Rike Park is located in the very center of Tbilisi on the left bank of the Mtkvari River.
The park is very young, it was built only in 2010, and is one of the projects implemented under President M. Saakashvili.
Park coordinates: 41.693127, 44.8103.
Leading European specialists were involved in designing the park. But despite the European style, the park is replete with completely unexpected solutions with a unique Georgian accent.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the territory of the future park was an island between the main channel of the river and its branch, which became shallow in the 1920s. The low bank was heavily flooded during rising waters, after which a lot of silt and sand remained on the shore, hence the name of the park – “Rike”. In Georgian it means “sands”.
At that time, the banks of the river were built up with private houses, but in the 70s, due to floods, people were evicted, and the abandoned territory was chosen by “unreliable individuals,” so that almost until the very creation of the park, the area was a landfill.
Now everything here has changed beyond recognition: flower beds, trees, pedestrian paths and even benches – everything looks interesting and extraordinary.
The park has children’s playgrounds, green labyrinths, a climbing hill, recreation areas, fountains, drinking fountains, as well as several art objects: a large chessboard with meter-long pieces and a piano in the bushes.
In the southern part of the park is the Tree of Life with its beautiful inhabitants. In the center there is an amphitheater for performances by musicians and artists. And in the farthest part, quite unexpectedly, Ronald Reagan is sitting on a bench and waiting for guests.
In the park there is a lower station of the cableway, which takes passengers to the Narikala fortress and one of the entrances to Tbilisi Botanical Garden.
If you stand above the park from Baratashvili Street, or rise above it in a hot air balloon (it is located right there on the square), you will see that the park is shaped like a map of Georgia. And the central part represents a message about the Rose Revolution – an important event in the history of Georgia.
The park has many young trees planted and beautiful flower beds. But we must take into account that the trees are still young and there is little shade from them, so in the hot months it is better to come here in the morning or evening.
The park contains unusually attractive anti-vandal benches made of large light boulders. There are also square chairs and wooden-granite benches.
In the evening, when the lights begin to light up, the singing fountain turns on and the Mtkvari River reflects thousands of lights from Bridge of Peace, Park “Rike” becomes a cozy and at the same time fantastic place!
And of course, at this time the largest number of visitors come here. It is especially pleasant to sit by the singing fountain on a warm summer evening, when refreshing multi-colored water jets shimmer to the beautiful music.
A long staircase leads to the park embankment from Nikoloz Baratashvili Street. Its beginning is located above the park and from its spans and observation platforms a beautiful view of the park itself and the Peace Bridge opens.
The Bridge of Peace, connecting the old part of Tbilisi with the “new world”, still causes rejection among some of the capital’s population. But this is roughly how the people of Paris did not accept the Eiffel Tower. At the same time, everyone got so used to her that they could no longer imagine the French capital without her.
Georgian Independence Day is celebrated annually in Rike Park.
On May 18, Georgian National Costume Day is celebrated here.
In the summer, the park hosts an art exhibition where you can view and buy works of art.
The annual large-scale celebration of the autumn harvest festival Tbilisoba is held in the park in October. This is a very beautiful holiday filled with the orange colors of autumn. At this time, you can try various traditional Georgian dishes here.
You can go to Rike Park from old Tbilisi along the Peace Bridge.
Or you can get to the metro station Avlabari and walk down the picturesque street, past cold streams of water flowing from the cliff. Or, before descending, first walk along Baratashvili Street to see Rike Park from above and from there go down the stairs straight to the singing fountain.
If you walk through the park to the end, you can go to the House of Justice and further to the Dry Bridge.
Rike Park is young and you shouldn’t expect anything pompous from it.
But over time, when its alleys become shady, and numerous figures and objects hide in the greenery, it will become beautiful and attractive, and will no longer leave anyone indifferent.