Kutaisi - one of the oldest cities in Europe
Kutaisi - Aia, Kvitaioni, Kutaia, Kutatisi. It is known that Greek historians and Greek mythology attribute Kutaisi to the so-called "Age of Minos", ie around the 14th century BC. Archaeological excavations in and around Kutaisi and the artifacts discovered there, also confirm the existence of a highly developed culture in the ancient era in the area. Euripides, the founder of Greek tragedy and dramaturgy, linked the famous myth and tragedy of the Argonauts to Kutaisi - Aia (as the city was called at the time). According to the legend and tradition, it was in Aya that the heroes of the Greek epic - the Argonauts - set off for the Golden Fleece. Aia was home to the legendary King Aeetes and his daughter Medea. Greek travelers in Colchis encountered the developed kingdom, the city. Established institutions - the royal court, the army, the fleet. It is much easier to believe this story if you visit Vani Archaeological Museum near Kutaisi.
Kutaisi - the first capital of Georgia
The 10th century is important in the history of Georgia. It was in the 10th century that King Bagrat III united the petty feudal kingdoms and became the first king of the United Kingdom of Georgia. He laid the foundations of the feudal monarchy of Georgia and the state of "Georgia". Georgian culture flourished during the reign of Bagrat III. Many architectural masterpieces were built. Kutaisi was declared the capital of United Georgia. The symbol of united Georgia is the Bagrati Temple, which is erected on Ukimerioni Hill in Kutaisi and is the most important monument of medieval Georgian architecture.
Kutaisi, the city of great kings
After the unification of Georgia, Kutaisi was the political center of the country. The most distinguished and successful King of Georgia David the builder was born in Kutaisi. His name is associated with the Golden Age of Georgia, the period of prosperity of Georgia, which began in the XI century and lasted until the XIII. Gelati Monastery built by David the Builder, which is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, is located near Kutaisi. 24 Georgian monarchs, including David the Builder, are buried in Gelati. Ancient frescoes and 12th-century mosaics are preserved on the walls of Gelati.
Kutaisi - an authentic Georgian city
Kutaisi is situated almost in the central part of Georgia and does not border any of the neighboring countries. The geographical location protected the city from the influences of foreign countries, in contrast to the border towns, including the capital. Many Georgian historical and cultural roots originate from Kutaisi. Georgian classical and urban music, theater, poetry and literature, science, statehood. Inviolable, authentic architecture of the 19th century. All this together creates an authentic Georgian city and environment.
Getting ready for the journey
Isn't it impossible to travel to one city and experience a few days long, an unforgettable journey through time?
Imagine starting your odyssey by observing real footprints of dinosaurs, house-caves of prehistoric humans, nature reserves from the Jurassic period, canyons, and waterfalls.
Then find yourself in an antic time city having a close eye on jewelry, kitchenware, and materials from 8th century BC … The jewelry made of Medea’s Gold, the same Medea probably known for you from the Greek myth about Argonauts and Golden Fleece.
In a quest of past-time shadows and silhouettes, you will encounter orthodox churches of early Christianity. Somewhere on the old wall paintings of Bagrati Cathedral, Gelati, or Motsameta monasteries you may discover a history of a small country placed in between the East and the West.
And then, if you manage to escape impressions imposed on you after these experiences, you can continue the road to 19th-20th century Georgia, as revolutionary, rebellious, and romantic as the whole world of that time.
All these are fairly possible! This history, oldness, and tenseness are quieted down in old streets of Kutaisi, on old epitaphs and signboards, old-time balconies of the houses in Catholic and Jewish quarters.
But if you desire to lose a sense of time and walk away from reality, then your place seems to be on Imeruli Supra which is the name of the feast table and tradition of gathering guests and hosts together in Imereti. Tandem of superb dishes, soft Imeretian wine, and sweet Imeretian songs will swiftly take you to pronoun magic world of famous Georgian “Supra”.
Do you know that cafes in Kutaisi are more alike to cozy houses with old buffets and lampshades? The houses, we all miss time to time and wish to come back there once in a while.
It will be interesting for you to know that there are many wine cellars in little villages covering Imereti’s green hills where an attentive host will surely explain the differences between Tsolikauri, Tsitska, Otskhanuri Safere, and Krakhuna _ Imeretian wine.
As you see, there are many reasons why one day you must pack your luggage, take a ticket and discover Kutaisi _ the city, unlike any other one.