The history of Tbilisi, dates back to at least the 5th century AD. Tbilisi has been an important cultural, political and economic center of the Caucasus region for most of its history. Located on a crossroad of major trade routes, the city has suffered many invasions, often served as the seat of foreign domination over the region, but also as the capital of various independent local states.
In the 1970s and the 1980s the old part of the city was considerably reconstructed. Shota Kavlashvili, the architect who planned the reconstruction, wanted to make the center look like in the 19th century. The reconstruction started from the side of Baratashvili Avenue, where some residential buildings were demolished to uncover the 18th century city wall. Tbilisi witnessed mass anti-Soviet demonstrations in 1956 (in protest against the anti-Stalin policies of Nikita Khrushchev), 1978 (in defense of the Georgian language) and 1989 (the April 9 tragedy).