois – so scientists called this pair. Second World Sensation – Gold Gold. The richest collection of jewelry causes an amazement with the subtlety and perfection of the work, because the treasury found in the town of Vanya (Western Georgia) is dated to the IV century BC. NS. The famous masters of medieval chasing brothers Opizari and others were wonderful forerun.

Truly the museum received replenishment worthy of his wealth and glory. It helped to survive the disappearance from the fact that a volume copy of the cave was removed from the exposition "Davis Rubelie" – Parking of a primitive person who was discovered once not far from my native village, in the valley of the Zirul River. Yes, and why I need a copy when I can look at the original if you wish ..

After the museum, we find a cinema "Rustaveli". This is the main cinema of the city, the place of the premier nice in the recent past of Georgian cinema. Strict facade decorate sculptures characteristic of the prewar era, from this cinema appearance "Conflict" With the current alapoked advertising signs. The hotel was located near the cinema "Intourist" (in past "Oriant"), famous for painting lobby and staircase marches. Later, the frescoes were painted, today they do not have to dream about their recovery – "Intourist" Before the foundation was destroyed and burned in January 1992.

Moving a fenced wasteland and moving through a paved street, we find out in the temple of St. George (in Tbilisioff – Kashueti). The temple was built in 1910 (arch. L. Bilfeld) and is a copy of the masterpiece of the Georgian medieval architecture of the Church of the Samtav’yv (XI century). Name "Kashueti" Explained by the eldest library legend: allegedly a young town center, being on demolitions, assured that he suffered from the Hermit Monk who lived on the Holy Mountain. The angry monk in the hearts wished a woman "hammer" (Georgian "Kwa Schwi"). The name of the Church is associated with the tradition. Slava she brought painting altar apse.

"… hand Lado Gudiashvili
Depicted on the wall
people who sin,
and not twitted in the embroidery.
He is not a loan,
Not a mockery,
He himself as the same grater.
He or God, and or the sinner,
And either an angel, or damn. "

– so wrote young Evtushenko.

After the events of April 9, 1989, walked from the walls of Kashueti, it was assumed to build a chapel at the place of the tragedy, but in the end, the portal from the Avenue was attached to the temple, which is why Kashuetsky silhouette gained similarity with large cathedrals – Alaverdes and Sveti-Tshoveli. Decoration from the church, on the edge of the city garden, pleases the eyes of a small palace – this is the former temple of military glory, built as a sign of the end of the Caucasian War and is a reduced copy of the exhibition palace in Rome. The wide stairs leading to the entrance gives him solemnity, and the grace of proportions and the rich stucco allowed to re-refill the Militarist Sanctuary to the Art Salon – the place of large annual exhibitions. Personal vernisas happen. The brightest of them was in the fall of 1957, when after the quarterweight oblivion of the public was returned by the author of the Kashuet fresco, a luxurious painter and an excellent schedule of Lado Gudiashvili, who continued the tradition of Caprichos Goya in his etchings. Against the background of monotonous socialism, his art made a stunning impression. The excited crowd, failing after the exhibition, retell the book of feedback, in which the French ambassador celebrated the connection in the work of the artist of Georgian fantasy with the Gallic taste, the colonel of the Soviet Army was reigning about the naked nature, and the future dissident of Yerznal: "Art, Smirrrnaa!"

At the entrance to the garden, rhyming with the salon, there is a monument to the writer Egnate Ninoshvili: An elegant bust has been implemented by Yakov Nichandeze, the ancestor of the Georgian sculpture, an outstanding student of the Great Rodin.

On the same pencil, on the other side of Kashueti, another monument has recently appeared – this is Lado Gudiashvili work J. Mikatadze. The artist is depicted by the young, at the time when he returned from Paris: in a relaxed pose of leaning on the railing, he looks at the house in which he was going to long life and where today you can visit his museum-apartment. Next, we turn out to be at one of the large-scale structures of the beginning of the XX century – hotels "Tbilisi" (Arch. G. Ter-Michelov, 1915). It is here, in this place, following the relief of the mountain, the avenue is strung up to the left, and it must be admitted that the building designed by true Tbilisie is gracefully emphasizes this bend: so loving husband, choosing an outfit for a beautiful wife, with knowledge of the case emphasizes her charm.


