Standing in Tavisuplebis (Freedom) Square, you are well-positioned to begin exploring Tbilisi's center, which contains its most important contemporary political and cultural institutions. Freedom Square was called Lenin Square up until August 1990 when the oversized statue of Vladimir Ilyich was removed. The square was completed in the 1870s; part of the Russian urban renewal begun in 1848 when Viceroy Vorontsov cleared the remains of the Old City wall to expand the city into the suburb called Garetubani. The intent was to erect every building on Freedom Square in the Russian neoclassical style, but only two of these remain.
In the northeastern corner, at the beginning of Rustaveli Avenue, stands the former headquarters of the Russian Caucasian Army. Built in 1824, this example of late Russian classicism now houses various government departments.
Taking up the entire south side of the square is the former town council building, built by the German architect Peter Stern in 1880. Designed with a self- conscious historicism and a nod to the Moors, it's a fun building with a serious purpose: it houses the Tbilisi City Hall, the most important body of city government. The third story with its clock tower was added to the building in 1910-1912.
On a small lawn with a fountain in the northeastern corner of the square is a bust of Pushkin by Felix Khodorovich, unveiled in 1892.