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

750 views


More Georgia News

Georgian helicopters help tourists to reach border with Russia

Georgian helicopters help tourists to reach border with Russia

People willing to get to Russia from Georgia have been helicoptered by the Georgian police after a landslide blocked the only road linking the two countries, the Georgian Interior Ministry said. The Ministry said up to 60 people were …

Marula reviving in Georgia

Marula reviving in Georgia

One of the oldest Georgian equestrian sports called Marula is reviving in the Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti (the Western part of Georgia), the government website says. Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili …

Georgian parliament closed the spring session

Georgian parliament closed the spring session

The Chairman of the Georgian Parliament, David Usupashvili, announced today the work of the legislative body of the eighth convocation of the country within the framework of the spring session closed. …

Erdogan: EU to face more exits if continues on same path

Erdogan: EU to face more exits if continues on same path

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday the European Union would inevitably face more countries leaving the bloc in the short term if it continues on the same path. In a speech made after Britain voted to …

NATO and the EU Desert Georgia

NATO and the EU Desert Georgia

Why does Brussels ignore Tbilisi?

 Russian delegation to participate in OSCE PA summer session

Russian delegation to participate in OSCE PA summer session

A Russian delegation will take part in the summer session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the speaker of Russia's lower house of parliament, the State Duma, Sergei …

Hollywood producers survey Georgia for potential filming spots

Hollywood producers survey Georgia for potential filming spots

A group of Hollywood film executives are on an exploration visit to Georgia to study some of the country’s most impressive and picturesque locations for future filming opportunities, News.az A handful of location managers from the …

Georgian students visit Police Academy

Georgian students visit Police Academy

Students from 13 Georgian universities attended the Career Forum, which was held at the Police Academy of the Interior Ministry. Representatives of different departments of the Interior Ministry told 200 students about the work of …

Margarita Rusetskaya: Azerbaijan created all conditions to carry out researches in Russian

Margarita Rusetskaya: "Azerbaijan created all conditions to carry out researches in Russian"

Rector of the Pushkin State Russian Language Institute on the development of Russian language in CIS countries

Georgian Prosecutor’s Office reveals details of Kitsmarishvili death

Georgian Prosecutor’s Office reveals details of Kitsmarishvili death

Georgia’s Chief Prosecutor’s Office has concluded its investigation into the 2014 death of an ex-owner of Rustavi 2 and former Georgian Ambassador to Russia, Erosi Kitsmarishvili. Today’s special …

more Georgia News