Chiatura is a disappearing city in Georgia
Chiatura is a mining town in Georgia, which houses dozens of operating and broken funiculars built in the 1950s. Previously, everyone thought that the city would prosper thanks to the huge reserves of ore and manganese. Over time, the city was forgotten, and now it's a little hopeless there. Local residents are gradually leaving there for other cities, leaving empty apartments.
A small town, modestly lost in the mountainous expanses of Georgia, so impressed the imagination of the traveler, photographer and founder of the TEG bureau — Pavel Makarov, that he spent several days in it, riding on the main attraction of the city — numerous cable cars. Chiatura is a mining town located on two sides of the gorge, in which there are dozens of operating and broken funiculars built in the 1950s.
The ghost town is literally permeated with the spirit of the Soviet era, dilapidated houses and a sense of hopelessness. But once upon a time, he was prophesied a great future — for the extraction of huge reserves of ore and manganese. Time takes its toll, the city is forgotten.
The funicular passes over the suburban areas.
Passing over the river Kvirila. View from the roof of the cabana of the current cable car.
The key attraction of the city is the manganese mines, which are located all around Chiatura. Anyone who comes here can observe the process of manganese extraction.
The manganese deposit in Chiatura is more than 100 years old. There are six manganese mines operating here, around which a network of cable cars is developing.
For more than 60 years, the locals have been living in Chiatura — steadily, slowly, remembering the times of former power. The city is somewhat reminiscent of today's Baikonur or Chernobyl…
To the outskirts of the city, the gorge narrows, leaving room only for roads, rivers, railway lines and cable cars. There are much fewer residential buildings, but it is from here that the cable cars to the mines depart.
Today Chiatura remains the only city in the world with the largest number of lifts that are used as free public transport.
Night view of the city center, where there is a bazaar, a bus station, a railway station and three cable cars. From the center stretches the road to Sachkhere, along which the city is located.
The operator of the cable car tells a lot of interesting and tragic stories. There have been cases of cable rope breakage, cases of brake failure with a fatal outcome.
The mechanic of one of the cable cars shows its device. It's simple — electric motor, manual and automatic brake system. In the event of a power outage, it is possible to manually bring the funicular trailer to its destination using manual traction.
Chiatura is located 220 km from Tbilisi, and you can get to it by train or car.
Locals continue to leave the city. One of the many abandoned apartments in the city.
People leave this place for Tbilisi, for Russia, leaving their belongings and documents.
No one has cooked in this kitchen for a long time.
This is an apartment in a 12-storey building, in which about 60% of the apartments are abandoned. There is no heating in the house, people are warming themselves with bourgeois.
Abandoned railway branches.
This is how the extracted manganese moves.
Chiatura is a non-touristic city. Nevertheless, it is worth visiting, because it is an atmospheric and unique place with its leisurely lifestyle, the hospitality of local residents and the incredible beauty of the views.
Keywords: Sent | Travel | Georgia | Ghost town | Cable car | Abandoned buildings