Freedom Square, Tbilisi
|Freedom Square - Liberty Square|
Native name |
Georgian: თავისუფლების მოედანი
|Built||Early 19th century|
|Architectural style(s)||Neoclassical and Modern with some Pseudo-moorish elements.|
Freedom Square (Georgian: თავისუფლების მოედანი Tavisuplebis moedani, pronounced [tʰavisupʰlɛbis mɔɛdani]), formerly known as Erivan (or Erivanskaya) or Pashkevich-Erivanskaya Square (Georgian: ერევანსკი მოედანი, Erevansk'i moedani, Russian: Эриванская площадь, Erivanskaya ploshchad) under Imperial Russia and Lenin Square under the Soviet Union, is located in the center of Tbilisi at the eastern end of Rustaveli Avenue.
The square was originally named after Ivan Paskevich, the Count of Erivan, a Ukrainian general of the Russian Imperial Army, who earned his title in honor of his conquest of Erivan (present-day Yerevan) for the Russian Empire. Under the Soviet Union, the square was renamed, first "Beria Square", and then "Lenin Square". The location was first named Freedom Square in 1918, during the foundation of the First Georgian Republic following the collapse of the Russian Empire.
Freedom Square was the site of the 1907 Tiflis bank robbery. Freedom Square has also been the site of various mass demonstrations including those for Georgia's independence (from the Soviet Union), the Rose Revolution, and others. In 2005 Freedom Square was the location where U.S. President George W. Bush and Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili addressed a crowd of around 100,000 people in celebration of the 60th anniversary marking the end of World War II. During this event, Georgian-Armenian Vladimir Arutyunian threw a live grenade at President Bush while he was speaking in an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate him.
Abutting the north side of Freedom Square is a small open space with a fountain and a bust of Alexander Pushkin. Nearby the famous communist Kamo (Simon Ter-Petrossian) was once buried, but during Stalin's rule his remains were moved to an undisclosed location.
Tbilisi City Hall is situated on the Square. Other buildings include the former Bank of Georgia head office and the Marriott International Tbilisi. The square will also accommodate the Old Tbilisi local government office, the building works of which are already started.
During the Soviet period, the square featured a large statue of Vladimir Lenin, which was symbolically torn down in August 1991. On November 23, 2006, the Liberty Monument depicting St George slaying the dragon, created by Zurab Tsereteli was unveiled in the same place.
Branching out from this square are six streets: Rustaveli Avenue, Pushkin Street, Leselidze Street, Shalva Dadiani Street, Galaktion Street, and Leonidze Street.
- Rydel, Christine. The Ardis anthology of Russian romanticism. Ardish Publishers, 1984. page 335
- "Площадь свободы" (in Russian). Archived from the original on 2010-06-10.
- "Georgian jailed for Bush attack". BBC News. 11 January 2006. Retrieved 22 January 2012.
- Sebag-Montefiore, Simon (2008). "Prologue:The Bank Robbery". Young Stalin. Random House, Inc. p 370
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