Statue Of King Vakhtang Gorgasali

Perched on a stone platform near the historic Metekhi St. Virgin Church in Tbilisi stands a regal statue, a tribute to the city's founder, King Vakhtang I Gorgasali. Cast in bronze, the impressive monument depicts Gorgasali majestically mounted on horseback. This grand sculpture is the work of the famed Georgian artist Elguja Amashukeli, a celebrated sculptor and painter who lived from 1926 to 2002.

King Vakhtang Gorgasali ruled Iberia, now known as eastern Georgia, from approximately 439 or 443 to 502 or 522. His reign was marked by a contentious alliance with the Eastern Roman Empire and a protracted struggle against the Sassanid Iranian hegemony. Despite the turmoil of his rule, King Gorgasali is credited with numerous monumental achievements, including the foundation of the nation’s capital, Tbilisi.

The towering statue is a symbol of Gorgasali's enduring influence, immortalizing the warrior-king in the heart of the city he founded. The sculpture showcases Gorgasali's military prowess, with the king presented in full armor atop a rearing horse, poised for battle.

The portrayal of Gorgasali as a warrior-king is rooted in historical accounts, such as the 8th or 11th-century vita attributed to Juansher. This work, interweaving history and legend, frames Gorgasali as a warrior-king and statesman, a narrative that continues to shape popular perceptions of his life and reign.

Despite the setbacks and challenges of his rule, King Gorgasali's legacy is one of resilience and nation-building, traits embodied in the monumental statue dedicated to him in Tbilisi. Today, the sculpture serves as a reminder of the city's historic past and the vision of its founder, standing tall in the heart of the city he helped shape.

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