Kutaisi: Wikis


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Kutaisi ქუთაისი is located in Georgia (country)
Location of Kutaisi in Georgia
Coordinates: 42°15′0″N 42°42′0″E / 42.25°N 42.7°E / 42.25; 42.7
Country  Georgia
Mkhare Imereti
 - Mayor Gia Tevdoradze
 - Total 70 km2 (27 sq mi)
Population (2002)
 - Total 185,965
Time zone Georgian Time (UTC+4)
Website kutaisi.gov.ge

Kutaisi (Georgian: ქუთაისი; ancient names: Aea/Aia, Kutatisi, Kutaïssi) is Georgia's second largest city and the capital of the western region of Imereti. It is 221 km to the west of Tbilisi.



Kutaisi is located along both banks of the Rioni River. The city lies at an elevation of 125-300 meters (410–984 feet) above sea level. To the east and north-east, Kutaisi is bounded by the Northern Imereti Foothills, to the north by the Samgurali Range, and to the west and the south by the Colchis Plain.



The climate in Kutaisi is humid subtropical with a well-defined on-shore/monsoonal flow (characteristic of the Colchis Plain) during the Autumn and Winter months. The summers are generally hot and relatively dry while the winters are wet and cool. Average annual temperature in the city is 14.5 degrees Celsius. January is the coldest month with an average temperature of 5.3 degrees Celsius while July is the hottest month with an average temperature of 23.2 degrees Celsius. The absolute minimum recorded temperature is -17 degrees Celsius and the absolute maximum is 44 degrees Celsius. Average annual precipitation is around 1530mm (60.2 inches). Rain may fall in every season of the year. The city often experiences heavy, wet snowfall (snowfall of 30 cm/12 inches or more per single snowstorm is not uncommon) in the winter, but the snow cover usually does not last for more than a week. Kutaisi experiences powerful easterly winds in the summer which descend from the nearby mountains.


Kutaisi is surrounded by deciduous forests to the northeast and the northwest. The low-lying outskirts of the city have a largely agricultural landscape. Because of the many gardens in the city centre and the high leafy trees alongside the sidewalks of its streets and boulevards, Kutaisi is painted in bright green in the spring and in yellow-red in the autumn. In the springtime, when the snow starts to melt in the nearby mountains, the storming Rioni River in the middle of the city is heard far beyond its banks.


Kutaisi in 1870

Kutaisi was the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Colchis. Archeological evidence indicates that the city functioned as the capital of the kingdom of Colchis as early as the second millennium BC. It is widely believed by historians that when Apollonius Rhodius was writing about Jason and the Argonauts and their legendary journey to Colchis, Kutaisi/Aia was the final destination of the Argonauts and 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 captured by Selim I, who was the son of the Sultan of the Ottomans at that time, Bayezid II.

In XVII c. Imeretian kings have many appeals to Russia to help them in their struggle for independence from the Ottomans. All claims were ignored as Russia did not want to spoil relations with Turkey. Only in a reign of Ekaterina II in 1768 troops of general Gottlieb Heinrich Totleben were sent to join forces of King Heraclius II of Georgia who hoped to reconquer the Ottoman-held southern Georgian lands in conjunction with Russia. Totleben helped King Solomon I of Imereti recover his capital Kutaisi on August 6, 1770.

Finally Russian-Turkish wars ended with annexion in 1810 of the Imeretian Kingdom with Russian Empire. The city was the capital of the Gubernia of Kutaisi, 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.[1]

Before Georgia's independence in 1991, followed by the country's economic collapse, Kutaisi was a major industrial center. Today, many inhabitants of the city have had to leave and work abroad. Small-scale trade prevails among the rest of the population.

The city had a massive Soviet war memorial for the Georgians killed in World War II. On December 18, 2009, a private demolition company working for the Georgian government demolished the monument to make way for a parliament building, despite massive protest from Russia and Georgian opposition politicians. Safety regulations were violated, resulting in flying chunks of concrete hitting civilian population centers. A woman and her daughter were killed in the courtyard of their home, and four other people were critically wounded.[2]

Education and Science

Kutaisi is one of the most important educational and scientific centers in Georgia, hosting the Gelati Academy of Sciences, established in the 12th century by King David IV. Here is also one of the most important educational centers in modern Georgia, Ak'ak'i Ts'ereteli State University, established in 1930. Besides these two, there are many other universities, institutes, colleges and schools in Kutaisi.


Kutaisi has an ancient cultural tradition. Here is a list of the cultural centers in Kutaisi.