Story B.A., hereditary security officer. "In the late 60s we were warned from Moscow: "English Resident goes to you, "graze" around the clock, but neat!" The Englishman settled in B "Tbilisi". And goes out after breakfast for a walk, goes to the home of the government, returns. We cuff at the entrance – ease itself. I also fucking, I saw a friend in a crowd, stopped: "How are you? Where are you?" In a word, we work in Stanislavsky. And our Englishman before in the lobby to enter, slows down a step and, following the pistol fingers, does – "fart fart fart…" At the same time, notice, turns only on operatives, randomly familiar pardon, bastard. "

Shot by temple

The passed part of the Avenue – from the cinema to the hotel – the December fierce fight, when the opposition knocked out of the government of the President of Zviad Gamsakhurdia from the house, caused the greatest damage.

I managed to get to Tbilisi shortly after the events, when the streets did not eat. Here is a fragment of my article published in those days in "Independent newspaper".

"This place is an open wound. Kashuetch church. Left ruins of the former "Orianta", Right, gone, burned down the hotel "Tbilisi". Across the road black from Gary House Communication. And right against the church … right against the church was the famous 1st gymnasium – Alma Mater of the new Georgian culture. Nothing left of it. Just like the houses adjacent on top. The slope of the Holy Mountain here will come to the green circle. As if the rapist with a cracking was dried up. In the studio in front of the school stood a sculptural group – Ilya Chavchavadze and Akai Tsereteli. The uncomplicated composition did not remove the spiritual fathers of Georgia to Horny Lyesi, and as it were to the participants of everyday life – two Patriarchs were released on Golovinsky. Greeting a young tribe, unfamiliar … The monument remained on the spot, but someone conscientiously fanned his shield. And then say – it’s better not to see the shrum across the road! Future historians are pupping hundreds of ferocious shcherbinok in ornament and masonry Kashueti. The hypothesis that this traces of machine-gun shootout will seem blasphemous – who and who could shoot in Tbilisi on the outcome of the 20th century. Let’s not guess what descendants will say; We know that Georgia experienced a civil war under which the trait is still not supplied".

Time cures. Here is a hotel "Tbilisi" restored – much more beautiful! Taking advantage of the fact that from the inside she all burned out, foreign firms conducted a solid reconstruction. Now the hotel is called the hotel "Tbilisi Maryott" and meets all European requirements; True, it is expensive: Single room – 210 dollars.

As if confusing or knowing the measure of permissible, the crazy fire was rear on the approaches to the theater Rustaveli.

Theater building is one of the most beautiful on Avenue (Arch. TO. Tatishchev and A. Shimkevich, 1901). His facade in the style of false baroque with mirror windows and a large portal in the width of the sidewalk would decorate any European capital. In the foyer of the theater, more precisely in the lower floor, the painting of cafe-cabaret has been preserved "Himerii", Made in 1919 "Magnificent four": Sergey Judgeykin, Sigismund Valishevsky (in Tbilisi Zyoya), David Kakabadze and Lado Gudiashvili. On poorly illuminated walls, the grimaches are danced, crowned faces and build fantastic creatures – chimeras, mounds, harlequins, seductive Guria and Vakhanki, reigns atmosphere of bohemian beauty and fun. When, at our request with the painting, protective transparent plates from the plexiglazia and painting sounded in full voice, the gloomy columns, the arches and niches of the lower lobby would seem to be transformed into crowded caves from "1001 nights"! That before the creative side – posters and repertoire, theaters do not need to tell about them: Robert Stura Theater knows not only in Georgia, but far beyond. "Richard III" With Ramaz Chchekwadze in the lead role – the strongest theatrical impression of my life. I agree with the English reviewers that put six stars with the English reviews – the case is unprecedented! This will not be mentioned by the press, responded on the production of Lawrence Olivier and Peter Brook.

Next door to the theater it is worth looking into the salon-shop Khtfond. Here for a relatively low-cost price (anecdotes about "Rich Georgians" For a long time forgotten) you can buy products of masters who revived the traditions of jewelers from a silver street, excellent forged utensils and decorative decorations of famous chances, tastefully selected crafts of folk craftsmen from different parts of Georgia and even excellent painting and plastic of small shape.

From the shops of the Handfield of the hand to the Opera and Ballet Theater. Z. Paliashvili (Arch. V. Schretcher, 1896). The spectacular structure is solved in the Mauritan style, without eclectic flats. Turks, arch, stained glass and ornament – everything worked painstakingly and thoroughly and beautifully combined with green decor – curly on the walls ivy and wisteria.

