ON EUROPEAN TOURISM WEBINAR PROFESSOR DR. ANTON CARAGEA PROMOTES TBILISI-THE CITY WHERE HISTORY COMES ALIVE !
On 13 October 2015, during the European Tourism Webinar on Culture and Tourism, Professor Dr. Anton Caragea, MA, FINS, ETA, offered his support for Georgia efforts to be promoted across the world as a prime class touristic destination and as host of Silk Road Forum.
Professor Dr. Anton Caragea presented his assessment of Georgian tourism and cultural potential in a report titled: TBILISI: THE CITY WHERE HISTORY IS ALIVE!
TBILISI: hopes to become in the future a world capital of culture and host of Silk Road Forum-2015
The report highlighted among the reasons to promote Georgia cultural patrimony the following historical and architectural treasures :
The historical potential of the Old City garnering old-style constructions, ancient churches, winding, narrow streets, and charming shops. The Old City was a major stopping point for traders and goods and ideas took refuge in Tbilisi on their long journeys along the Silk Road from Asia to Europe.
Other reasons are: Supporting the development and protection of cultural and historical shrines of the Republic of Georgia and the transformation of Tbilisi into a historical and spiritual centre, offering to visitors a glimpse into the heritage of people’s of Georgia.
The medieval sulfur baths of Tbilisi-a unique city feature and possible a registered monument on the capital of culture list.
The presence of city symbols like Narikala Fortress – one of the most famous, oldest and most travel thought historic sites of Tbilisi.
Narikala Fortress- a symbol of Georgian independence spirit and resilience in front of historical difficulties.
It was established in the 4th century and was considerably expanded over subsequent centuries. Much of what remains today dates from the 16th and 17th centuries.
Giving tourists access to outstanding religious and cultural symbols like Metekhi Church – (built by the Georgian King Demetre II around 1278-1284).
It is an unusual example of religious architecture and remains a perfect model of Georgian Orthodox Church although it was damaged and restored multiple times.
Other landmarks are: Gabriadze Theatre- founded by and named after Georgian artist as well as screenwriter, stage director, painter, sculptor and puppeteer, Revaz (Rezo) Gabriadze. The first puppet show was staged at the theatre in 1981.
Metekhi Church-hopes to become a registered World Capital of Culture and Tourism monument.
In Tbilisi cultural landscape and proximity we found also Mtskheta – one of the oldest cities of Georgia is located about 20 kilometers north of Tbilisi at the confluence of the Aragvi and Mtkvari rivers.
The city is considered to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and today is populated by around 19 500 people. The town has an extraordinary importance to the Georgian Nation as it was the capital of the eastern Georgian kingdom of Iberia from the 3rd century BC to the 5th century AD. Mtskheta was the site of Georgia’s adoption of Christianity in 334 and remains to be one of the headquarters of the Georgian Orthodox Church.
Mtskheta is of primary interest to any visitor interested in Georgian history and/or Orthodox Christianity.
In the same area of cultural landscape we must note the presence of Jvari Monastery – “the Church of the Holy Rood” is situated on top of the hill on the left bank of the Aragvi River.
In 2004, the monastery was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as part of the “Historical Monuments of Mtskheta” and was added to the UNESCO List of World Heritage in Danger in 2009.
Svetitskhoveli monastic complex a perfect religious and cultural crux of Georgia tourism potential
Another vicinity land mark for TBILISI is the Svetitskhoveli complex that includes the 11th century cathedral, the palace and gates of the Katolicos Melchizedek from the same period, and the 18th century gates of Erekle II. The cathedral is domed and cruciform in plan.
The interior was originally covered with wall paintings, but these were whitewashed over and only recently have fragments of them been revealed again.
Concluding the European tourism webinar, Professor Dr. Anton Caragea, MA,FINS, ETA hailed the possibility that: sometime, in the future, the European tourism organization may take a decision to consider TBILISI as WORLD CAPITAL OF CULTURE AND TOURISM.
If this will ever happen, will be a perfect recognition on behalf of world tourism community and an encouragement for Georgian authorities to pursue the avenue of cultural tourism in placing the country on the lofty plinth, but this in the future, remarked Professor Dr. Anton Caragea.
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