Betlemi St. 3, Tbilisi

Betlemi St. 3, Tbilisi

Russian Classicism, a style mandated by the Russian Imperial government, was creatively combined with national construction traditions by local master artists to make residential buildings sharply stamped with individuality. “Tbilisi Houses” in the history of Georgian architecture, were created in the 1840s. These houses evenly expressed both the skill of the builders of that time as well as the culture, education, lifestyle and refined taste of the inhabitants of the city.

The History of the House

One of the best examples of a Tbilisi House is the residential building at Betlemi St. 3, located at the intersection of Betlemi and Askani street, which was constructed in the middle of the 19th century. 

The two-story building includes a cellar and stands out for its elegant, lathed balcony made of green wood and its musharabi (called mashribi in Arabic, a kind of colored-glass window), which artistically decorates both parts of the balcony and the staircase leading up to the second floor. 

Tbilisi Houses, in addition to using parts of the art/architecture of classicism, often used Eastern décor elements. Each one was formed with unique creativity to produce one-of-a-kind houses.

In contrast, the Muslim musharabi was different in Tbilisi Houses – the glass fragments are large and the shape of the frame and the composition are dynamic, as seen in the house’s staircase and balcony. 

The House Today

The building is once again residential, with some families occupying it and Art Gallery 27 located on the second floor.

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