Museums, Archive, Library, Gallery, Art Salon:
1. Kutaisi State Historical Museum
2. Kutaisi Museum of Sport
3. Kutaisi Museum of Martial Art
4.Museum of Zakaria Paliashvili
5.Kutaisi State Historical Archive
6. Kutaisi State Scientific-Universal Library
7. David Kakabadze Fine Art Gallery
8. Art Salon

Theatres, Cinema and Entertaining Center:
1. Kutaisi Lado Meskhishvili State Academic Theatre
2. Kutaisi Meliton Balanchivadze State Opera House
3. Kutaisi Iakob Gogebashvili State Puppet Theatre
4. Cinema and Entertaining Center “Suliko”
5. Hermann-Wedekind-Jugendtheater

Professional Unions and Public Organizations:
1. Georgian Writers’ Union
2. Georgian Painters’ Union
3. Folk Palace

Local Newspapers: “Kutaisi”, “Imeretis Moabe”, “PS”, “Akhali Gazeti”, "Kutaisuri Versia", "Chveneburebi" (Journal); Scientific Journal “Gantiadi”.
TV: "Rioni"; Radio: "Dzveli Kalaki" (old City)

Also all the republican newspapers, journals and television stations have their representatives in Kutaisi.


RC AIA Kutaisi

Kutaisi has a great tradition in sports, with many famous sport clubs. FC Torpedo Kutaisi has participated on the highest level of the Soviet Union football league. After Georgia achieved independence, it won many domestic and international titles. RC AIA Kutaisi won the Soviet Championship several times in rugby, and after independence, national championships and cups. Kutaisi also had an influential basketball club. Many famous Georgian athletes grew up here.


Agmashenebeli Square

The landmark of the city is the ruined Bagrati Cathedral, built by Bagrat III, king of Georgia, in the early 11th century. The Bagrati Cathedral, and the Gelati Monastery a few km east of the city, are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. One of the famous churches in Georgia is Motsameta Church. It is named after two saints, brothers David and Constantine. They were the Dukes of Margveti, and were martyred by Arab invaders in the 8th century. Besides the churches, there are many interesesting places in Kutaisi, such as: Sataplia Cave, where one can observe footprints of Dinosaurs; Geguti Palace, which was one of the residences of Georgian monarchs; "Okros Chardakhi" – Georgian Kings’ Palace; and the Pantheon, where many notable citizens are buried.

In December 2009, the demolition (using explosives) of a major war memorial in the city killed two people due to insufficient security around the demolition site. Russia also criticised the decision to remove the war memorial.[3]


On April 2, 2009, the Georgian economy minister, Lasha Zhvania, announced that an Egypt-based home appliances producer company, Fresh Electric, intends to create a free industrial zone in Kutaisi.[4]

Famous people

Orbeli, Joseph, orientalist; 20 March 1887, Kutaisi

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

City Country
Columbia, Missouri United States United States
Ganja Azerbaijan Azerbaijan
Newport, Wales United KingdomUnited Kingdom
Vitoria-Gasteiz Spain Spain
Nikaia Greece Greece
Poznan Poland Poland
Tula Russia Russia
Plovdiv Bulgaria Bulgaria
Ashkelon Israel Israel
Rasht Iran Iran
Samsun Turkey Turkey
Kars Turkey Turkey
Gyumri Armenia Armenia
Tianjin People's Republic of China People's Republic of China
Xinhua People's Republic of China People's Republic of China
Lyon France France
Bayonne France France
Donetsk Ukraine Ukraine
Kharkiv Ukraine Ukraine
Dnipropetrovsk Ukraine Ukraine
Lviv Ukraine Ukraine

See also


  1. ^ Effie Ambler, Russian Journalism and Politics: The Career of Aleksei S. Suvorin, 1861-1881 (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1972: ISBN 0-8143-1461-9), p. 172.
  2. ^ http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/19/AR2009121901006.html
  3. ^ Woman, her daughter killed during war memorial demolition in Kutaisi Dez, 19, 2009 09:41 - Itar-Tass (Russia)
  4. ^ Egypt-based Company Plans Free Industrial Zone in Kutaisi. Civil Georgia. April 2, 2009

External links

Coordinates: 42°15′N 42°42′E / 42.25°N 42.7°E / 42.25; 42.7

Bagrat III of Georgia (Gelati mural).jpg Historic capitals of Georgia Colchisiberiamapandersen.jpg

Mtskheta · Tbilisi · Kutaisi


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel


Kutaisi is a city in the Rioni Region of Georgia.


Kutaisi is the traditional rival of Tbilisi for capital status, and has since the days of the Golden Fleece been considered the capital of Western Georgia (then Ancient Colchis). It remains Georgia's second largest city, but to the irritation of the proud locals, does not come even close to Tbilisi's present day size and wealth. The economy here is in shambles, crime and drug use are more common here than in other major Georgian cities, and there is little to do by way of entertainment.

But a visit here is nonetheless near mandatory to see the magnificent Bagrati Cathedral, and Gelati Monastery, both of which are UNESCO World Heritage sites, and have commanding views from the mountain slopes over the city and the Rioni river.

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Wikipedia has an article on:



From Georgian ქუთაისი (K’ut’aisi).

Proper noun




  1. Second largest city of Georgia, capital of Imereti province located on Rioni river. One of the oldest cities of Transcaucasia it has been a captial of many kingdoms, including Colchis and Abkhazia. Population: 185,965.



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