There is more to Tbilisi than we think and the more we explore the city and its architecture the more charms we discover. Today’s story from 4 Rome street, Chugureti district.4In old houses on the floor you will meet the word Salve (Welcome). The building on 4 Rome st. is the only building where you meet a Georgian inscription-Salami.6What history does this building keep?

The building was built in 1891 by Giorgi Kartvelishvili, one of the successful entrepreneurs of his time. The architect was Kldiashvili. Having intricate carving patterns on the outer facade makes the house more amazing. The carvings are said to be the Karavlishvilis’ family emblem. The building has original balconies and a unique dome with a shape of the woman’s head. (During the soviet period rehabilitation works was going on the dome, though later it was abandoned and details covering the dome where stolen. Today it looks like that.)2In 1881-1882 Kartvelishvili started working on publishing the book ‘The knight in the Panther’s Skin’ by Shota Rustaveli. To work on the illustration a Hungarian painter and graphic artist -Mihaly Zichy was invited. The book with Zichy’s illustration was published in 1888 and is known as ‘Kartvelishvili publishing’. Notable to say, that the painter refused to take payment for the works.1

It is said that Zichy often visited the house when the Kartvelishvilis lived there. Several years ago while decoration the rooms of the last floor by a new inhabitant painting walls with illustrations from The Knight in the Panther’s Skin were found.  They belong to Zichy.

Giorgi Kartvelishvili had a wife and 11 children. He died in 1901 and was buried in Didube Virgin Mary Church, which was rebuilt again by him in 1880-1884 after destroying by Agha Mohammad Khan in 1795.

(P.S. Photos from the rooms will be added later.)

By Tika Bujiashvili

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