Half a century after its original opening, the cable car to Turtle Lake has returned to serve Tbilisi locals and guests.
Today after a seven-year break, the restored Turtle Lake cable car opened in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi.
The new gondola system, with two cable cars operating alternatively on two cables, has the capacity to transport about 2,000 people per day to Turtle Lake - a popular recreational area located at the top of a hill that overlooks Vake district.
Tbilisi City Hall has been testing the new cable car for several days to ensure its safety before opening to the public. From the testing it was found several trees had impinged on the cable car line, so it was decided Tbilisi Transport Company and the Greenery Department of Tbilisi City Hall would prune the offending trees. Photo by Tbilisi City Hall.
The ride will take six minutes and will cost 1 GEL for one way ticket.
The cable car is now fully modernised. The gondolas are fixed, the cable pulling ropes have been changed, two entry stations have been rehabilitated and a new, modern control system has been installed. We have maintained the old appearance of the gondolas and two stations,” said Tbilisi Mayor David Narmania.
See the map, created by Agenda.ge to find the cable car station's location in Tbilisi Vake district. You can also switch to Google Map mode to get directions:
The original cableway was built in 1965 and needed to be completely renewed. Due to technical problems the Turtle Lake cable car closed seven years ago was reopened today with new glory.
The entry station of the Turtle Lake cable car is located on Chavchavadze Ave. Photo by Tbilisi City Hall.
The restored gondolas can carry about 10-12 people. It is suitable for people in wheelchairs and all others with disabilities.
The public can access the new cable car from its entry station on Chavchavadze Ave, near Vake Park.
The Turtle Lake cable car first opened in 1965. Photo by Tbilisi City Hall.
From the top cable car station people can walk around the small lake, or walk a short distance down the hill to the Tbilisi Open Air Museum of Ethnography, which displays examples of historic folk architecture and craftwork from various regions of Georgia.
Turtle Lake cable car has been granted the national status of cultural heritage. Photo by Tbilisi City Hall.
Before now there was no public transport to the Museum or to Turtle Lake recreation zone, meaning people had to drive or take a taxi to visit the two sites.
Tbilisi City Hall allocated 1.1 million GEL (about $469,136/€425,733*) to local company Bagirmsheni to restore the old cableway.
*Currencies are equivalent with the latest National Bank of Georgia exchange rate.