This book has been conceived as a guide to the city and at the same time an essay on Georgian identity, in which the symbolic topography of Georgian capital tells a story about the country, its heritage and its present. Nine selected places and buildings – such as the Tatar Square, the Sioni Orthodox Church, the opera, and the national pantheon in Mtatsminda – are the starting point for discussing the most important historical moments and their significance, authors and canonical works for Georgian culture.
Lech Kończak, one of Poland’s most outstanding experts on Georgia, tells a story about Tbilisi and its architecture, as well as about Georgia at large – especially about the last two centuries, whose heritage still shapes both the country and its inhabitants.
Tbilisi is a Janus face city – facing Asia and Europe at the same time. Caucasian metropolis, Georgian cradle, for many centuries an urban centre with the largest population of Armenians. In short, the most important city south of the Caucasus and between the Caspian and Black seas.
Georgian ups and downs left their mark on Tbilisi. It is a city of tensions and contrasts. The motherhouse of Georgia, and at the same time a space where national symbols are subject to constant revisions. A chessboard where the game is continuously on, and the tracking of successive castling leads deeper – towards the fascinating processes of confrontation, settling accounts, reconciling with oneself and with the past. One’s own past and that of others as well…
The twentieth volume of the Central European Library series edited by Prof. Jacek Purchla.