Tsagveri, Eiffel Bridge and “Kukushka” Railway Present

Tsagveri is a forest-and-mountain resort located right in the middle of Borjomi and Bakuriani villages in the Borjomi gorge.

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Center of Tsagveri

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Local government’s office. Announcement of the UN-sponsored training in agriculture: ” a) Enhancement of kitchen-gardens b) Commercial production  and the market ”

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Cell phone list of local representatives on display

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There are many semi-abandoned Soviet-era resort infrastructure remains in the area and Tsagveri is not an exception. These were meant to serve “workers’ families” to accommodate their need for rest and leisure.

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“Hearth of Children & Adolescent Sanitation of Georgian Railway”

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Even in the state of complete decay, these camps and sanatioria bear the stamp of quality in terms of architecture and aesthetics (unlike most modern local structures).

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Apart from the famous mineral water “Borjomi” that is being produced here, the whole area has been an extremely popular Winter and Summer destination for all kinds of tourists (ski goers, hikers, families with children, people with respiratory or digestive issues etc.) probably since the start of 20th century when Russian royal family of Romanovs built Likani Palace and constructed narrow-gauge railway that circles in fairytale forests several times a day.

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Tsagveri railway station

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Station toilets

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Plenty of abandoned buildings around.

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According to Georgian Railway, Construction of a narrow-gauge line between Borjomi and Bakuriani ski resort began in 1897 and because of the difficult environmental conditions, lasted for four years.

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Since January 1902, the first “Kukushka” train passed Borjomi-Bakuriani narrow-gauge line. Since then the “Kukushka” serves tourists and the fans of skiing.

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For the movement to high-mountainous areas, a steam engine of “Porter” type was brought from England. Cars of open type were added to the train, which were framed only by handrails. Since 1967, the small-steam engine was replaced by an electric engine.

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“Mothers’ and Children Sanatorium” on the hill. Still operational after modest repairs.

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The bridge which connects Tsaghveri to Tsemi by Borzhomi-Bakuriani railway line, was designed by the French engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel under the order of the Romanovs. The construction was brought to Georgia and installed on the river Tsemistskali in 1902.

For some reason, there are very few photos of the Eiffel bridge of Tsemi. This photostream will compensate the visual vacuum, presenting the lovely structure of the world-famous engineer, hidden in a forest, in the middle of nowhere.

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It is almost impossible to observe the bridge as a whole structure, from the distance as massive forest obstruct the views and a deep canyon of Tsemistskali makes it difficult to approach it from beneath.

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“Kukushka” in the process of crossing the Eiffel bridge

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Concrete reservoir for special rail-stones

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Tsemistskali canyon

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This is the structure view from the lower service platforms at the end of the bridge

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Wires descending from railway pole, maybe for electrical grounding (?)

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Back to Tsagveri

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Stalin st. N5

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Modern style habitat

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Entrances to Tsagveri station and depot

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Some impressive Soviet narrow-gauge railway machinery

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Approaching the center

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Vintage Soviet drugstore

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Pictures of saints are a recent touch to the interior

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