Tbilisi – the beautiful and ancient city, is famous for the picturesque streets, tasty kitchens, wines and the hospitality of inhabitants. One of the main sights of Tbilisi are sulfuric baths of the old Quarter of Abanotubani, “bathing street”, memories of which were left by Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin.
In what else capital will you find sulfuric baths in the downtown?! Only in Tbilisi!
The Tbilisi baths are well-known already because they gave the name to the city. According to the legend, in this place, the tsar Vakhtang Gorgasal hunted 1500 years ago. His servants let out a pheasant, behind the pheasant – a hawk. Both birds were gone. They were loking for this birds a long time and was eventually found in a source with hot water…
The tsar liked hot springs that he decided to build the city on this place. From here also the name Tbilisi went (“tbil” on Georgian “warm” means).
This hot sulfuric springs, which originate at more than three-kilometer depth, are good for the health, it is considered that sulfuric baths can cure many illnesses, malaise and discomfort.
All baths are located underground, from the street only the semicircular domes is visible, with characteristic eastern style. Who and when began to build baths over sources is precisely unknown, this differs a bit. But in the 13th century the quantity of sulfuric baths in Tbilisi reached 65. Many of them then were destroyed as a result of invasions, and in the 15th century historians reported that there were only about 6 operating baths left. The majority of today’s bathing buildings was built in the 17th century.
The moust famous bath which often is portrayed on the general background is Orbelianovskaya, or the Motley bath. More often it is called Blue because of the dominating color of the finishing of the façade which is more generous and lavish compared to other complexes and isn’t similar to other baths externally at all – it has a lancet facade, minarets on each side and mosaic finishing. The bath is sustained in the Iranian style and constructed after other sulfuric baths, in 1840. The poet Pushkin admired this bath.