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Friday, December 31, 2010

The Second Capital of Georgia

Kutaisi is the second city in Georgia. It is located in the central part of western Georgia, some 220 kilometers west of Tbilisi on the banks of the river Rioni, at an altitude of 125-300 meters above sea level. 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.

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. One of the oldest cities of Transcaucasia, it served at various periods as the capital of successive kingdoms in Georgia: Colchis, Iberia (Kartli), Abkhazia, and Imeretia.

The city is truly rich in historical and cultural sights. The most famous of Kutaisi's many splendid buildings is the majestic Church of King Bagrat, which was built at the beginning of the 11th century.
In the environs of the city, at the foot of low forest-covered mountains stands another well-known monument of Georgian architecture, the Gelati Monastery, founded in the early 12th century. Other sights are the Motsameti monastery, Geguti Palace, Sataplia and Navenakhevi caves.

The Ethnographical Museum of Kutaisi keeps about 146.000 artefacts. The exhibition starts with the department of palaeontology and ends with the nineteenth century cultural heritage, large collections of unique rarities many of which date back to prehistoric times of human life, as well as richest deposits of ancient handwritten Georgian books.

There are famous caves of Sataplia, Navenakhevi and Kumisi near the city. These caves possess unique features, including dinosaur footprints. In the area other sights are worth a visit. Vani, Tskhrajvari, Khoni are famous for their canyons, waterfalls caves, vertical caves and underground rivers.

The climate in Kutaisi is humid subtropical. The summers are generally hot and relatively dry while the winters are wet and cool. Kutaisi is close to high mountainous areas.

Georgia starts construction of new governmentt buildings in Kutaisi. A new parliament, other government buildings and enterprises will open in 2011. A renovated opera building opened in Kutaisi in december 2010. The building's infrastructure, interior, stage and front were fully renovated. From 2012 the parliament of Georgia will move to Kutaisi city, which will prove the city's status as the second capital of Georgia. The existence of a free industrial zone and relocation of different government structures to Kutaisi city will improve the local investment climate.