But like the Opera House, the main thing is its musical filling. Glory "Tiflis Opera" wide since the times of governors-music lovers. The famous Italians delayed the hearing of the Tbilisi public long before the construction of this theater, in the old building on the Erivan Square. NS.AND. Tchaikovsky said he was put in Tiflis more often and better than anywhere else. Here, the creative way began in. Sarajishvili and S. Lemeshheva, A. Pirogov and Z. Andzhaparidze, Z. Sobkilava and P. Burchubladayze, on this stage danced in. Chabukiani, grew n. Ananiashvili, I. Noradze, N. Tsiskaridze, and for the conductor console stood by EVG. Mikelaj and A. Melik Pashaev. But the words of the Great Shalyapin will remain pride for the theater forever: "I am born twice: for life – in Kazan, for music – in Tiflis". It is known that the first lessons of vocal singer gave the teacher of the Tbilisi Music School D.A. Usatov.

In the sides of the Opera House, we note the monuments: a somewhat manner of plastic Bronze figure Zakharia Paliashvili (sculptor m. Berdzenishvili) and the classic bust of Akakiya Tsereteli, recognized by one of their best works of Jacob Nichardze, – Naked torso, slightly thrown out head and renounced the gaze, asked for the Holy Mount, give the sculpture of the elder the similarity with Homer, how he draws his imagination.

Not reaching the Opera Theater, in an inconspicuous alley I will be afraid of a small hotel "Ipari", Convenient location and price ($ 60)! And after the theater, we are passing by the most ascetic on an elegant avenue, in Spartan, a harsh house – this is the former Cadet Corps: in its simplicity and rigor – breed and authenticity.

And now we have the most monumental structure all the way, undoubted luck by Alexey Schuseva – the Georgian branch of the Institute of Marxism-Leninism was built in 1938. The Communists were guided by the ideology and, that neither say, was able to introduce it into the masses. It is these goals that serves a strictly solemn structure with ten powerful granite columns, a high basement, laid out basalt, and optimistic with light walls, lined with a pinkish tuff.

Fris building decorated with bas-reliefs All the same Yakov Nichardze.


From the beginning of the walk for the third time it sounded this name. As a child, I have repeatedly happened to see a wonderful sculptor: my cousin was married to his daughter and the Mattheres occasionally applied visits to a new family.

I can still see in front of you a small, frail old man with a thin, perhaps even an emaciated face, parchment wrinkled skin and beard Boulanger; in a three-piece suit of brown, with a dangling silver chain from his waistcoat; remembered as an aura around him thick and soft scent of cologne with a great vanilla Is an exotic tinge is whether sandalwood ..

In one of the visits of relatives forced me to sing for the guest, I was ringing boyish treble. I AM "gave out" his crown "Santa Lucia", and even in Italian, they say, and we do not blow your nose leg. I do not remember where caught mnimoitalyanskie words: "Sulmare lyuchika, lyastro de Argento .." – continue in the same vein. The old man listened kindly and seriously, without a shadow of a smile. When the boy’s soprano soared upward, it also lifts the eyebrows, forehead furrowing deep folds. But here I had finished. Without rising from his chair, he took me by the shoulders, surprisingly gently and firmly – the old man had strong hands of the sculptor. "You’re not quite correctly pronounce Italian words – he said. – Listen carefully. " And he began to sing – shaky quavering tenor, carefully articulating.

Thus, in the now long ago, the day I can say, worthy touch Rodin. The past is not so far away as it seems, we are bound to him gold thread.

Next to the former Institute of Marxism-Leninism (now here is the Constitutional Court) is a monument to Merab Mamardashvili – is excited and, I would say, intimate work E. Unknown, in commemoration of a friend. The premature death of a thinker has become a serious loss to Georgia with the political temperament, suddenly awaken in philosophy, his intellectual capacity could serve the country in difficult times. This essay is appropriate to recall that he was thinking about his homeland (the right Avenue, where we are going, not only her offspring, but the display).

"I always had the feeling of a talent inherent in the space in which I was born. I would call it talent or the talent of life illegal joy. I felt him in people, I survived me, in the air, and in myself felt it, however, reproaching myself in some hardness compared to my countrymen. Our joy was just mild and truly illegal: here it seemed that there would be no reason to rejoice, and we arrange a joyful feast from nothing. And here this illegal joy is contrary to everything there is a note of the space in which I was born". Somewhere here, in the center of the festive space, a wine cellar was acquired, in which a funny episode happened to Mayakovsky. He was told to me a classmate and a commander of the Commander on Lef Vissarion Zgesty.


