Geguti Palace Geguti palace is the only remaining king’s palace from the feudal period. It dates back to the 12th century but some layers of the building involve the 5th-6th-century fragments. Although only a small part of an initial building has remained, scientists did renew the original structure of the palace. Interesting to mention that the palace had its water supply system and it was also equipped with baths. The palace had an assignment of Georgian kings' winter residence. They were spending their free time and hunting in a huge oak forest, spread around the palace.
Lado Meskhishvili State Drama Theatre Kutaisi drama theatre is the main attraction of the city’s central square. It was built in the 1950s, although the history of Kutaisi theatre began 100 years earlier. The first play was performed in 1861. Many famous Georgian artists and founders of Georgian theatre started their career in this theatre.
Resort Tskaltubo Tskaltubo Resort is located 9 kilometres away from Kutaisi. The unique attraction of Tskaltubo is its architecture, which is represented by Stalin’s “Empire” style buildings. Part of them still needs renovation. Although, exactly these buildings attract the admirers of industrial tourism. It was a famous resort even back in the VII-IX centuries for its thermal-radon mineral water springs. Hot springs are incomparable in their healing qualities and have distinct stable physical and chemical composition. Mineral water is flowing constantly, which ensures the preservation of homogeneity. The natural temperature of the water varies between 33 and 35°C, it is mild, twinkling and scentless. The water can cure the following diseases: locomotive system disorder, peripheral nervous system diseases, cardiovascular system disease, skin and endocrine diseases, gynaecological disorders, metabolic disorders, etc. The water is recommended for adults as well as for kids. Healing rehabilitation centres are located in the central park (78 hectares), in the middle of the city. Here the baths are supplied with the underground mineral water. The park is afforested by deciduous and coniferous trees, decorative plants and flowers, which harmoniously create a nice climate of the city.
Resort Sairme Mineral springs of resort Sairme have been examined yet in the 19th century. The springs have a broad spectrum of healing properties for different diseases like urethral calculi, gallbladder-peeling diseases, metabolic disorders, gastrointestinal diseases. On the territory of the resort, comfortable buvettes are located. Each spring is considered for special indications. In addition to these, the resort has thermal spa and wellness centres, 800 meters long ZIP Line, compak sporting, outdoor pools and the city of ropes.
David Kakabadze Fine Art Gallery A gallery located in the centre of the city holds important works of Georgian fine art. It was founded in 1974 and nowadays collects nearly 3000 exponents. A visitor will find out paintings of worldwide famous Georgian artists, such as Niko Pirosmani, David Kakabadze, Felix Varla and paintings of . The gallery is named after David Kakabadze who was born in a little village near Kutaisi. By the help of Georgian philanthropists, he studied at the University of Petersburg and graduated it in 1916. He returned to Tbilisi for a little while. After that, the Georgian government sent him to Paris where he was living in between 1919-1927 years. His drawings represent pretty little villages of his homeland Imereti and it was also him who made a vast collection of cubist paintings. Some of them you can find in the Gallery. Innovations of David Kakabadze are important even today. He created a conception of glassless stereo cinematograph and he was working on technical methods of lighting, 3D image, etc.
Kutaisi State Opera The building in the centre of the city, adorned with magnificent statues typical for Antique time is Kutaisi Opera House. Kutaisi has an important role in the history of Georgian opera. It’s partly because that the founder of Georgian opera, Meliton Balanchivadze (by the way also the father of one of the worldwide famous ballet master George Balanchine), was born and had received elementary education in a little village near Kutaisi. Zakaria Paliashvili, the composer of famous Georgian operas “Abesalom and Eteri” and “Daisi”, was also born and raised in Kutaisi. One can pay a visit to his house-museum on the Varlamishvili street. At the place where nowadays Kutaisi Opera House is located, at that time Kutaisi Theatre was holding shows. At different times there were different establishments, but all of them were connected to music. In 1969 new building was erected. Georgian, as well as internationally famous operas like Traviata, Rigoletto, Pagliacci (Clowns), are staged here till today. Kutaisi Opera house was renovated in 2010 and it was opened on the 29th of December.
