Blog / What kind of commemorative items you should take from Georgia Georgia, Blog | 28.05.2018

What kind of commemorative items you should take from Georgia

As you return home from traveling to a foreign country, you will notice the little things collected on a small shelf in the room. I believe, this kind of a little shelf possesses any traveler’s room, they are memorable accessories of those countries where they’ve lived or travelled. These items can be a traditional symbol of any specific city, for example: The symbol of Venice is a mask, Paris symbol is Eiffel Tower or it migh be any insignificant item found in the city which is connected with a lot of memories.

It is a kind of infatuation for every traveler to collect such type of items, so-called “souvenirs”. However, not all countries allow you to make a great choice between souvenirs. Some of them are so sensitive that they are not worthy of attention. Besides the fridge magnet, you definitely want to find a unique item that will be associated with the traditions of the particular country where you travel. For example, while exploring the French Riviera, Monte-Carlo in particular, I couldn’t find any special souvenir there, thus, i was satisfied with a fridge magnet only. However, when traveling to Italy, in Genoa, I found myself in front of so many great choices to make, that I had to seriously reconsider my budget, whether I could allow myself to buy all of them or not. In this regard, I would like to give some advice to those people who travel or are going to travel to Georgia.

Georgia is famous for handmade crafts

This country is famous not only for its national traditional cuisine and a large selection of wines, but also for handmade crafts and art. Here you become a traveller of 20th century where you have all the chances to find ancient items from Soviet Union, handmade jewels, Georgian national clothes, clay vessels, embroidery fabric and lot’s of crafts. In Georgia, you’ll come across the shops selling handmade items. This niche became very popular in Georgia recently and dominated so much, that created the demand for opening more souvenir shops. Today there are dozens of artisan shops in Tbilisi, where you can buy unique souvenirs. Despite the fact that handmade items and jewelry are budgeted, there are fairs where you can buy valuable items, at a lower price and through trade, in affordable price. I want to introduce you to souvenir shops and individual artists places who manage to create appropriate souvenirs in compliance with modern time that come into the attention of tourists and the locals as well.

Maidan Market in Old Tbilisi

The first site that we recomend you to visit is the Maidan Market. In case you won’t find the desired item here, you are not going to leave upset anyway. The Maidan Market is a historic site, located in Old Tbilisi. The walls of the market have been painted in old times and represents a separate museum when walking through these drawings, meanwhile, old Georgian style and architecture is maintained in the interior of the market. Wander through the market and travel in the history of Tbilisi. In the heart of Old Tbilisi one may find: Postcards, magnets, wines, cognac, handmade toys, t-shirts, national nats and costumes, accessories, bags, books, pictures. In short, the choice is great. Address: Gorgasali Square. Working hours: Monday - Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Dry Bridge Market

The second big market where one may get lost is a Dry Bridge Market. Located in the central district of Tbilisi, near the Dedaena Garden. The bridge was built from 1849 to 1851. Here you may come across all the souvenirs and things that you have ever dreamed of. Moreover, in addition to the traditional items designed for tourists, here you may see medals of World War II, Old enamel items, Soviet period art values, handmade jewelry (sometimes very nice and sophisticated), old cameras and many other things, without any extra effort. Here, you may found original items from the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, Georgia itself, and even of Armenian or Azeri origin. A lot of canvases done in oil and watercolors, are awaiting their future owners. The delightful and cheerful feeling is clearly felt in the paintings full of vivid colors, which every guest feels when traveling in Georgia. Dry bridge is also full of secondary items. If the fixed price will look to much for you, start trading with them, believe me, it will work.

Fabrika – where history meets modern life

The next trade (and leisure) site in Tbilisi is called Fabrika. This site is the current epicenter of Tbilisi's life. This building has its own history as well as its name. Once upon a time, the biggest factory of tissues in the Socialist Republic of Georgia, which has been keeping the Soviet past, is now a hostel and in addition, it combines a lot of conceptual shops, including remarkable items or souvenirs for temporary guests. This is a multifaceted urban space that combines modern Soviet elements with modern design. If you are looking for gifts by young Georgian artists and designers, Fabrika yard is the prime destination. Among them, I distinguish the following: Ceramic Studio 1300. The name has its symbolic meaning, the number indicates the highest temperature of 1,300 needed to burn the ceramics. Here you can find a hand-painted extraordinary shaped dishes and additionally participate in clay work and master classes. Address: Egnate Ninoshvili #8. Next extraordinary place will be Funduki , where you can have a look some handmade furniture by Georgian production. Furnishings and accessories are made of ecological material.
The Flying Painter is a store of clothes and accessories founded by the young designers, inspired by famous Georgian artist Petre Otskheli paintings. It is distinguished by the original style. If you are interested in jewelry, I recommend you to purchase Georgian enamel. Enamel always had a prominent place in Georgian art. The colors and beauty of Georgian cloisonné enamel differ from other countries. You can find a wide selection of handmade jewelry in the Ornamental Gallery (Address: Erekle 2, Tbilisi) or shop at Pokany store (Address: Bambis Rigi 7, Tbilisi).

