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Tbilisi, Georgia's capital city, is the economic, historic, cultural, political, and touristic hub of the country. Until 1936, Tbilisi was known as "Tiflis" which directly translated into "hot location". About 50% of Georgia's population lives in the city (about 1.8 million) while the rest of the population is scattered across the country. The city and its surrounding area offer a cultural and touristic richness to all its visitors throughout the year as more and more attractions are established in the city and the government's investment in renovating and restoring neighborhoods made the city resemble major capital cities in Europe.
Legend has it that King Vakhtang of Iberia hunted in a fully wooded area with his falcon. At one point the falcon caught a pheasant and the birds fell to the warm natural springs on the ground and died in burns. The king was so impressed with the hot springs that he decided to cut the forest and create a city instead. Due to its strategic location for trading, in the Caucasus and between Europe and Asia, the city has suffered many occupation attempts by the Romans, Persians, Arabs, Turks and more, so that many influences from different cultures can be seen throughout the city.