Perched atop Sololaki Hill, overlooking the vibrant city of Tbilisi, stands the imposing figure of Kartlis Deda, the “Mother of Georgia.” This iconic monument, a symbol of Georgian hospitality and resilience, has become a beloved landmark that captivates visitors from around the world. With her outstretched arms and regal bearing, Kartlis Deda watches over the city she represents, a timeless guardian who embodies the indomitable spirit of the Georgian people.

Kartlis Deda: The Majestic Guardian of Tbilisi

Kartlis Deda: The Majestic Guardian of Tbilisi

The Legend of Kartlis Deda

The Birth of a National Symbol

The story of Kartlis Deda is deeply rooted in Georgian folklore and history, dating back to the 20th century. In the 1950s, as Tbilisi was undergoing significant urban development, the city’s authorities decided to commission a monument that would serve as a symbolic representation of the Georgian nation.

The chosen sculptor, Elguja Amashukeli, drew inspiration from a centuries-old legend that spoke of a woman offering bread and wine to visitors, welcoming them to the land of Georgia. This legend had long captured the imagination of the Georgian people, embodying the nation’s renowned hospitality and its unwavering strength in the face of adversity.

The Symbolism of the Monument

The Kartlis Deda monument, unveiled in 1958, stands as a powerful embodiment of this enduring legend. The majestic figure, standing at a towering 20 meters (65 feet) tall, is depicted holding a cup of wine in her right hand, signifying the welcoming and hospitable nature of the Georgian people. In her left hand, she holds a sword, symbolizing the nation’s unwavering determination to defend its sovereignty and independence.

The monument’s location atop Sololaki Hill, overlooking the city of Tbilisi, further enhances its symbolic significance. From this vantage point, Kartlis Deda becomes a watchful guardian, a sentinel protecting the city and its people, imbuing the monument with a sense of timeless authority and resilience.

Kartlis Deda: The Majestic Guardian of Tbilisi

Kartlis Deda: The Majestic Guardian of Tbilisi

The Artistry of Kartlis Deda

The Sculptor’s Vision

The Kartlis Deda monument is not only a captivating symbol of Georgia’s national identity but also a remarkable work of art. The sculptor, Elguja Amashukeli, imbued the figure with a sense of grace and power that has captivated the world. Through his skilled craftsmanship and attention to detail, Amashukeli has created a monument that transcends the boundaries of mere sculpture, transforming it into a living, breathing embodiment of the Georgian spirit.

The figure’s imposing stature, combined with the delicate folds of her garments and the subtle expression on her face, conveys a sense of both strength and gentleness, a perfect balance that echoes the duality at the heart of the Georgian character.

The Monument’s Materials and Construction

The Kartlis Deda monument is not only a work of artistic brilliance but also a marvel of engineering and construction. The figure is made of aluminum, a material that was chosen for its durability and resilience, allowing the monument to withstand the elements and the passage of time.

The intricate details of the figure’s dress, from the ornate patterns to the flowing folds of the fabric, were meticulously crafted using specialized metalworking techniques, further emphasizing the sculptor’s mastery of his craft. The monument’s sturdy foundation, anchored firmly to the hilltop, ensures that Kartlis Deda will continue to stand as a beacon of Georgian identity for generations to come.

Kartlis Deda: The Majestic Guardian of Tbilisi

Kartlis Deda: The Majestic Guardian of Tbilisi

The Role of Kartlis Deda in Georgian Culture

A National Icon

The Kartlis Deda monument has transcended its physical form to become a potent symbol of Georgian national identity and pride. The figure’s striking presence, combined with the rich legends and historical significance that she embodies, have cemented her status as one of the most recognizable and beloved icons in the country.

Kartlis Deda has become a unifying symbol for Georgians, a touchstone that connects the nation’s past, present, and future. She is a reminder of the resilience and hospitality that have defined the Georgian people throughout their history, and her image is ubiquitous, gracing everything from souvenirs and postage stamps to murals and public art installations.

A Beacon of Inspiration

Beyond her status as a national icon, Kartlis Deda has also become a beacon of inspiration for Georgians and visitors alike. The monument’s commanding presence and the stories it represents have the power to captivate and motivate, reminding all who gaze upon it of the importance of embracing one’s cultural heritage and standing firm in the face of adversity.

For many, the Kartlis Deda monument serves as a reminder to uphold the values of hospitality, resilience, and national pride that are so deeply ingrained in the Georgian psyche. It is a symbol that transcends borders and cultures, inspiring a sense of wonder and admiration in all who encounter it.

Kartlis Deda: The Majestic Guardian of Tbilisi

Kartlis Deda: The Majestic Guardian of Tbilisi

Experiencing Kartlis Deda

The Journey to the Monument

Reaching the Kartlis Deda monument is an adventure in itself, as the climb to the top of Sololaki Hill offers visitors a unique perspective on the city of Tbilisi. Whether you choose to ascend the winding paths or opt for a more direct route, the journey is filled with captivating vistas and opportunities to immerse yourself in the local culture.

As you approach the monument, the sheer scale and grandeur of Kartlis Deda become increasingly apparent, building a sense of anticipation and awe. The monument’s commanding presence, set against the backdrop of the city and the Caucasus Mountains, creates a truly breathtaking scene that lingers in the memory long after your visit.

Capturing the Moment

For photographers and art enthusiasts, the Kartlis Deda monument offers a wealth of creative opportunities. The interplay of light and shadow on the figure’s intricate details, the sweeping panoramic views of Tbilisi, and the sheer monumentality of the structure itself provide endless inspiration for capturing the essence of this iconic landmark.

Whether you choose to frame the monument against the cityscape, focus on the intricate metalwork, or explore the various vantage points surrounding the site, the Kartlis Deda monument promises to be a transformative experience, one that will leave an indelible mark on your creative vision and your understanding of Georgian culture.

Kartlis Deda: The Majestic Guardian of Tbilisi

Kartlis Deda: The Majestic Guardian of Tbilisi


The Kartlis Deda monument is more than just a landmark in Tbilisi; it is a testament to the enduring spirit and resilience of the Georgian people. As a symbol of hospitality, strength, and national pride, the majestic figure of the “Mother of Georgia” stands as a beacon of inspiration, reminding all who gaze upon her of the richness and significance of Georgia’s cultural heritage.

Whether you are a first-time visitor to Tbilisi or a lifelong resident, the experience of standing in the shadow of Kartlis Deda is one that is sure to leave a lasting impression. This iconic monument, with its captivating history, remarkable artistry, and enduring significance, has the power to transcend the boundaries of time and space, connecting the past, present, and future of a nation that has weathered countless storms and emerged stronger for it. As you depart Kartlis Deda, you carry with you a deeper appreciation for the strength and resilience that define the Georgian spirit.

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