Tbilisi, Rome St. 4

The house at Rome St. 4 is catching your eye easily with its beautiful balconies and ornate facade. The Georgian businessman and philanthropist Giorgi Kartvelishvili (1827-1901) once lived there. This house is an example of Tbilisi architecture, the life of which was extended by a successful reconstruction completed with full respect to the historical value of the building.

History of the Building 

In the 20th century, the descendants of Giorgi Kartvelishvili widened and fully reconstructed the building, initially constructed in 1881 on the left bank of the Mtkvari River.  

The reconstruction was masterminded by well-known architect, Simon Kldiashvili, with the eclectic façade substituted by one of a modern style in 1902. 

The Architecture of the Building

Frequent use of the Greek letter “Omega,” Ω, in design and architecture are typical of this modern style.   Kldiashvili arranged the main façade with overhanging metal balconies being omega-shaped, with no artistic analog anywhere else in the city. 

In addition, the Kartvelishvili house is the only one, where, Latin word ‘SALVE,’  common to Tbilisi entrances, does not appear at the entrance. Instead, the greeting ‘SALAMI” from the Georgian language is used.   

The fascinating interior of the building is also worth mentioning. Doors and windows, along with the handrails of the staircase, are in a modern style and the walls are painted with episodes from the North European mythology and romantic views of Venice. 

In accordance with Old Tbilisi traditions, here there is a so-called “Asian” room with Islamic-Moresque features and motifs. Similarly, the fireplaces bear diverse artistic styles.   

Moreover, the back facades of the house are covered by traditional balconies, watching over the yard.  

The Building Today

The building is a residential dwelling today, however none of the Kartvelishvili descendants live here anymore. Meanwhile, the residents of the second floor performed wonderful reconstruction works on interior recently, and the façade was rehabilitated in 2022 under government supervision. 

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