Chronicle of Georgia, Tbilisi
A visit to Chronicle of Georgia is the perfect way to experience Tbilisi from a different angle. Also known as the History Memorial of Georgia and Georgian Stonehenge, the monument depicts Georgian imperial history, famous literary works and the role of Christianity in the country.
Standing atop Mount Keeni near the Tbilisi Sea in Temka neighborhood, Chronicle of Georgia is further valued for its astonishing views. Overlooking vivid Soviet architecture on one side and Tbilisi Sea on the other, the site offers a quick and peaceful escape from the city crowds and is particularly stunning at sunset.
Chronicle of Georgia Sculptor
Chronicle of Georgia was created by Zurab Tsereteli, a famous Georgian sculptor, painter and architect who resides in Moscow. Although most of Tsereteli’s works are found in Russia and the country of Georgia, the West became familiar with his creations through the Tear of Grief sculpture, presented as an official gift to the United States from the Russian government to commemorate the victims of the September 11 attacks. Tear of Grief memorial now stands on the Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor in New Jersey.
Birth of the New World, also known as The Statue of Columbus, is another well-known monument of Zurab Tsereteli. Standing at 110 meters, this bronze sculpture in Arecibo, Puerto Rico is the tallest statue in the western hemisphere. Closer to home, Tsereteli is known as the sculptor of St. George Statue in Tbilisi, which he gifted to the Georgian people in honor of the nation’s independence.
Chronicle of Georgia is one of Tsereteli’s lesser-known masterpieces. Sculpted in the 1980s, it remains partially incomplete to this day yet is nevertheless valued for its beauty and cultural significance.
Visiting Chronicle of Georgia
As Chronicle of Georgia is not overtly advertised, it remains a lesser-known Georgia attractions and as such is regarded as a hidden gem of the capital.
From a distance, its sheer size is often underestimated, yet as you climb the stairs, 16 massive pillars towering over 30 meters in height begin to unfold before your eyes. Depicted on the bronze pillars of Chronicle of Georgia are historical and religious events and scenes from Georgian literary works. Significant events in the life of Jesus Christ, including Palm Sunday, the Last Supper, the Resurrection, Transfiguration, Pentecost and Annunciation of Mary are depicted on the lower portions of the columns. In contrast, the upper sections portray kings, queens, Georgian heroes and illustrations of the earliest known Georgian work of hagiography, The Martyrdom of the Holy Queen Shushanik (476–483) by Iakob Tsurtaveli.
History Memorial of Georgia also contains statues of many local heroes, including the 13 Assyrian fathers who spread Christianity in Georgia; Queen Tamar, during whose reign Georgia experienced a Golden Age; and Ilia Chavchavadze, who initiated the revival of Georgian nationalism during 19th-century Russian rule. Near the memorial entrance is a replica of the grapevine cross of St. Nino, who is credited with introducing Christianity to Georgia, while behind the pillars is Church of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
For an illustrated glimpse of Georgia’s dramatic history and a spectacular, photogenic view of the area, look no farther than Chronicle of Georgia. While the site is growing in popularity, it is still obscure enough that you are not likely to encounter a crowd. Do not forget to bring a jacket along, as the site is usually windy.