Sights of Tbilisi
Tbilisi has a number of important landmarks and sightseeing locations. The Parliament and the government (State Chancellery) buildings of Georgia, as well as the Supreme Court of Georgia, are all located in Tbilisi. The city also has important cultural landmarks such as the Georgian National Museum, Tbilisi State Conservatoire, Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre, Shota Rustaveli State Academic Theatre, Marjanishvili State Academic Theatre, the Sameba Cathedral, the Vorontsov's Palace (also known as the Children's Palace today), many state museums, the National Public Library of the Parliament of Georgia, the National Bank of Georgia and other important institutions. During the Soviet times, Tbilisi continuously ranked in the top 4 cities in the Soviet Union for the number of museums.
Out of the city's historic landmarks, the most notable locations are the Narikala fortress (4th–17th century), Anchiskhati Church (6th century, built up in the 16th century), Sioni Cathedral (8th century, later rebuilt), Church of Metekhi (13th century), etc.
The Old Town, where Tbilisi began, is the most fascinating area for exploring. There’s also plenty to see in the Avlabari area, on the left bank of the Mtkvari; the 19th-century city focused on Rustaveli; and the western suburb of Vake. Most of the many churches that are among Tbilisi’s most beautiful and interesting sights are open during daylight hours every day.
The architecture in the city is a mixture of local (Georgian), with strong influences of Byzantine, European/Russian (neo-classical), and Middle Eastern architectural styles. The oldest parts of town, including the Abanot-Ubani, Avlabari, and to a certain extent the Sololaki districts clearly have a traditional Georgian architectural look with Middle Eastern influences. The areas of Tbilisi which were built up mainly in the 19th century (Rustaveli Avenue, Vera district, etc.) have a contrasting European/Russian (neoclassical) look. The start of the 20th century was marked with an architectural revival, notably, with an art nouveau style. With the establishment of the communist government the style was decreed as bourgeois and largely neglected. Architecture of the later 20th century can mainly be identified with the type of building style that was common during the Soviet Era throughout the Soviet Union.
This included building large, concrete apartment blocks as well as social, cultural, and office facilities, like for example the Tbilisi Roads Ministry Building. Since the break-up of the Soviet Union, Tbilisi has been the site of uncontrolled/unsanctioned building projects. Since 2004, the city government has taken new initiatives to curb uncontrolled construction projects with mixed success. In the near future, Tbilisi will have three skyscraper complexes. The Axis Towers, Redix Chavchavadze 64, and the new Ajara Hotel/Business Complex, which is currently under construction will be the tallest buildings/skyscrapers in the Caucasus.