Mtatsminda Park is a famous landscaped park located at the top of Mount Mtatsminda overlooking the Georgian capital Tbilisi. The park has carousels, water slides, a roller-coaster, funicular, and a big Ferris Wheel at the edge of the mountain, offering a splendid view over the city. Mount Mtatsminda - the name is translated as “Holy Mountain”. It is one of the most popular sights of the capital, a kind of symbol of the city. This place is interesting both from history and culture, as a natural phenomenon and as an excellent place for entertainment and recreation. You can get to mount Mtatsminda in several ways. You can get to the park by bus (N90 and N124) from the metro station Rustaveli, however, tourists rarely choose this way.
A more popular way to get to the top is by funicular (2.5 GEL/0.78 $). The line was opened several years ago, the trains are new and modern. The climbing is not extreme, but from the height there opens a beautiful view of the city center.
The lovers of hiking can also climb the mountain on foot: a footpath leads from the Chonkadze street, the climbing will take no more than an hour.
From the very first moment, the park attracts with its bright colors and impressive sculptures. At the entrance, you are offered to purchase a card (the price for the card is 2 GEL/0.62 $, The card can be recharged in any amount that will be spent on the attractions in the park. Since you can not return the money remaining on the card, no need to charge it in a large amount. Plus, once you buy a magnetic card, you can use it anytime. #mtatsmindatbilisigeorgia
The park has a huge number of attractions and carousels for visitors of all ages. The most popular one is the Ferris wheel. From the highest point of the attraction there opens the best view of the old Tbilisi. The glass cabins are comfortable and safe so that you will feel protected even at the highest point. You can also view the panorama from the observation deck of the park. The television tower next to the wheel is illuminated at night and from a distance, it turns into the local Eiffel Tower.
The roller coaster and water attractions are no less popular, but waterslides are open only in the summer months. In addition to entertainment, Mtatsminda Mountain is famous for its green area: the whole territory is decorated with grass, bushy trees, and flowers. It is always pleasant to take a walk in the park: at every step, there are comfortable benches for rest, a walk near the fountains is refreshing on hot days, and in the evening you can listen to the live performance of the orchestra. Addition to the entertainment park on Mtatsminda Mountain and on the way to the top other attractions are worth visiting.
There is a pantheon on the way to the top where famous figures as Alexander Griboyedov, Akaki Tsereteli, Nikoloz Baratashvili are buried. Here you will also see monuments to the poet Vazha Pshavela, actor Sergo Zakariadze, artist Vakhtang Chabukiani, and others.
On the slope of the mountain, there is the church of St. David. It was built in honor of David Garedjiyskiy, one of the founders of the Georgian monasticism who lived on the mountain in a cave.
There is a popular restaurant Funicular not far from the park that is known for its delicious donuts and Adjara khachapuri. At one time the restaurant was one of the most popular in the city, Fidel Castro, Margaret Thatcher, Alain Delon and other honored guests visited and enjoyed delicious dishes here.
The park is divided into several sectors: an area of extreme entertainment, a family recreation area, and playgrounds for children. Attractions, cafes, restaurants, and all the rest in the park are designed in a fantasy style. You can hardly ignore and pass by inverted houses, caves, and even the toilet that looks very original!
The park is situated at the 770 meters height, the highest point of Tbilisi, in the area of more than 100 hectares. It is connected to a motorway (Tbilisi-Okrokana Direction) as well as a funicular, built-in 1905. The park was founded by the Soviet government in the 1930s and was once noted as the 3rd most visited public park in the USSR. #sovietunion
In 2001 the late Georgian billionaire Badri Patarkatsishvili along with his wife, Inna Gudavadze, began transforming the park into a 21st-century theme park. Badri owned the park as a charitable project alongside some commercial assets in Georgia, including the Rustavi Steel Plant, Borjomi water, and Imedi TV station.
In 2007 Patarkatsishvili became a vocal opponent of the National Movement Party and as a result, fell out of favor with President Mikhail Saakashvili. On 7 November 2007, his assets including Mtatsminda Park and the Imedi TV station were seized by the Government under claims that the company had “violated numerous times” the terms of the contract and had failed to pay a rental fee. Representatives of Patarkatsishvili immediately rejected this claim, saying that they were “baseless."
After Patarkatsishvili's death at his home in England in February 2008, his widow Inna Gudavadze began international arbitration proceedings against the Government of Georgia, claiming that Mtatsminda Park, along with other Georgian assets, had been unfairly expropriated by the government. On the 29 October 2008, Inna Gudavadze said at a press conference in Tbilisi that Mtatsminda Park, as well as the Imedi TV station, was “Badri’s projects for Georgia and the Georgian people" and that she had a "duty to see that these works are carried on.”
In July 2011, the Patarkatsishvili family settled with the government that saw Mtatsminda Park returned to Inna and the family in return for them renouncing all claims to the ownership of Imedi TV. Following the fall of President Mikhail Saakashvili, Imedi was also subsequently returned to Inna and her family in October 2012 under the new government.
In July 2014, the Chief Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia issued a criminal indictment to former President Mikhail Saakashvili and a group of state officials for their role in the illegal expropriation of the Georgian assets owned by the Patarkasishvili family.