King Vakhtang Gorgasali
Standing tall on the cliffs overlooking the Georgian capital, the Statue of King Vakhtang Gorgasali is more than just a monument – it’s a symbol of the city’s rich history and enduring spirit. Whether you’re a history buff, an art enthusiast, or simply seeking a breathtaking panorama, this iconic landmark is a must-visit for any traveler to Tbilisi.
Who was King Vakhtang Gorgasali?
Revered as the founder of Tbilisi, King Vakhtang Gorgasali reigned from 447 to 502 AD. His legacy includes not only the city’s establishment but also its cultural and religious development. Legends abound about his reign, from the discovery of Tbilisi’s hot springs (Sulfur bath area) to his valiant battles against foreign powers.
The Statue: A Majestic Vision
Created by renowned Georgian sculptor Elguja Amashukeli and unveiled in 1967, the statue depicts King Gorgasali astride a majestic horse. The bronze figure, towering over 13 meters (43 feet) tall, exudes power and determination, reflecting the king’s character and leadership. The surrounding pedestal features intricate reliefs showcasing significant events from his reign.
Where to Find the Statue:
The Statue of King Vakhtang Gorgasali stands proudly on the cliffs overlooking the Metekhi Church, a 13th-century architectural gem situated in the Old Town. To reach the statue, you can either climb the scenic stairs from the church below.
Beyond the Statue: Exploring the Surroundings
Your visit to the statue doesn’t have to end there. The surrounding area offers a wealth of historical and cultural treasures. Explore the Metekhi Church, wander through the charming Metekhi Gardens, or take in the panoramic views of the city and the Mtkvari River. For a truly immersive experience, combine your visit with a guided tour that delves deeper into the history of King Vakhtang Gorgasali and Tbilisi’s fascinating past.
Tips for Your Visit:
- Best time to visit: Early mornings or late afternoons offer the best lighting for photo opportunities and avoid the midday heat.
- Accessibility: The statue is accessible by stairs
- Dress code: While there’s no strict dress code, respectful attire is recommended when visiting the nearby church.
- Combine your visit: Explore the Metekhi Church, gardens, and surrounding area for a richer experience.