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Tbilisi Entrance Halls

Tsisia Kiladze, Marine Medsmariashvili, Tamaz Gersamia
Tbilisi of XIX century, according to one journalist of that period, resembled the twofaced Janus – one face looked at Europe, the other one – at Asia. It was attractive with its local colour reflected in decorative appearance and everyday life. It was the period when

Tbilisi and the whole Georgia was included in all-European process of development. Europeanization of architecture and new norms of  life in the first turn influenced the architecture of mansion house. The new forms and elements are embedded in the architecture of Tbilisi mansion and among them are the entrances which become the sign of respectability and Europeanization. 
Lavishly decorated entrance-vestibules imparted festive and representative appearance to Tbilisi houses. Entrances become a link between public and private spaces. Before we get into a building, the entrance whispers a history and life-story of the house, tells us about its builder and owner, gives birth to the first impression, testifies to the urban culture and lifestyle, epoch, when the house was built and its spirit.
Style of decoration and wall paintings in entrances is eclectic - from Pseudo Baroque and Classicism to Art Nouveau Style. Art Nouveau Style might coexist with the traits of Pseudo Renaissance, Pseudo Baroque, Pseudo Classicism in the samples of the same chronology or even within one decoration. However, in terms of the style, two major types can be singled out – one with the predominant Classicism elements and Renaissance motifs and the other, with the traits of Art Nouveau Style.
Tbilisi entrances represent an inseparable part of the old city. Today they bring to the visitors unexpected charm of the bourgeois urban lifestyle, arousing romantic memories, nostalgia and regret for an epoch that slipped away; all the more that the general picture is quite sad - in almost all entrances walls are cracked, décor is considerably damaged - sculptures and plaques are missing, cornices and capitals are broken, paintings are partially over-painted or covered with dirt, staircase railing is shaky, upper lighting is broken and pieces of stained glass are lost. True Old Tbilisi, already destined for the past, still lives in these houses, waiting for care and help.


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