There is a bizarre building situated on a hilltop in the center of Tbilisi:
In a recent book on weird Soviet architecture, it is called “the Palace of Ceremonies,” while Google Maps calls it “the Palace of Rituals.” I read somewhere that the Soviets intended for it to be a sort of secular church, in which strictly non-religious wedding (and perhaps other) ceremonies could be held.
I have not seen it mentioned in any recent travel information. This is likely because about ten years ago it was sold to some rich Georgian, who made it his private residence (which is totally badass). But it is listed in a circa 1980 English-language Soviet travel guide to Tbilisi, which someone here gave me. That book refers to the building as “the Central Registry Office,” and says that “the palace runs a disco, a marriage bureau, and various clubs (for leisure activities, newly weds [sic], etc.”
I have not found out what the current owner has done with the disco, nor what newly weds do here without the CRO.
MAJOR UPDATE 2/5/15: The Palace of Rituals is back in business! The re-branded “Celebration Palace of Rituals” / “სადღესასწაულო რიტუალების სასახლე” can once again be rented for weddings and other functions. I don’t know if the building has a new owner or what, but there you have it. From the new website:
All demands of the guests met by the branding management of the Palace. An unique and complex branding is at your disposal: design, floristic decoration, pyrotechnics (fireworks, paper streamer, skylighter), cortege, professional portfolio, video shooting, choreography master class, invitation cards, delivery service, special cakes, wedding clothing, make-up, hair styling, and musical performance (grand piano, violin, live band, pop group, pop singers) and entertaining shows (theatrical and sketch shows, comedian and variety performers, animators, etc.)
I know where I’m holding my wedding.