Socks instead of souvenirs

Although it is not a souvenir, is highly recommend to buy some socks produced by Altersocks. The socks of this brand have become very trendy in the last 5 years in Georgia. They produces socks of various colors and paintings, with the images of Khinkali and Pirosmani paintings. Socks are original and memorable gifts. Address: Petre Kavtaradze 1, Tbilisi. Gallery 27 is a small boutique with amazing handmade souvenirs. The gallery is presented as a museum, located in the old part of Tbilisi, in old wooden house, with colored mosaic windows. It is considered as one of the architectural sights of Tbilisi. Here you can purchase Georgian handmade toys, table cloth covers, ceramic vessels, colored carpets, jewelry, etc. Address: Bethlehem 3, Tbilisi.

«Lurji Supra»

It is worth mentioning «Lurji Supra», a cotton faced table cloth. It was predominantly in eastern Georgia and was produced in the print workshops of Tbilisi, Gori and Telavi. The fairy tale featured motifs varied. The imagination of the ancient worldview of the Georgian people is reflected in a particular way.  A wide selection of such fabrics can be found in the above listed sites or can be ordered online: Facebook or website.

Tbilisi Flea Market

Tbilisi Flea Market  the vintage market is being held for two years already in the Dedaena garden every two weeks. Any person can participate here and sell interesting items, the most important part is that there is no cost for participation. Tbilisi Flea Market already traditionally established festival has become the favorite gathering place for youth from spring to fall. Here, you may come across a lot of interesting items, listen to music and spend a pleasant time. In the summer, the flea market hosts every Sunday from 12:00 to 20:00.

Georgian sweets from Badagi

If you have already tasted the Georgian cuisine, then you probably know one of the local sweets Churchkhela. Badagi is a Georgian brand which produces Georgian traditional sweets, including the famous Churchkhela and nuts. Churchkhela is the main desert of Georgian cuisine. Dry sweets, that are not damaged during transportation. Walnut or a nut, covered with a thick grape juice is ecological, without any excessive additives. At Badagi, you can buy a variety of Churchkhelas and gift-wrap them as well. Address: Chavchavadze #37, Tbilisi.

Vinoground wine cellar

If you like to hear some local stories, discover old items and taste a good wine, the Vinoground  is a sopisticated combination of these demands. Vinoground  is a wine cellar, located on one of the main streets of Old Tbilisi. The basement is about 300 years old. Here, wine tasting is free, stuff knows a lot about wine and they can and help you choose the best wine. The wine tasting is accompanied by Georgian cheese and sweets, thus, spend a pleasant evening at the Vinoground. Address: Erekle II #19, Tbilisi.

Jewelry from Simon Janashia Museum

There are also items that are made into Georgian souvenirs that do not need to be "modernized" and are copies of archaeological finds on the territory of Georgia (starting from the period of early cultures rather than antiquity). Unique items of Trialeti culture, world famous «Colchic gold» jewelry and small figures of different small sizes do not lose value and are the best gift. The best quality jewelry copies can be purchased at Simon Janashia Museum of Georgian National Museum. Address: Shota Rustaveli # 3/10, Tbilisi. Thus, with modern souvenirs and historical origins, Georgia is preparing for you a great choice. There are countries which do not require any souvenirs and I like to mention Georgia among such countries. You become so in love and so attracted to it, that it takes a special place forever in your memories. However, the small details, as the souvenir, make these feelings more intense. This country is developed, free, interesting and diverse. Every visitor or local will live here in an interesting and happy way. Most importantly, the creators of this country always were and always will be diverse, innovative, tolerant and shall always be the the creators of many new and interesting. You see, there is no similarity between the individual words. The differences become even more visible when you compare the fonts. The Georgian alphabet– it is called Mkhedruli – looks completely different from, for example, the Latin or the Cyrillic alphabet. I will go into this topic in more detail in one of my next blog articles.
Author: MyCaucasus
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