USC Salk Basketball Alum Nate Drayton enjoying a little time off the court in Old Tbilisi, Georgia.
Old Tbilisi (Georgian: ძველი თბილისი, dzveli t’bilisi) was an administrative district (raioni) in Tbilisi, capital of Georgia, from 2007 to 2013. Although the term “Old Tbilisi” has long been used to denote a historical part of the city, it was only in 2007 that it became a distinct administrative entity to incorporate several historical neighborhoods formerly included in the districts of Mtatsminda-Krtsanisi, Isani-Samgori, and Didube-Chughureti. The district was abolished in 2013, with its territories allotted to several other divisions of the capital.
Old Tbilisi is principally centered on what is commonly referred to as the Tbilisi Historic District, which, due to its significant architectural and urban value, as well as the threat to its survival, was previously listed on the World Monuments Watch (1998, 2000, 2002).
The district is located on the both sides of the Kura River and is dominated by Mount Mtatsminda, Narikala fortress and the Kartlis Deda monument. It chiefly represents a 19th-century urban fabric with largely eclectic architecture which includes the buildings and structures from the 5th to the 20th century. However, most of the pre-19th century city did not survive due to the devastating Persian invasion of 1795. The district houses a bulk of the tourist attractions in Tbilisi, including churches, museums, sulphur bathhouses, and peculiar wooden houses with open, carved balconies. In the 19th century, the core territory of the modern-day district of Old Tbilisi was tentatively subdivided into ethnic neighborhoods such as Avlabari with its Armenian and Georgian quarters, Alexanderdorf German quarter on the left bank of the Kura River and the Persian Quarter (Said-Abad) on the right bank of the Kura River.