"Mayakovsky invited us with a friend in a restaurant. Threesome sat down at the table. The waiter brought wine and for some reason put four glasses. Mayakovsky delayed him and says: "Or one person bring, or one glass of bump". The waiter did not understand. Then Mayakovsky reeded: "Or make a glass, or bring a man". "It seemed to me that he began to forget the Georgian, – summed up Vissarion Davidovich. – Although it could be a word game. In the pre-revolutionary St. Petersburg, he persuaded the poet Nadiramse instead of the concert of the famous opera singer battini to go to the cafe of poets: "There at least listen to poems, and your battalin just "Batis Tvini" (Georgian "Duck brains").

However, I distracted. The walk lasts, and, bypassing a new telegraph (the pink tuff of lining binds it with Shchushov monument), we suddenly go out to open space. It originated in the late 60s as a result of the construction of the hotel "Iveria" and reconstruction caused by increasing transport streams. Narrow, as a penalty, the hotel stood away from the avenue, she’s an end to him, over a steep cliff, and left-bank led courses opened with an artificial area – right up to the old film studio, stadium "Dynamo" and Avchal Pickles.

The architecture of the hotel is pretty faceless, but its walls are lined with an amazing stone – smoky-blue, like spraying vineyards or pipelined plums. Of the same stone, the oldest Georgian church was posted – Basilica of the Bolnissky Zion (V century): In the green hollow, there is a mighty, slightly darkened blue church from time; Several red splashes in its masonry seem to be butterflies on the past walls.

In the early 90s "Iveria" populated by refugees from Abkhazia. During ten years, the hotel has turned into a visual manual, in a poster about the badge of the hijacking, in the tempering symbol: balconies, flying with rag and children’s tights, windows plugged with pillows sealed with cardboard and plywood, blue walls, blackened from the smoke of the cubicles, rza and leakage … I have not seen painting gloomy and more tragic.

In the same years, a luxurious fountain was built before the hotel and the monument to David Builder was erected – an impressive equestrian statue with a cross of laws in his hand and instructively refrigerated (sculptor m. Berdzenishvili). What is this: bitter irony – ruined "Iveria" behind the tsar-builder! – or the effort of revival? It seems – Revival: a year ago refugees from the hotel raised; At first, the hotel wanted to demolish, but now it was decided to reconstruct.

However, in the way. Defeated the area, we turn out to be one of the most interesting houses on the avenue. The house of Melik-Azaryanz (Tbilisitsa is still called it by name of the first owner) was built in 1900 by the arch. N. Obolensky. It was the first excellent equipped profitable home; It must be assumed that in Tiflis the end of the XIX century he seemed enormous. In essence, it is not so great – four or five floors, but their height is allowed to build in loft apartments and basements, together with half a dozen entertainment establishments. A crowded building with wide shop windows, erkers and the tower occupies a whole quarter and remains evidence of the construction boom of the beginning of the 20th century. Then there are dozens of magnificent mansions in Tbilisi, but the Melik-Azaryan’s house was the only profitable house, trimmed with the same thoroughness as the dwellings of the Bogoyev.

Here Rustaveli Avenue ends with the area of ​​the same name, the metro station and the monument to the poet (sculptor to. Merabishvili). Shota Rustaveli – Shrine of Georgia. In poetry, the ranks are inappropriate, but, as Ruso Gabyadze said, there is no other great poet in the world, buried in eight hundred steps from the coffin of the Lord. Precision has no doubt, because he has been protected by his legs – from the Georgian monastery in Jerusalem to the temple of the Merry Coffin. (I think it was at the time of work on the film "Passport".) But the soul of Tbilisar is a mystery: why the most popular place in the city, the area named after the National Genius, the author of the immortal "Vitya", For everyone remains "Farm", That is, it is called the name of the pharmacist, who once paid the Conductors for the announcement: "Pharmacy farmel!"

Walk: West-East

Urms we go to another – an even side of the avenue to pass the way back.

This Party is noticeably crowded, which is explained not only to the abundance of shops, cafes and restaurants, but also the shadow of powerful plates, covering a wide pavement.

