Dubbed Georgia’s ‘Stonehenge’, the Chronicle of Georgia is one of Tbilisi’s most extraordinary yet less-visited sights
Depicting important scenes from Georgian history, the Chronicle of Georgia was created by renowned Tbilisi-born sculptor and architect, Zurab Tsereteli. Among other things, he was responsible for the abstract mosaic-adorned bus shelters that can be seen all over Abkhazia, and he is currently president of the Russian Academy of Arts.
Construction started in 1985, during Soviet times, but, for one reason or another (I can’t find out exactly why (*)), it was never completed and work is ongoing to this day, albeit pretty slowly.
(*) One possibility is that the original project was funded by the Soviet Union and, after its collapse in the early 1990s, and the subsequent turmoil in Georgia itself (the Russo-Georgian War over South Ossetia and the war in Abkhazia), the money simply ran out and it’s not until more recently that (limited) funding has become available.
If you do make the effort to visit the Chronicle of Georgia (and you should if you’re in Tbilisi for more than a couple of days), you’re likely to have the place to yourself. We certainly did for most of the time we were there (about an hour) and it was incredible wandering through and gazing up at, the sixteen gargantuan 35 metre-high columns that make up this imposing structure.
And the view back across the suburbs of Tbilisi in one direction and towards Tbilisi Sea (actually a reservoir) in the other are an added bonus.
There’s a lot to see and do in Tbilisi, but the Chronicle of Georgia was definitely one of the highlights for us.
Chronicle of Georgia location and how to get to there by public transport
There isn’t much information online about how to get to the Chronicle of Georgia. Most articles simply say to take a taxi. Even the tourist board in Tbilisi, which is generally very helpful with its information, told us a taxi was the only realistic way to reach the monument but this is not the case. For determined independent travellers, there are two options to reach the Chronicle of Georgia using public transport. Both take around 45 minutes to an hour in each direction and will cost a lot less than taking private transport or an organised tour.
Take Metro Line 1 (Red line) to Station Square metro station. There are two exits but you are likely to come out of the one near the main train station entrance and so need to head over the railway crossing bridge to the Railway Passage Bridge bus station (see map below for clarification). From this point take bus #111 to Military School stop. Bus #111 drops off and collects from inside the Military School. You can also use Tbilisi Sea as a reference point for your destination. From the Military School bus stop, it is a 500-metre walk to the Chronicle of Georgia, which is clearly visible ahead.
Take Metro Line 1 (Red line) to Ghrmaghele metro station. Come out of the station and stay on the same side of the road and take bus #60 to Military School stop. Bus #60 drops off and collects from outside the Military School. From there, walk the 500 metres to the Chronicle of Georgia.
If you’re not on a backpacker budget, or short on time, a taxi should take around half an hour depending on traffic, and cost 12 to 15 lari but good luck on negotiating that fare! That’s a one-way fare and you’ll have to agree on waiting time to ensure a return ride. Fifteen lari is less than a fiver which many may feel is not worth the hassle, but compare that with a less than forty pence spend on public transport and the saving becomes more attractive!
There is no entrance fee for the Chronicle of Georgia and there are no official opening hours so it is accessible all of the time.
Map showing how to get to Chronicle of Georgia by public transport
All locations are marked on the map and the Georgian for the Chronicle of Georgia is საქართველოს მატიანე.
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