Mtatsminda Pantheon

The Mtatsminda Pantheon of Writers and Public Figures (Georgian: მთაწმინდის მწერალთა და საზოგადო მოღვაწეთა პანთეონი, mtats'mindis mts'eralta da sazogado moghvats'eta p'anteoni) is a necropolis in Tbilisi, Georgia, where some of the most prominent writers, artists, scholars, and national heroes of Georgia are buried. It is located in the churchyard around St David’s Church "Mamadaviti" on the slope of Mount Mtatsminda (Geo. მთაწმინდა, meaning the Holy Mountain) and was officially established in 1929. Atop the mountain is Mtatsminda Park, an amusement park owned by the municipality of Tbilisi.[citation needed]

Mtatsminda Pantheon
მთაწმინდის მწერალთა და საზოგადო მოღვაწეთა პანთეონი
St. David Monastery.JPG
Mtatsminda Pantheon is located in Tbilisi
Mtatsminda Pantheon
Shown within Tbilisi
Coordinates41°41′45″N 44°47′20″E / 41.69583°N 44.78889°E / 41.69583; 44.78889Coordinates: 41°41′45″N 44°47′20″E / 41.69583°N 44.78889°E / 41.69583; 44.78889
St. David's Church and Mtatsminda Pantheon.
St David's.

The first celebrities to be buried at this place were the Russian writer Alexander Griboyedov (1795–1829) and his Georgian wife Nino Chavchavadze (1812–1857).[1] The Pantheon was officially opened in 1929 to mark the centenary of Griboyedov's death during his time as the Russian ambassador. The Pantheon was conceived of as a symbol of collective identity of Georgia.[2] Since then, several illustrious Georgians have been buried or reburied there. The Pantheon is administered by the Government of Tbilisi and is frequented by locals as well as the city’s visitors.[citation needed]



The earliest attempt to create a Pantheon in Tbilisi was the Pantheon of Kukia, which the Dramaturgical Society of Georgia began work on to honor its artists by 1900, but which had disappeared by the 1950s.[3] Later, the Society for Spreading Literacy Among Georgians managed to established the Didube Pantheon in 1915.[3] In 1929, the Government of the Soviet Union, which controlled Georgia at the time, established another pantheon on a former cemetery near the Mtatsminda Church; its opening was dedicated to the 100-year anniversary of the Alexander Griboyedov, who was buried there in 1829 with his wife (and whose grave had a sculpture of a mourning woman on it).[3]

Under Soviet rule, the Didube Pantheon was nearly abolished in the 1930s.[3] There was an order issued in 1934 to remove unknown or unimportant tombs from Mtatsminda and to transfer some distinguished people, including Nikoloz Baratashvili and Vazha-Pshavela from Didube to Mtatsminda;[4] this order marked the fall of Didube's status and the rise of Mtatsminda's.[3] In 1937, the pantheon's administration adopted regulations indicating that the decision-making council should consist mainly of government official, party[which?] members, and Georgian scholars.[3] Because of the totalitarian system, it was easy to create the impression that the Mtatsminda Pantheon was the most desirable place of rest for Georgians, an impression which still persisted in 2014.[3]

New pantheonEdit

In 2009, Tbilisi City Hall announced that the old Mtatsminda Pantheon had no more space and that there were ongoing consultations about a new one with the Patriarch of Georgia.[3] In October 2009, the vice-mayor of Tbilisi declared, "a new place has to be selected, where a church can be erected and public funerals can be held. It is important to build the new pantheon at an especially good location, accessible for society and approved by society".[3] However, since the official closure of the old site, there have been exceptions: Mukhran Machavariani was buried there in 2010 and Chabua Amirejibi was buried there in 2013 (the latter of which caused controversy).[5]

As of 2014, there are three Pantheons in Tbilisi under city hall supervision, which are Mtatsminda Pantheon, Didube Pantheon, and Khojivank Pantheon (the last of which is Armenian).[3]

List of burialsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Rich, Paul B. (December 4, 2009). Crisis in the Caucasus: Russia, Georgia and the West. London: Routledge. pp. 144–145. ISBN 978-0415544290.
  2. ^ Chikovani, Nino (2021). "The Mtatsminda Pantheon: a memory site and symbol of identity". Caucasus Survey. 9 (3): 1. doi:10.1080/23761199.2020.1871242. S2CID 234037225.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Kekelia, Elene (January 2014). "The Formation and the Legacy of the Mtatsminda Pantheon as a Site of Memory". Identity Studies in the Caucasus and the Black Sea Region. 7: 41–63.
  4. ^ Chikovani. "The Mtatsminda Pantheon": 4. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ Chikovani. "The Mtatsminda Pantheon": 9. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. ^ a b c d "Mtatsminda Panthenon – a necropolis of great Georgians". GeorgianJournal (in Georgian). Retrieved 2021-04-30.
  7. ^ "Pirosmani's symbolic grave to be set up at Mtatsminda Pantheon". GeorgianJournal (in Georgian). Retrieved 2021-04-30.
  8. ^ "Jansug Charkviani will be buried at Mtatsminda Pantheon". 1TV. Retrieved 2021-04-30.
  9. ^ "Georgian Democratic Republic's Commander-in-Chief Reburied in Tbilisi". Civil Georgia. 26 May 2021. Retrieved 26 May 2021.

External linksEdit