IMERETI (tour 1)
Kutaisi is the legislative capital of Georgia, and its 3rd most populous city. Situated 221 kilometres (137 miles) west of Tbilisi, on the Rioni River, it is the capital of the western region of Imereti. Historically one of the major cities of Georgia, it served as the capital of the Kingdom of Georgia in the Middle Ages, and later as the capital of the Kingdom of Imereti. The Parliament of Georgia moved to Kutaisi in 2012, in an effort to both acknowledge the status of the city, and to decentralise the Georgian government.
Kutaisi was the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Colchis. Archaeological evidence indicates that the city functioned as the capital of the kingdom of Colchis in the sixth to fifth centuries BC. Several historians believe that, in Argonautica, a Greek epic poem about Jason and the Argonauts and their journey to Colchis, author Apollonius Rhodius considered Kutaisi their final destination as well as the residence of King Aeëtes. From 978 to 1122 CE, Kutaisi was the capital of the united Kingdom of Georgia, and from the 15th century until 1810, it was the capital of the Imeretian Kingdom. In 1508, the city was conquered by Selim I, who was the son of Bayezid II, the sultan of the Ottoman Empire.
During the seventeenth century, Imeretian kings made many appeals to Russia to help them in their struggle for independence from the Ottomans. All these appeals were ignored as Russia did not want to spoil relations with Turkey. Only in the reign of Catherine the Great, in 1768, were troops of general Gottlieb Heinrich Totleben sent to join the forces of King Heraclius II of Georgia, who hoped to reconquer the Ottoman-held southern Georgian lands, with Russian help. Totleben helped King Solomon I of Imereti to recover his capital, Kutaisi, on August 6, 1770.
Finally, the Russian-Turkish wars ended in 1810 with the annexation of the Imeretian Kingdom by the Russian Empire. The city was the capital of the Kutais Governorate, which included much of west Georgia. In March 1879, the city was the site of a blood libel trial that attracted attention all over Russia; the ten accused Jews were acquitted.
Kutaisi was a major industrial center before Georgia’s independence in 1991. Independence was followed by the economic collapse of the country, and, as a result, many inhabitants of Kutaisi have had to work abroad. Small-scale trade prevails among the rest of the population.
The Cathedral of the Dormition, or the Kutaisi Cathedral, more commonly known as Bagrati Cathedral, is an 11th-century cathedral in the city of Kutaisi, in the Imereti region of Georgia. A masterpiece of the medieval Georgian architecture, the cathedral suffered heavy damage throughout centuries and was reconstructed to its present state through a gradual process starting in the 1950s, with major conservation works concluding in 2012. A distinct landmark in the scenery of central Kutaisi, the cathedral rests on the Ukimerioni Hill.
SATAPLIA NATURE RESERVE
Sataplia Nature Reserve – is in the Tskhaltubo Municipality of Georgia. It is located on Mount Sataplia in the southwestern part of the Main Caucasian Range.
On the territory of the reserve there is a crater of an extinct volcano, a man of the stone age, petrified traces of dinosaurs. There are several karst caves in the reserve. The largest cave of Sataplia was discovered in 1925 and has a length of about 900 m.
Gelati is a medieval monastic complex near Kutaisi, in the Imereti region of western Georgia. A masterpiece of the Georgian Golden Age, Gelati was founded in 1106 by King David IV of Georgia and is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
The Gelati Monastery is in Kutaisi, Imereti Province, Georgia. It signifies the value of the Georgian christian orthodox religion. Inside the monastery is full of murals and an abundance amount imagery surrounding the interior of the church. It was one of the first monastery in Georgia and adds great value to the Georgian culture and beauty.
The nickname of The Gelati Monastery is the “Golden Age of Georgia”. The monastery was built during the byzantine empire which is known for the use of gold aesthetic in their paintings and buildings. It was built to show how christianity encompassed all of this land and that Georgia was filled with christian gospel all around even high up in the mountains. As the monastery is covered in arches that stretch over mountains show how encompassing the monastery is over the mountains and over the hills.