Opposite the house of Melik-Azaryan, trying to overshadow him, stands a pompous building (arch. TO. Cheidze and M. Chkkvadze, 1953) with a beautiful low colonnade in the Italian style and a solemn angular tower that gives the resemblance to the famous Stockholm Town. Here are the Presidium of the Academy of Sciences of Georgia and the Union of Cinematographers. The latter must be the name of the restaurant in the end "Lost heaven" – So called the most popular once kinine. In the design of the restaurant used butaforia and dials from famous Georgian films, including Arba, flying with the help of a moonshine, invented. Gabyadze and embodied. Schengeleai (film "Chudaki"). Prices in "Paradise" More than moderate – the owner of the restaurant understands today’s difficulties of cinematographic brethren. Besides nearby settled "McDonalds" – a brisk competitor with a bright showcase and an ubiquitous advertising.

Where Griboyedov Street is born from Avenue, a chess club was located for many years. Not a remarkable building is wondering that it is associated with the rise of women’s chess in Georgia – almost a quarter of a century Georginka Nonna Gaprindashvili and Maya Chiburdanidze reignantly reign on the global throne. But when- in connection with the triumphs – the Palace of Chess, the game came to decline. Approximately the same happened with football: the stadium in Didube did not accommodate brilliant fans "Dynamo" Epochs of Pihadze, Mesha and Pypiani, when the capacity of the stadium was tripled, nothing to watch.

Fashionable in the thirties, constructivism left a trail and in Tbilisi: Rustaveli Avenue in this style built publishing complex, populated by editions and printing houses. In recent years, having swamming, he also accommodated a small hotel "Merania" – a half dozen comfortable rooms and a great bar.

Under the Holy Mountain

Not reaching the publishing complex, I recommend to look into the restaurant "Marco Polo" – admire the interiors and taste the famous Georgian cuisine. Dinner for two here will cost dollars in thirty-forty.

Excellent painting on the walls reproduces the plots from the book of a tireless Venetian. In the XIII century, Marco Polo visited Tbilisi, and the owner of the restaurant found him the words worthy of grateful memory: "Georgians are beautiful, courageous, excellent arrows and fighters in battles", – We read by Marco Polo, and Ramuzio adds: "Tiflis is a beautiful city; Circle many castles and villages". Well, medieval travelers responded about us friendly than the current Bornaties.

Two words about the feast: if in the Duchanis of Old Tbilisi, the company’s epikov, who observe the traditional ritual, is still brave "Marco Polo" Style noticeable Europeanizer. However, before "Chinchin" and "Prosite" My countrymen, thank God, did not reach: a feast remains for us the possibility of slowing the cheating of everyday life, peeking and listening to each other.

On the even side of the avenue there are buildings, no inferior to their "Visati", – Ministry of Justice or the former home of officers with the cozy hall, who loved the stars of the Soviet pop. But mighty plane fees hide beautiful facades, shadow the details of the finishes, and the stallows of shops and souvenir shops remain the stalls, among which it is worth looking into the corporate store "Borjomi" and the shop of Georgian wines: after the protracted crisis, the oldest Georgian winemaking is reborn, here you can buy excellent wines, about which Pushkin wrote that they are beautiful and "Some stand blades".

Streets from this side of the Avenue (let’s call her trading), lead to the mountain. They are as cool that even in low-stop Tbilisi winter are not available for transport. But when – once every ten years – the snow is still falling, you can imagine, at what speed sledges are carried on Svyatogorsky Kerchams, exploring a strange cry from the boyishness – "Evoe!"

At one of them, at the beginning of the XIX century, the house of the gadget of Catherine Great Prince Alexander Gersevanovich Chavchavadze, in which Griboedov met lovely Nina, shortly before the tragic death in Tehran became his wife. "Mind and your deeds are immortal in the memory of Russian, but for what I experienced my love". Who did not touch these words of young widow, for the whole life I preserved loyalty to my husband’s memory. Okolov Krohotoskon Street Chavchavadze and rising to Pantheon, they can be found on a beautiful tombstone in church crypt.

"So it began "Gore" – From David Mountain", – read from Tynyanov.

