New park in an old town

Recently a new park has appeared in the heart of the capital of Georgia and immediately became a favorite spot of Tbilisi residents and their guests. Park Rica was founded in a place where, according to legend, the legendary King Vakhtang Gorgasali, who ruled in the fifth century, was hunting for pheasants. A bird fell into a hot spring. The king named the spot after the hot spring “Tbilisi" from the word "Tbil" meaning warm in Georgian and then ordered the capital to be moved from Mtskheta to the shores of the river Kura. Many centuries later famous sulphur baths were founded here, which received laudatory lines from Pushkin. In fact, the reason for moving the capital was the privileged location of the new city on the crossroad of trade routes. Later, the area received the name of Rica and Meida and became the historical center of Tbilisi. The area is marked by the aforementioned sulphur baths, as well as the Ortachaly Gardens, the Metech Church, where 100 thousand martyrs were killed during the invasion of Jal Al Din, and the Sioni Cathedral, where in 1801 the manifesto of the accession of the Kartli-Kakheti kingdom to the Russian Empire was read aloud.

Rica and Meidan, located on both sides of the Kura, is the best place for lovers of antiquity. Therefore, the authorities of Georgia and Tbilisi, after having declared tourism the "main industry of the country", decided to turn the old part of town into a tourist brand. However, the development of modern infrastructure in the area was not welcomed by the public and professionals. The new pedestrian bridge, which directly connected Maidan, Abanotubani and Rica, became a center of controversies. The bridge was designed by Italian architect Mikhele De Luci.

However, in view of the Caucasian temperament, the controversy surrounding the bridge "Misha and Mikhele" (as it is sometimes called in honor of Saakashvili and De Luchi) do not stop even after it became a favorite place for everyone in Tbilisi. Architects even compare it to a diaper.

Critics of the new bridge and a whole new image of Rica – Meidan do not hide the irritation they have with the growing popularity of the place. A well-known film critic, George Gvakharia, in his blog recently wondered why so many people constantly walk down the bridge. "Why are they happy to wander around without anything to do?" the film critic asked. "Just to enjoy life, but you will never get it," Mikhail Saakashvili answered him.

The Georgian leader is always sensitive to criticism of his architectural endeavors, implying that the intelligentsia is too neglectful of ordinary people. For example, the elite criticizes the new rapidly-changing face of Batumi, while recalling how beautiful and provincial it once was. But the country cannot reject any development, because every construction and renovation brings some changes to the old look. For many Old Batumi used to be just an exotic place, which residents of Tbilisi enjoyed once a year. The country needs tourism brands. Therefore, the authorities take the criticism calmly, steadily following the program of transforming Rica into a comfortable park, surrounded by symbols of the ancient city.

Georgi Kalatozishvili, Tbilisi. Exclusively for VK

1250 views


More Georgia News

Estonian President to visit Georgia in 2017

Estonian President to visit Georgia in 2017

President of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid plans to visit Georgia in 2017. This was announced after a meeting with her Georgian counterpart Giorgi Margvelashvili. Talks between of heads of states …

Baku, Tbilisi, Astana and Ankara sign railway memorandum

Baku, Tbilisi, Astana and Ankara sign railway memorandum

The railway ministries of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkey and Georgia have agreed to develop the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR), the press service of Azerbaijan Railways said. The head of Azerbaijan Railways …

EU may decide on visa-free travel for Georgia next week

EU may decide on visa-free travel for Georgia next week

EU Council and the European Parliament agreed on a mechanism for the temporary suspension of the visa-free regime for Georgia and Ukraine, which is a prerequisite for the abolition of visas. The European Parliament is to vote on the issue next …

Janelidze: EU will abolish visas for Georgia soon

Janelidze: EU will abolish visas for Georgia soon

The issue of abolishing visas for Georgian citizens is a priority for the European Union, so this process will be completed soon, Georgian Foreign Affairs Minister Mikheil Janelidze said. This statement was made …

NATO special forces exercises end in Georgia

NATO special forces exercises end in Georgia

Two-month Georgian-American military exercises for special operations forces ended in Georgia, Georgian Defense Ministry reported. Georgian Defense Minister Levan Izoria congratulated soldiers on completion of …

Verkhny Lars allows movement of all transport types

Verkhny Lars allows movement of all transport types

Movement along the Georgian Military Road was allowed for all types of transport, Georgia's Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure reported. Traffic on the road is regulated by local patrols. …

Georgia Just Might Be the Fashion Capital of Eastern Europe

Georgia Just Might Be the Fashion Capital of Eastern Europe

Creative political statements were a part of Fashion Week

 Kvirikashvili meets with US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence

Kvirikashvili meets with US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence

Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili met the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence Michael Carpenter in Tbilisi this morning. Kvirikashvili said that defence and security cooperation …

Tsiskarashvili elected vice-president of UN Human Rights Council

Tsiskarashvili elected vice-president of UN Human Rights Council

Georgia's Permanent Representative to the UN division and other international organizations in Geneva, Shalva Tsiskarashvili, has been elected Vice President of the UN Human Rights Council in 2017, the …

Kakhaber Gogotishvili: Azerbaijani state has substantially helped Georgian Orthodox Church

Kakhaber Gogotishvili: "Azerbaijani state has substantially helped Georgian Orthodox Church"

The deputy chairman of the External Relations Department of the Georgian Orthodox Church on the Georgian-Azerbaijani cooperation

more Georgia News