As an American who grew up during the Cold War, I have a morbid curiosity with anything Soviet, and so once a season, I make my way to the outskirts of the city to an admittedly brutal part of town (think blocks and blocks of apartments) to take photos of this bizarre and phallic building. It’s the perfect spot for photographers because it is full of curves and lines, and it is completely white, which reflects the cool or warmth of seasonal light.
The Palace of Rituals, or Wedding Palace as it is locally known, was built in the 1980s by architect Viktor Jorbenaze. It evokes a connection to Georgia’s past with the use of local stone that was used as building material for cathedrals. It’s a work of architectural genius and celebration of Georgian identity with a modernist edge. It was originally designed as a venue for weddings. Post liberation, it had various functions until it was purchased by Georgian oligarch Badri Patarkatsihvili in 2002 as a personal residence. He died in 2008 and in 2012 the building opened to the public again for celebrations.
Travellers looking for the odd and off-the-wall buildings to photograph will find the Wedding Palace perfect at almost any angle. For the best panorama of the Palace, walk across the bridge and take photos from the opposite side of the river.