where is freedom square located in tbilisi

Liberty Square

Liberty Square is considered the very center of Tbilisi, and is one of the most important landmarks in the city, with an interesting history. Now a logistical artery of Georgia’s capital city, it was first established two centuries ago. Since then, its name and purpose have changed several times.

What should you know about Liberty Square?

Initially, this territory was situated outside the city walls, and locals called it “Firewood Square” for the simple reason that firewood was brought here from nearby villages to be sold. Back at the time of its foundation, in the early 19th century, when under Russian rule, the Caucasian Army Headquarters was located on one side of the square. Accordingly, it was renamed “Headquarters Square.”

Of note, the square was not given an official name until 1828, when it was named "Paskevich-Erevanskiy Square" or "Erevanskiy Square" to commemorate the capture of Yerevan Fortress by Russian troops. Thereafter, in 1851, following the construction of a theater and caravanserai on the square, it came to be dubbed "Theater Square."

After the era-defining Russian Revolution of 1917, the square was named “Liberty Square.” This name would eventually re-emerge but only after several decades of Soviet rule during which it was named after Lenin and Stalin.

The square's main phases of development took place in the 19th century, and several important buildings constructed in these times such as the Caucasian Army Headquarters and Art Museum have survived to this day. Other buildings had shorter lifespans. In the 1930s, the caravanserai building was demolished, and the installation of a monument to Lenin was planned.

In the 1950s, that monument to Lenin was eventually erected on the square, to be demolished later in 1991 and replaced by a fountain. In 2006, a 40-meter column with a statue of St. George at its top, created by the famous sculptor Zurab Tsereteli, was planted, towering above the center of the square.

Ultimately, Liberty Square is an important part of the history of not only Tbilisi but Georgia as a whole. It has undergone many transformations over the centuries but has remained a distinctive focal point of the city center. Today, it represents a symbol of Georgia’s modern capital city and its architecture and surroundings reflect chapters in the city’s architectural story.

What should we see near Liberty Square?

Given its central location, it’s no surprise that from Liberty Square one can easily access some other notable landmarks, such as:

  1. The Bridge of Peace - an eye-catching pedestrian bridge crossing the Mtkvari River, which opened in 2010.

  2. Sioni Cathedral - one of the city’s oldest cathedrals, situated on Rustaveli Avenue.

  3. Old Tbilisi - the historic district with narrow alleys, wooden balconied houses, cobbled streets, and a charming spirit.

In addition, Liberty Square is situated right next to many restaurants, cafes, bars, hotels, and shopping centers. For any visitor, this is a helpful landmark to navigate your way to and from the old and new parts of the city, as well as being an architectural wonder worthy at least of a selfie or group photo to remember the trip by.

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