While visiting Georgia’s capital, you should definitely see its historical part, have a walk along the cobbled streets, take in the old wooden balconies and breathe Tbilisi’s sulphur aroma in Abanotubani district or cross the sky with a cable-car over Mtkvari River. Old Tbilisi, with its must-see landmarks, is a place where tourists usually start their Georgian adventure. But there are also some remarkable locales which might give totally different impressions about the city and show it from a new angle. You will not be able to find such places on your tourist map and people might look with surprised eyes if you mention the Peikrebi (weavers) district as a touristic site which is located away from the center, in the suburbs near Sanzona and Gldani districts. At first glance, there is nothing interesting in the place, but from my perspective this is really an extraordinary area and a kind of “frozen” artifact of Social realism. More than a century ago it was one of the most active districts – with steaming factories, a productive atmosphere and buzz, new looms and hardworking people manufacturing different clothes, fabric, carpets, pillows, mattresses and versatile goods for household purposes. It was a little kingdom of weavers, most of its ‘citizens’ consisting of men. There were three types of weavers: weaver-dyers, who would color threads, ordinary weavers – people who made carpets, rugs and other products, and weaver-washers who served the nobility and washed their carpets. As I mentioned above, this field was more occupied by males in Tbilisi, but the opposite situation could be found in the mountainous regions of Georgia where the majority of weavers were women.
So, once you’ve explored the usual touristic sites, why not take a look at Tbilisi from a new angle and head out to see one of the urban extravaganzas of the capital of Georgia?! Take a cab for the Peikrebi district… Sure, you won’t get to see the old steaming pipes and hear the shouting of the weavers. But you will be able to step into a strange reality and atmosphere nonetheless, to see the remains of those huge factories amongst other hard-to-categorize buildings – versatile oddments of a different epoch, and a railway, as a symbol of your journey back in time.