Meidani Bazaar: Ancient trade centre opens again

Entrance of Meidan Bazaar. Photo by Meidan Bazaar Facebook., 01 Jul 2014 - 12:37, Tbilisi,Georgia

One of the oldest trade centres in the Caucasus region has reopened and is showcasing the best of Georgia’s historic and cultural heritage.

Meidan Bazaar. Photo by Meidan Group.

New life has been injected into an ancient area of Tbilisi, allowing tourists the chance to see authentic Georgian artefacts and taste local snacks at the newly opened Meidani Bazaar.

Traditional Georgian musical stringed instruments. Photo by Meidan Group.

Meidan Bazaar is located at Gorgasali Square in Kala district, in the old part of Georgia’s capital city. The area is famous for its beauty and cultural monuments.

In the past, the area was an important trade market on the Great Silk Road where merchants from nearby countries gathered to sell their goods. Nowadays the area is a popular place for tourists, houses many restaurants and is a vital transport route for Tbilisi traffic.

The rejuvenation of Meidani Bazaar was made possible with support from the Georgian National Tourism Agency with local business New Rout.

Desc of Georgian snack food. Photo by Meidan Group.

The Bazaar reopened two days ago and is now a place where important Georgian sights and history are gathered. Here, is possible to purchase a range of authentic Georgian products, including Georgia’s infamous wine, cheese, snack food ‘churchkhela” and more. Visitors can also find national artifacts, copies of museum exponents, gift and souvenirs.

Georgian traditional souvenirs. Photo by Meidan Group.

National Tourism Administration head Giorgi Sigua said Meidani Bazaar was a very attractive place for tourists and it was the best venue for local artisans to promote Georgian products. An information centre is also located in the nearby area, Sigua said.

In ancient times, Georgian King’s settled in Kala. The site is now marked as Fortress Square on the Tbilisi plan by Vakhushti Batonishvili. Many institutions were also built here, including many churches, workshops, Georgian pubs (dukani) and caravansaries.

Meidani- was one of the consisting parts of the Great Silk Road. Photo by Meidan Bazaar.

The lower part of Meidani was the central area of downtown Tbilisi – later known as Shaitan Bazaar, Meidan. The square was an important meeting place but the area also served as the market place, where traders from the East could sell their goods.

The location of Meidani Bazaar was significant in ancient times as, it was very easy to cross the Mtkvari River at Metekhi Fortress. Here, a bridge was built that allowed trade caravans to continue their journey west, through Meidani and Caravansaries.

It is believed that Meidani is one of the oldest business centers in the Caucasus. Photo by Meidan Bazaar.

It is believed Meidani is one of the oldest business centers in the Caucasus region, with evidence showing trade deals took place in Meidani in the 4th and 5thCenturies (about 300-400AD).