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Tbilisi (Georgian თბილისი) — or sometimes called its Russian name Tiflis — is the capital city of the country Georgia, located on the Kura (Mtkvari) river. The city has more than 1.345 mln inhabitants, with area of 350 sq.km. (135 sq. ml.)
Tbilisi was founded in the 5th century by the King of Georgia Vakhtang I Gorgasali (452-502). There had been a small village on the site since the 4th Century. Tbilisi has been occupied by many foreign rulers, including Persians, Arabs and Seljuks (Turks). In 1122, after heavy fighting, the troops of the King of Georgia David the Builder entered Tbilisi. After this battle David moved his residence from Kutaisi to Tbilisi, making it his capital. In 1801, Russian Empire occupied it after it was devastated by Persian aggressors in 1783 and suffered from frequent Persian invasions until annexation to Russia. ceceded from Persia and came under Russian control. In 1918-1921 Georgia was independent, and Tbilisi functioned as the capital city. In 1921 the Democratic Republic of Georgia was occupied by the Soviet Russia. Tbilisi was the capital city of the Transcaucasian Socialist Federated Soviet Republic, and later the Georgian SSR. Since April 9, 1991 Tbilisi is the capital of the independent Georgia.
In Tbilisi there are the parliament and government of Georgia, the Georgian Academy of Sciences, Tbilisi State University, Georgian Medical University , Georgian Agrarian University , Georgian Technical University, Tbilisi State Pedagogical University , Tbilisi State University of Languages and Culture , Tbilisi State Conservatoire , Tbilisi State Opera Theatre , Shota Rustaveli State Academic Theatre , Marjanishvili State Academic Theatre , many state museums, the National Public Library of the Parliament of Georgia , the National Bank of Georgia and other important institutions. In Tbilisi exists also Narikala fortress (4th century AD), Church of Anchiskhati (6th century), Sioni Cathedral (8th century), Church of Metekhi (13th century), etc.
How to pronounce
Georgians pronounce Tbilisi with a barely-spoken 't', so that it almost sounds like "Bill-EE-see"; English speakers often mispronounce it like "Tib-LEE-see", but this is incorrect. The correct pronunciation is T*-bi-li-si. The "i" is pronounced as in machine. The "t*" is pronounced as english "t", but aspirated--with a puff of breath after the sounding of the consonant. There is no voiced sound between the "t" and "b" in Tbilisi. Moreover, the Georgian language is unstressed. To approximate the correct pronunciation, english speakers should say t*-BI-li-si, with a light emphasis on the first syllable "BI."
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