Bagrati Cathedral is the 11th-century cathedral church in the city of Kutaisi. The cathedral was built in the early years of the 11th century, during the reign of King Bagrat III due to which it was called "Bagrati" Cathedral, i.e., Bagrat’s cathedral. Bagrati proudly watches over Kutaisi and the Rioni River and has been the home of the Colchis Kings. The cathedral, is regarded as a masterpiece in the history of medieval Georgian architecture. Since 1994 the Cathedral has been under the protection of UNESCO.
The Gelati Academy and Monastery were founded by King David Agmashenebeli, in 1106 and you can see his grave at the southern end of the cathedral at the main entrance. The popular and revered King David wanted to be buried in a place where everyone coming to the monastery would step on his grave and according to legend the gravestone is the same height as the King himself. During the 12-13th centuries Gelati was one of the biggest religious, educational, scientific and philosophical center of Georgia. The complex includes the main cathedral of the Virgin, the church of Saint George, a belfry and the academy building. In 1510 the Monastery was set on fire by Turkish invades, but it was quickly repaired and re-built. To commemorate the re-opening, a group portrait of rulers was painted which includes an image of David Agmashenebeli himself.
Gelati Monastery Complex
Imereti is a region in Georgia with Kutaisi as the regional capital situated along the middle and upper reaches of the Rioni river. Traditionally, Imereti is an agricultural region, known for its mulberries and grapes. In late antiquity and early Middle Ages the ancient western Georgian kingdom of Egrisi existed on the territory of Imereti. Its king declared Christianity as an official religion of Egrisi in 523 AD. In 975-1466 Imereti was part of the united Georgian Kingdom. Since its disintegration in the 15th century, Imereti was an independent kingdom. In the 17th-18th centuries the kingdom of Imereti suffered frequent invasions by the Turks and paid patronage to the Ottoman Empire until 1810, when it was occupied and annexed by the Russian Empire.
The region of Imereti was originally part of the ancient Colchis kingdom. In ancient geography, Colchis or Kolchis was an ancient Georgian kingdom and region in the Caucasus, which played an important role in the ethnic and cultural formation of the Georgian nation. Now mostly the western part of Georgia, it was in Greek mythology the home of Aeëtes and Medea and the destination of the Argonauts, as well as being the possible homeland of the Amazons. One of the most important elements in the modern Georgian nation, the Colchians were probably established in the Caucasus by the Middle Bronze Age.
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Systematic archaeological studies revealed the remnants of a rich city of the ancient power of Colchis. The name of this ancient settlement is still unknown but four distinct stages of uninterrupted occupation have been identified. The first phase is dated to the 8th to 7th centuries BC. In this period Vani is presumed to have been a major cultic centre. The second phase - end of the 7th and beginning of the 6th to the first half of the 4th century BC - is represented by cultural layers, remains of wooden structures, sacrificial altars cut in the rocky ground, and rich burials. It is assumed that on this stage Vani was the centre of a political-administrative unit of the kingdom of Colchis. The third phase covers the second half of the 4th to the first half of the 3rd century BC. It is represented largely by rich burials, remains of stone structures. To the fourth phase (3rd to mid-1st centuries BC) belong defensive walls, the so-called small gate, sanctuaries and cultic buildings (temples, altars sacrificial platforms), and the remains of a foundry for casting bronze statues. It is assumed that in the 3rd to 1st centuries BC. Vani was a templar city.
The name of the Motsameta Church (meaning "the place of martyrs") is tied to two noble brothers of Aragveti, David and Constantine Mkheidze, who organised a revolt against the Arabs. The revolt was unsuccessful and the Arabs captured both brothers, proposing forgiveness if the brothers converted to Islam. The brothers refused and were tortured, their bodies thrown down the cliff into the river, known as Tskaltsitela (the Red Water) ever since. The bodies of brothers were buried on a nearby hill and the church declared both of them saints. Later, during the 11th century, King Bagrat IV built a temple over their graves. Motsameta was a naturally unreachable place due to its location: it is surrounded by the river from three sides and the large wall on the fourth.
Sataplia is a very interesting place for Kutaisi visitors and known for its Dinosaurs traces. The specialists think that in this view Sataplia is one of the richest places in the world. Sataplia and the traces of Dinosaurs were discovered by environmentalist P. Chabukiani, who detected there the settlement of the primitive man, together with the footprints of a Dinosaur. The Sataplia karst cave begins from North and leads to the East. 300m long, 10m. High and 12 m. wide karst cave abounds in stalactites and stalagmites. A spring is winding along its bottom. There is a speleological museum near it now. Near the Sataplia karst cave in Tetramitsa the settlement of a primitive man discovered. There were discovered a wide range of stone weapons and other material which are kept in Kutaisi Ethnographically Museum.
“Prometheus” cave is one of the richest caves of Europe. It is characterized by the variety of underground rivers and beautiful landscapes. Golden Fleece cave meets all needs of international tourism level. Walking route for tourists is 1060 m. Also tourist will sail by boats in underground lake (280m) In nearby territories where there are other caves speleological tours can be organized. The total length of these caves is 15 555 m.