The architecture in the city is a mixture of local (Georgian) and Byzantine, Neoclassical, Art Nouveau, Beaux-Arts, Middle Eastern, and Soviet modern styles. Very few buildings survived the destruction of the city in 1795, so most historical buildings in Tbilisi date to the Russian Imperial period (1801-1917). The oldest parts of the city (Kala, Abanotubani, Avlabari) were largely rebuilt on their medieval street plans, and some old houses were even rebuilt on much older foundations. The areas of downtown Tbilisi which were developed according to a European-style plan by Russian authorities (Sololaki, Rustaveli Avenue, Vera, etc.) have a Western appearance, with a mix of styles popular in Europe at the time: Beaux Arts, Orientalist, and various period revival styles.
Tbilisi is most notable for its abundance of Art Nouveau buildings and details (common in Sololaki and Chughureti), which flourished from the mid-1890s to through the end of Russian rule. Art Nouveau was decreed as bourgeois by communist authorities, who introduced experimental modern architecture. The more conservative and historically-inflected Stalinist architecture in Georgia is embodied by the 1938 Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute building ("Imeli"), now housing the Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi.
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