Chiatura – the City of Ropeways
The small Georgian town of Chiatura is found 220 km from Tbilisi, in the Kvirila river gorge and “scattered” in the surrounding krantz. To get there from the capital is possible by train. The city was founded in 1921 on the site of manganese ore production.
The manganese mines are the city’s one of the main attractions. They are located throughout the outskirts of Chiatura, with some of them–right over the town. There are no restrictions to visit them: the visitors can watch a manganese production process with their own eyes.
But the most interesting is not mines, but the transport … you have to take to get there. The mining areas are connected with the city’s central part by air and cable cars.
The Chiatura cableways – this is what is worth coming there for! They are the main feature of this city: they are everywhere. In Soviet times, the construction of the cable ways was necessitated by an impressive difference in height between the city and production mining fields, which made delivery of manganese difficult. And now, though the cable ways were built 60 years ago and significantly outdated, they are still one of the most popular and fastest means of urban public transport. The total length of the cable ways exceeds 6,000 meters. Currently, the city has 10 ropeway lines for passengers and 2 lines for manganese transportation.
To this day, Chiatura is the world’s only city with the largest number of elevators, used as a public transport.
Although the city is not a tourist one, it is worth visiting. You will be enchanted by the hospitality of the local people and the incredible beauty of the Georgian mountains, greeted from the funiculars. Welcome to the most unique city in the world – the city of cable cars!