David Agmashenebeli Avenue is one of Tbilisi’s oldest, non-central avenues. Its first dwellers were German colonists, who contributed a lot to forming the architectural structure of this district. Streets have preserved the original network and while strolling there, you can just imagine you are back in the XIX and XX centuries surrounded by historical buildings in the European and Georgian style.
Many Tbilisi dwellers prefer to call the Aghmashenebeli Avenue and its surroundings “Plekhanov” as the avenue named after George Plekhanov until 1990. “Plekhanov” was famous for its cultural spots, most still there today: children’s theaters, the unique cinema “Apollo”, squares, the choreography school, the Union of Composers, and the Marjanishvili theater.
While walking along Aghmashenebeli Avenue you might be captured by the Art Palace located at Kargareteli Street, near the Avenue. It is an art museum, offering interesting and rich material about Georgian theater, cinematography and choreography as well as Persian miniatures, German and French gravures, personal belongings of famous Georgian art-workers, posters, programs, film lances and much more.
Aghmashenebeli Avenue is divided into two by Marjanishvili metro station. The Avenue begins at Saarbrucken Square and ends at the Avenue of King Tamar.
The part of the Avenue near King Tamar Avenue is more focused on trade and cultural places – shops, bank branches and also a number of Turkish food spots.
The majority of buildings on the Avenue are short and were restored in the past five years: the beautiful facades and wooden balconies have very interesting yards and entrances.
Construction started on the Avenue from the 1840s but some buildings were constructed even before.
Those wanting to spend time in café-bars will love the second part of the Avenue – the beginning of “New Tiflis” where they’ll be able to relax in a nice, calm pedestrian part of the city.
New Tiflis on Aghmashebeli was opened just several months ago and its rehabilitation process included approximately 50 restored historical buildings, 38 of which are included on the cultural heritage list. While there you can catch a glimpse of original facade ornaments, beautiful balconies, unusual gates, glass windows and carved wooden doors.
Restorers discovered a number of wall paintings and historical inscriptions on facades and in the entrances here and there are remains characteristic to XIX and XX century Tbilisi architecture. For example, near the entrance at 29 D. Agmashenebeli Avenue an old Latin inscription “FRS OUMINSK” was found which is most likely the name of the owner of that building.
The most popular landmark in this district is the historical house located at 36 Aghmashenebeli Avenue- already an inseparable part of Tbilisi’s sightseeing tour. “Chavchanidze’s house” attracts viewers for its unique entrance painted by Florentine artists and its refined ceiling décor. On the second floor one can see Mihály Zichy’s illustrations and fragments from the Georgian epic poem ‘The Knight in the Panther’s Skin’.
This three-story house is included on the cultural heritage list and was built at the beginning of the XX century by the famous Maecenas and public figure Erasti Chavchanidze. This building is famous for its variety of sculptured décor and modernist elements, symbolic images and the beautiful balustrades of the hanging balconies.
Photo : Mariam Tskitishvili