The four-metre-high bronze statue of the legendary queen of the Georgians Tamar, was installed in December 2011 and immediately caught the attention of the public. The statue’s erection was not without controversy, as some considered the statue to be an affront to the queen, who is tantamount to a saint.
Some Georgians argued that the monarch’s horse looked like a pregnant cow that the queen is threatening with her staff, while others say that the abnormal form of the horse is symbolic of a young, beautiful girl weighed down by power, using it to lead her country rather than simply enjoying her life.
Regardless of the intent, there is no questioning the significance of Tamar’s reign. Tamar was the first female monarch of Georgia, and was often referred to as a king.
She reigned during the 12th and 13th centuries, and her reign is considered to be the Golden Age of Georgian history. The female king expanded the country’s borders to stretch from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea, pushed through internal and external reforms, founded a medieval parliament, renounced capital punishment, developed the country’s economy and culture, and won multiple important wars.
In spite of the controversy, Mestia would be unimaginable today without the statue. The city’s airport is also named after Tamar, having opened only one year before the statue was erected.