The Big Picture: Tbilisi’s Dry Bridge Market


Tucked away behind Tbilisi’s main Rustaveli Avenue, overlooking a pistachio colored river is the Dry Bridge Market, a step into the labyrinth of history boiling beneath the region known as the South Caucasus. Here, Georgians, Armenians and Azeri sellers laugh together, eat together and spread their collected goods side by side for locals who browse through antique silverware and tourists wanting a piece of a Soviet-era that might be gone, but not forgotten.

A weekend-only attraction, the market provides a fabulous stroll for the vintage aficionado, peppered with interesting characters who enthusiastically speak to you along the way. Whether you understand Georgian, Russian, Armenian and Azeri or not, you’re bound to have an afternoon full of pleasant surprises that will do much to shatter misconceptions and stereotypes about the fascinating and at times tragic culture and history of the region.

Step inside Tbilisi’s  Dry Bridge Market with an iPhone and handy PicPlz mobile photo software.

Soviet-era medals and badges, many from the 1980 Olympics in Moscow can be found at a majority of the stalls

Pensioners pass time at the market with some good reading material

The market is a treasure trove for the book nerd fascinated with Soviet history

This 1970s travel guide from Russian travel agency Intourist calls the Caucasus the most multinational area of the Soviet Union where "people of more than 50 nationalities" including Armenians and Azerbaijanis "live and work there as a closely-knit family."

Your one-stop-shop for everything USSR

Material for the avid fisherman

The typewriter, a familiar site for any flea market

Caviar from Astrahkahn, a city in Southern Russia, said to have been conquered by Ivan the Terrible

Regional dolls collide with the characters from Western animation

A perserved photo of an Armenian couple from the early 20th century

It's not uncommon to find men enjoying a game of nardi (backgammon) or chess on the sidelines of the market

Dry Bridge Market

Near March Park, off Pushkin St. Tbilisi, Georgia

Saturday – Sunday, 8 am – 5 pm

All photos Aghajanian



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