Is it not surprising that here, in Tbilisi, not only began "Mount from Um", but also "Childhood" Tolstoy, I "Makar Mirara" Gorky, and Nemirovich Theater, and the Poetry of Gumilyov, and theology of Florensky, and the Philosophy of Erna; here was cast in the poetic ingot Lermontovsky "MTSYR". I call the figures of Russian culture, authorized by the Holy Mountain. And how many Armenians, Azerbaijanis, Ossetians, Greeks. As for Georgians, they are all adults on her knees, and the best of the best rests on her chest. But lower pathos, smile, as it passed strolling on Rustaveli. Here, on Svyatogorsk Circular, there is a house of parajanov – true Tbilisar. This city was born by the phantasmagority and the beauty of his paintings, his sarcasm was fed by this city.


One day, stayed with the Italian cinematographers govitive in Tbilisi in Tbilisi, he went out to spend them, knocking his neighbor in the window – a straw widow and offered her Mastroanni. The widow was heard about the minds of the neighbor, but did not expect this even from him: under the fallen acacia, the most real Marchello Mastroynni really was in the cloak – not so young as in "Sweet life", but the same is irresistible. That night, she could not sleep for a long time, and in the morning there was a window and looked at the Acacia, where the idol of her youth was breeding next to the unavomable neighbor ..

Well, now visit a completely special Tbilisi landmark – Water Store Lagidze. In the Soviet years, its popularity was unparalleled. A variety of syrups were made of magic Georgian herbs and fruits on the recipes of the Mitrofan Lagidze, and there were no drinks in the world. It is said that when he attended his secret at the end of his life, the old man showed a colleague tutor with his colleagues: some perceived it as a mock, others understood as an answer – the whole thing in taste.

"When we come to the masters, Masters joke on us .."

In the store Lagidze, together with amazing lemonade, sell a variety of Khachapuri (cake with cheese) – Puffs, Imereti, Adjara. Here you can always eat on the go, without losing time. Such "Lunch in Georgian" will cost you no more than 2-3 dollars.

Lagidze shop stands at the corner of the very surcharge leading to the conservatory, which we called the magical scenes of the Avenue. Here in the summer dusk, especially dark and soft, walking roys in white pants; And the bright March days of the conservatives are offset by violets in tanned rustic obtols, embarrassedly distinguished eyes from their knees. And all the time, from somewhere, the Royal RuDDs – Chopin, Rachmaninov, Scriabin ..

Around the road from the store Lagidze – Restaurant "Nikal". Basement, chain, it is decorated with copies from Pirosmani’s paintings. Style "Nikal" differs from both the old-stabilic ducheans and the European "Marco Polo". Intermediate, or, if you like, transitional, it could serve to propaganda and illustrations of Eurasian ideas.

Following the avenue, you would most likely not pay attention to the house of communication, but they will be held at its wide entrance lined with basalt. I want to show you strange traces – Like a giant ineptly worked on a facing drill or a chisel.


March 1956 began in Tbilisi anxious, gavely. Estate rates arose everywhere. The main one, who did not stop until the night, was walking on the embankment, at the monument to Stalin, the high pedestal of which was fell wreaths. The streets were driven down the streets, fired under Lenin and Stalin: they stood in the body of a truck decorated with flags, and from time to time shook her hands and hugged. Citizens enthusiastically welcomed them.

In one of the evenings, the crowd separated from the mass of protesters and moved to the house of communication – send telegram to Moscow. When people crossed avenue, behind their backs on the roof of the hotel "Tbilisi" faded the machine gun. Basalt facing forever retained the traces of bullets ..

We returned to that part of the Avenue to which the dramatic events of recent years have fallen. Before us 1st Gymnasium, Alma Mater of the new Georgian culture. Destroyed in January 1992, today it restored. Especially emphasized – restored by Moscow builders, by decision Yuri Luzhkov. Tbilisi will forever be grateful to Muscovites for a friendly gesture. The courtyard in front of the school is turned into a beautiful Square; Sculpture of Ilya Chavechavadze and Akakia Tsereteli again open a breath: the two most famous graduates of the gymnasium are still with a moutigation to the tribe young unfamiliar and on the Kishuet Church ..

Further, behind the square, the Government House. High Arched Colonnade and Wide Fronton give him the parade and solemnity. Higherteen columns Sixteen: It is necessary to believe, their powerful and non-optimous stroke symbolized sixteen republics, which were built on the time of construction to the Union – then they adored the symbolism of this kind (arch. V. Kokorin and G. Lyzhava, 1953). Ladder marchs in a colonnade for many years decorated gigantic sculptural groups, personified working class. I remember, in the early 90s, when the prospectus is bubotal from rallies and processions, my multi-sighted buddy sighed sadly, nodding on vigorous idols: "Imagine what will happen to them when this socialism collapses us on the head. " Poster-optimistic sculptures fited into a strict colonnade and did not even fit on their fees. Today they were replaced by fountains – a water cascade along the whole facade. Nakhodka should recognize successful.


