111 Year Anniversary of Funicular Cableway

The 500 meter Tbilisi Funicular was built according to a project by Belgium architects in 1905. It had the very important function of connecting the Old Town with the new city area Mtatsminda Hills. The Funicular remains a recognized symbol of Tbilisi and attracts large numbers of tourists.

To celebrate the 111th anniversary of the opening of the Funicular, on 27th March an exhibition was held in Mtatsminda Park presenting 30 photos and videos that recalled the history and the process of construction of the rails and stations. Also on display were the original plans of the facility and stations that serviced the cable cars and passengers travelling to the top of Mtatsminda Hill and unique video footage from the 1950s. All materials were provided by the National Archives of Georgia.

“The Funicular gained great popularity among tourists. People quite often come here just to ride up in the tram car and enjoy the views from the observation platform,” said Gela Digmalashvili, Director of Mtatsminda Park. “The Tbilisi Funicular is unique and there is nothing like it anywhere else in the world,” he said.

Like many leading tourist heritage sites, the Funicular comes with a history. From the date of opening to 1938 it remained unchanged, at which time its upper and lower stations were replaced with new buildings. They were replaced again in 1968. However, after the cable broke in 2000, the funicular was closed for many years. A major reconstruction was carried on its facilities in 2007 and the new line resumed full operation in 2013.

Eka Karsaulidze

31 March 2016 21:03