In Old Tbilisi, regeneration overshadows Eurasia's ancient crossroads

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The ruins of Old Tbilisi
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The ruins of Old Tbilisi
A front door of an old house is seen in the old town, Tbilisi, Georgia, April 6, 2017. REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili \
A front door of an old house is seen in the old town, Tbilisi, Georgia, April 6, 2017. REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili \
A window of an old house is seen in the old town, Tbilisi, Georgia, April 6, 2017. REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili 
A window of an abandoned part of an old house is seen in the old town, Tbilisi, Georgia, April 6, 2017. REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili 
A front door of a house is seen in the old town, Tbilisi, Georgia, April 6, 2017. REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili 
A small door and a piece of furniture are seen on a street in the old town, Tbilisi, Georgia, April 6, 2017. REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili 
A front door of an old house is seen in the old town, Tbilisi, Georgia, April 6, 2017. REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili 
A front door of an old house is seen in the old town, Tbilisi, Georgia, April 4, 2017. REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili 
Stairs are seen in a courtyard in the old town, Tbilisi, Georgia, April 6, 2017. REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili 
An old house under restoration is seen in the old town, Tbilisi, Georgia, April 4, 2017. REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili 
A stained glass window is seen in the old town, Tbilisi, Georgia, April 6, 2017. REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili 
Wooden stairs and balconies are seen in a courtyard in the old town, Tbilisi, Georgia, April 6, 2017. REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili 
Wooden stairs and a balcony are seen in a courtyard in the old town, Tbilisi, Georgia, April 4, 2017. REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili 
A front door of an old house is seen in the old town, Tbilisi, Georgia, April 6, 2017. REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili 
Wooden stairs and a balcony are seen in a courtyard in the old town, Tbilisi, Georgia, April 4, 2017. REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili 
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TBILISI, June 2(Reuters) - Lying beneath the imposing Narikala Fortress, the buildings of Old Tbilisi, the Georgian capital's historic quarter, for centuries reflected the city's rule by Mongols, Arabs, Turks and Russians.

Earthquakes and invasions -- much of the pre-19th century city suffered at the hands of Persian invaders in 1795 -- have shaped the old city's cobbled streets and tilting houses.

So too has a drive to regenerate the enchanting, but often dilapidated, neighborhood.

A Reuters photo essay captures the ornate wooden doorways and crumbling facades of buildings still untouched by the redevelopment which is altering the face of Tbilisi.

With its 17-centuries-old citadel, Orthodox churches, decorated columns and balconied houses, Old Tbilisi exudes the charm of an ancient Eurasian crossroads.

(Writing by Mark Hanrahan in London; Editing by Richard Lough)

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