Kutaisi State Historical Museum Interesting facts about the past of Kutaisi and its surrounding area can be discovered in Kutaisi State Historical Museum. It holds Antiquity and Bronze Age artefacts found on the territory of Western Georgia. You can observe unique items of Georgia’s cultural heritage, which date between IX - VII BC to the late Medieval period. Because of the Soviet occupation and the closure of churches and monasteries, unnecessary for that time icons and holy treasuries were kept in this Museum. You can have a look at the works of the old enamel artistry, their beautiful adornment and ornaments.
Prometheus Cave The Prometheus Cave is the biggest and richest karst cave in Georgia, located 20 km from Kutaisi near the balneological resort Tskaltubo. One will be enchanted by the mysterious underground landscapes of the cave. Stalactites and stalagmites, formed over millions of years, create a uniquely magical atmosphere. The experience is enriched by a kaleidoscope of colors and classical music. A complete walking path is 1,5 km long that goes through large caverns. Visitors can extend their visit by taking an optional 10 - minute - long boat trip. The constant temperature inside the cave is 14 C year-round.
Contemporary architecture of Kutaisi In a futuristic structure, designed by Spanish architects Alberto Domingo and Carlos Nazaro Parliament of Georgia were functioning for 6 years. It is the first precedent of 21th-century creative architecture in Kutaisi. Its unique shapes and unusual structure create an impression of a spaceship. Writer David Turashvili once compared it to the elephant sketch from “The Little Prince” of Antoine de Saint-Exupery. Former Parliament building is one of the must-see places for visitors to Kutaisi.
Synagogue History of Jewish people living in Georgia counts not only centuries but millenniums. Although, the first official notes about their settling dates the year of 1644. The Jewish quarter is located in the central part of the city. In that territory, nowadays three synagogues are presented. The biggest of them is the second largest synagogue in Georgia, and it was built in 1853. Another one, which was built in 1912, is enclosed with other buildings where Hebrew was taught and different Jewish rituals were held. For example, a bakery where Matza was prepared. Jews of Kutaisi were having a significant role in the development of the city. In the 60s of the 20th century during the repatriation of Jewish people from the Soviet Union to Israel, the main part of the Jewish community had left Kutaisi. Boris Gaponov was a Jewish lexicographer, who had translated “The Knight in Panther’s Skin” from Georgian into Hebrew. In 2014 his statue was placed at the entrance of the main synagogue.
Mtsvanekvavila Church Mtsvanekvavila church is located on the left bank of river Rioni, looking over the whole historic Jewish quarter. The main church was built in the 17th century. Another older church is of 1013 years but only its ruins have remained through difficult times. The name “Mtsvanekvavila” means Green Flower. In 1956 Pantheon of Writers and Public Figures was founded in the surrounding area of the church. Many prominent Georgians are buried there: Ioseb Otskheli, who established the first Georgian gymnasium in West Georgia, Meliton Balanchivadze _ the first of Georgian opera music composers and a father of prominent American choreographer George Balanchine. From the upland of Mtsvanekvavila, one can enjoy the beautiful scenery of the city and its surroundings.
Gelati Gelati Monastery is an important historical monument of Georgia. The decision to build it was taken by the king of Georgia _ David the Builder. It was constructed between 1106 - 1125 years. The last features were added and the monastery got its final face in 1130. The main attraction of the complex is a monastery, which is kept in its initial structure. Drawings of a dome are of the 12th century. The mosaic composition of the Virgin Mary and archangels on the inside wall of the sanctuary dates back to 1125-1130 years. Wall paintings are renewed in the 16th and 18th centuries although 12th-century murals are also preserved on the west porch. The monastic complex includes Gelati Academy _ a secular building, a cultural and educational centre of that time where all prominent Georgian philosophers created their work. Because of this assignment, contemporary people called it “Another Jerusalem” or “Another Athens”. Gelati Academy left a priceless cultural-scientific heritage in the form of handwritten books, which are now preserved in the Kutaisi State Historical Museum.