Captive Germans worked on the construction of the House of Government. Their mode was not very strict, they went through the courtyards, sold crafts – linen snaps, children’s toys ..

At the end of the 50s in the USSR, an official visit arrived Chancellor Austria Julius von Raab. The route of his trip by the country was included in Tbilisi. And so, at a meeting with the chairman of the Presidium of the Armed Forces of Georgia, Chancellor suddenly missed permissions to go to the next building. There, to the surprise of the accompanying, he looked at the floor for a long time and finished inspection with unexpected confession: this parquet was chained by him, and he was pleased with his work … and was pleased with the receiving party.

The area in front of the government complex was turned into a memorial victims of events on April 9. It has memorial signs for annual ceremonies.

And now we go back to the source. It is unlikely that our walk has taken more than two hours at all. Across the road from the Museum of History We are approaching the oldest and perhaps the most worthwhile "Exhibitu" For all Avenue: Before us, the Palace of the Tsarist Governor in the Caucasus (Arch. O. Simonson, 1868). Tbilisians he is known as the Palace of Pioneers. Need to admit that in this case (not as an example "Farm") The new name is easily overcome initial – "Vorontsov Palace".


When I fifth grate came to the Palace of Pioneers and signed up in the Makeup Circle, there everyone did the layout of the house of Stalin in Gori: Slipping, Kobara Hibara was settled all tables, racks and shelves. When I left the literary circle of Pioneers with a literary circle of the Palace of Piano, with Stalin, they were branded in verses and pamphletes, filmed on literary evenings and continued to be hot, going out on the avenue. It ended it unexpectedly: in the midst of thaw, on its very possession (in the fall of 1957!), four of my friends (one of which promised to become a bright poet) were convicted for five years and sent to the Mordovian camps.

But rather private memories. The oldest structure of the Avenue deserves at least a quick inspection. It is erected on the place of the old Palace of the governor (in which Vorontsov talked with Haji Murat) and partly "Paid" his. Palace style – Palazzo Renaissance era. He is impressive and restrained, impressive and elegant, that is, aristocratic in the best sense of the word. The palace served as a governor to the house and at the same time, that they would be called the office today, the private life of the family leaks here and daily work was carried out; Business meetings were held, official ceremonies were arranged, dinners, balls, etc. Multifunctionality explains the considerable sizes of the palace, carefully thought out layout and variety of interiors. Spacious halls are interspersed with parade imfilads, cozy living rooms and strict work rooms. The middle concluded a small "Italian courtyard", more than the most appropriate in the Tbilisi climate. However, the best decoration was the luxurious garden, frayed generations of gardeners. Unique in a variety of flora (family hobbies of Vorontsov), it stretches to almost the green Svyatogorsk Cruks; His fragrant breath refreshes the stool of the Avenue, and his nightingale nights will compete with Svyatogorsi.

So our walk came to the end. I hope you were convinced how convenient tilt the Rustaveli Avenue. Ahead of Freedom Square with an old municipality, behind him at the Sollak Gorka stands the mother of Georgia – a Giant with a sword and a bowl, as if cast from silver, – Another wonderful work of Elgudi Amashukheli. Whether I managed to convey to the reader the charm of the native city? Better than many about her told Elderly Tbilisiets, drove me to the airport on the bribed "Six": "Fly, in a hurry. Where? Why? I do not understand the flying away, leaving … From Tbilisi, only Kura quietly leaves. But Kura is? Water? Came – Oshla. And man can not. "

I want to believe that Georgia will pass the current tests, will overcome the historic passage and goes on, connecting the load of responsibility and self-discipline with a slight talent of life.

And let the sample serve as a beloved street with nightingales in the palace garden and sparrows in the council planes, with museums and theaters, with monuments and temple painted wise epicurea.

On this we will put the point, finally remembering the lines of the lovers of Tbilisi Bella Ahmadulina, written as if for this essay:

"So I joked, so disadvantaged trouble,
As long as Rustaveli Avenue
Camered day. Planee Pinks.
Walked rain. I was gray-gray."

Under the Holy Mountain

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