Kutaisi (; 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.
GeographyKutaisi 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.
ClimateThe 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 5.2 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 30cm/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.
LandscapeKutaisi 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.
HistoryKutaisi 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 Aeetes. In 975-1122 Kutaisi was the capital of the united Kingdom of Georgia, and in the 15th century-1810 the capital of the Imeretian Kingdom. In 1810 the Imeretian Kingdom was occupied by Tsarist Russia. 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 to leave and work abroad in order to make a living. Small-scale trade prevails among the rest of population.
Education and ScienceKutaisi is one of the most important educational and scientifical centers in Georgia, hosting the Gelati Academy of Sciences which was established in the 12th century by King David IV. Here is also one of the most important educational centers in modern Akaki Tsereteli State University Georgia, established in 1930. Beside these two, there are many kinds of universities, institutes, colleges and schools in Kutaisi.
CultureKutaisi has big and one of the anciest cultural traditions. Here are the 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”
Professional Unions and Public Organizations: 1. Georgian Writers’ Union 2. Georgian Painters’ Union 3. Folk Palace
Media: Local Newspapers: “Kutaisi”, “Imeretis Moabe”, “PS”, “Akhali Gazeti”, "Kutaisuri Versia", "Chveneburebi" (Journal); Scientific Journal “Gantiadi”. TV: "Rioni"; Radio: "Dzveli Kalaki" (old City)
P. S. Also all the republican newspapers, journals and televisions have their representations in Kutaisi.
SportKutaisi has a great tradition in sports. It has many famous sport clubs. FC Torpedo Kutaisi 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 the independence National Championships and Cups. Kutaisi also had an influential basketball club. Many famous Georgian athletes grew up here.
LandmarksThe 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 of two saints, brothers David and Constantine. They were the Dukes of Margveti, and they were martyred by the Arab invaders in the 8th century. Besides the churches, there are many interesesting places in Kutaisi, such as: Sataplia Cave, where one could observe footprints of Dinosaurs. Geguti Palace, which was one of the residences of Georgian monarchs, "Okros Chardakhi" – Georgian Kings’ Palace, Pantheon, where many notable citizens are burried.
Famous people born in Kutaisi
- Aeetes - King of kingdom of Colchis
- Bagrat III - King of united Kingdom of Georgia in 975-1014
- Giorgi I - King of united Kingdom of Georgia in 1014-1027
- Bagrat IV - King of united Kingdom of Georgia in 1027-1072
- Giorgi II - King of united Kingdom of Georgia in 1072-1089
- David IV - King of united Kingdom of Georgia in 1089-1125
- Revaz Gabriadze - Cinematografiste, Writer, Director, Production Designer
- Niko Nikoladze - Georgian Public Figure
- Zakaria Paliashvili - Georgian Composer
- Meliton Balanchivadze - Georgian Composer
- Veriko Anjaparidze - Georgian Actress
- Akaki Vasadze - Georgian Actor
- Iakob Nikoladze - Georgian Sculptor, the author of the previous state flag of Georgia.
- David Kakabadze - Georgian Painter
- Władysław Raczkiewicz (1885-1947) - First president of the Polish government-in-exile, 1939-1947.
- Zurab Sakandelidze - Georgian basketball player, Olympic Champion
- Mikheil Korkiya - Georgian basketball player, Olympic Champion
- David Khakhaleishvili - Olympic Champion in Wrestling
- Teimuraz Apkhazava - World and European Champion in Wrestling
- Revaz Dzodzuashvili - Georgian football player, winner of the Bronze Medal of the World Cup 1966
- Otar Korkiya - Georgian basketball player, European Champions' Cup champion and Olympic silver medalist
- Katie Melua - singer
- Nino Burjanadze - Speaker of Georgian Parliament
Kutaisi in Abkhazian: Қәҭешь
Kutaisi in Bulgarian: Кутаиси
Kutaisi in Catalan: Kutaïsi
Kutaisi in Czech: Kutaisi
Kutaisi in Danish: Kutaisi
Kutaisi in German: Kutaissi
Kutaisi in Estonian: Khuthaisi
Kutaisi in Spanish: Kutaisi
Kutaisi in Esperanto: Kutaisi
Kutaisi in French: Kutaisi
Kutaisi in Korean: 쿠타이시
Kutaisi in Indonesian: Kutaisi
Kutaisi in Italian: Kutaisi
Kutaisi in Hebrew: כותאיסי
Kutaisi in Georgian: ქუთაისი
Kutaisi in Hungarian: Kutaiszi
Kutaisi in Dutch: Kutaisi
Kutaisi in Japanese: クタイシ
Kutaisi in Norwegian: Kutaisi
Kutaisi in Norwegian Nynorsk: Kutaisi
Kutaisi in Polish: Kutaisi
Kutaisi in Portuguese: Kutaisi
Kutaisi in Romanian: Kutaisi
Kutaisi in Russian: Кутаиси
Kutaisi in Finnish: Kutaisi
Kutaisi in Swedish: Kutaisi
Kutaisi in Turkish: Kutais
Kutaisi in Ukrainian: Кутаїсі
Kutaisi in Chinese: 庫塔伊西