Motsameta Monastery In the valley of river Tskaltsitela, amongst the velvet mountains of Imereti, stands Motsameta monastery _ one of the most important monuments of Georgian culture. “A place of Martyrs” or “Belonging to Martyrs” _ this is the meaning of its name, which is frequently hard to pronoun and perceive for foreign guests In the 8th century during the invasions of Caliph Marwan ibn Muhammad, the Arabs tortured David and Konstantine, dukes of Argveti (historical district of that time) and drowned their bodies in river Tskaltsitela. The river has washed ashore their corps exactly at the place where the monastery stands nowadays. David and Konstantine were buried in the church of Annunciation, which had been demolished by Arabs. Later the church was reconstructed and given the name of sanctified martyr brothers.
White Bridge Kutaisi is a city of bridges and almost all of them are of historical significance. White Bridge is one of the main attractions of the city. It was built in 1850 by military engineer Vite. In 1860 the railings of the bridge were painted in white colour, what has determined its name _ White Bridge. White stones under the bridge, traceried, transparent railings, nice view of an old town _ the harmony of this composition creates a sense of airiness which is so attractive for locals as well as for tourists. A photo which is taken on the White Bridge, with “Picasso Boy” is a must_have souvenir in memory of the city - Kutaisi.
Colchis Fountain In the middle of the city, on its main square stands an interesting fountain. It is decorated with enlarged models of archaeological artefacts found on the whole territory of Georgia. For example, the famous bronze sculpture “Tamada”, which dates back to the 7th century BC. In the Georgian language, “Tamada” means a leader of the “supra” feast table who proposes toasts. The main figure of the fountain represents a woman’s temple jewellery _ magnificent model of antic time goldsmithery.
Golden Marquee According to historical sources, the king’s residence was located on the left side of the river Rioni in the Middle Ages. A complex of several buildings located at the territory of White Bridge is described in the notes made by different travellers. From various assignment buildings included in this complex, only one withstood the test of time _ double floured building, where the king held meetings and hosted honourable guests. The building is called “Golden Marque”. 19th-century “castle” went through significant changes, although it still contains fragments dating back to 17th century. It bears a great value as a rare monument of Georgian secular building’s architecture of Middle Ages. In the courtyard of Golden Marque stands 800 years old plane tree, which is also mentioned in the notes of 17th-century travellers.
Central Garden Kutaisi’s central garden once was owned by princess Darejan, a daughter of Imeretian king Solomon the first. It was passed to her as a wedding gift when she married to Qaikhosro Abashidze. The princess possessed the garden before 1820. After that time the garden experienced many transformations, but its significance had never changed as it still remains the main gathering place for people living in Kutaisi. In the 19th century, people called the garden “Boulevard”. The central garden was a location where gymnasists were having dates, poets and revolutionaries were holding meetings and the country’s main political issues were discussed. Not much of those things have changed. Prominent Georgian public figures’ statues are erected in the garden today. Poet Akaki Tsereteli, composer Zaqaria Phaliashvili and famous Georgian singers “Debi Ishkhnelebi” are these people.
Botanical Garden The botanical garden of Kutaisi was opened in 1840, and it is located one kilometre away from Kutaisi’s central square. One will have a nice experience if she/he will walk this way from historical “Chain Bridge” to the garden. On the way to the garden, you can examine catholic quarter and their historical church, along with another church _ “Mtsvanekvavila”, which literally means “Green Flower”. The flora of the garden includes subtropical trees and bushes, different kinds of flowers. One can notice squirrels while having a nice walk in the garden. In the centre of the Botanical Garden stands 400 years old oak tree. Inside the tree, you can find a tiny chapel.
“Sataplia” nature reserve Nature reserve “Sataplia” is located near Kutaisi, only 6 km away from the city. This is a unique place, where you will find footprints of dinosaurs living millions of years ago, travel inside a prehistoric cast cave, visit Colchis forest and enjoy Imereti’s panoramic view from the glass bridge of Sataplia. The reserve was discovered in 1935. About 200 footprints of predator and plant-eater dinosaurs have been numbered in the area.
Bagrati Cathedral The cathedral of the Dormition, which we name as “Bagrati Cathedral” was built in 11th century, by the king Bagrati the third as a symbol of unification of Georgia. The cathedral looks over the city. From the mountain Ukimerioni, where it stands, one can observe almost the whole Kutaisi. According to narration, King David the Builder, the mightiest king of Georgia, was crowned exactly under its dome.