Rustaveli Theatre and Hotel Marriot Tbilisi
Rustaveli Avenue, then called Golovin Avenue, in the 19th century
Rustaveli Avenue (Georgian: რუსთაველის გამზირი, Rust'avelis Gamziri), formerly known as Golovin Street, is an avenue in central Tbilisi named after the medieval Georgian poet, Shota Rustaveli. The Avenue starts at Freedom Square and extends for about 1.5 km in length, before it turns into an extension of Kostavas Kucha (Kostava Street). Rustaveli is often considered as the main thoroughfare of Tbilisi due to a large number of governmental, public, cultural, and business buildings that are located along or near the Avenue. The former Parliament of Georgia building, Kashveti Church, the Simon Janashia Museum of Georgia (part of the Georgian National Museum), the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre, the Rustaveli State Academic Theater, the Rustaveli Museum, and the Georgian Academy of Sciences, among others, are all located on Rustaveli. The thoroughfare is served by the Tbilisi Metro and buses.
In 1989, tens of thousands of Georgians gathered before the House of Government on Rustaveli Avenue. An attack by the Soviet spetsnaz forces killed many protesters in the April 9 tragedy.
In 2007 and 2011, the avenue was site of anti-government protests.
Coordinates: 41°41′39″N 44°47′59″E / 41.69417°N 44.79972°E