It was a surprise to see and “Art Nouveau” entrance with a French writing in Kutaisi!
I have found that the Georgian Government made a decision in September 2007 to renovate the historical parts of Kutaisi. The project is online and this is where I found the following information. 38 buildings were restored, among which Mon-Plaisir Cinema
The Monplaisir was the second cinema to be opened in Kutaisi. It was situated in the house of Stapane Peikrishvili, next to Kutaisi Puppet Theatre, and belonged to the film enthusiast Gabriel Cherekishvili. Its original proscenium arch has been restored.*
On the borders of the Veriko Anjaparidze gardens stand an impressive twenty columns memorial. I have extensively searched but have found no clues about the meaning of this monument. It stands on the right of the Riding statue of King David IV the Builder.
This amazing monument is made of five walls, each with a huge round hollow in the middle and a statue standing on top of a staircase. It stands in a small sculpture park, the Tsulukidze garden next to the larger Veriko Anjaparidze gardens. I have no further information about it.
Alexander Tsulukidze was the son of the noble Tsulukidze family. Together with Stalin, he played a main part in the revolutionary processes that lead to the USSR.
Bagrat cathedral stands on top of Ukmerioni Hill and is seen here from the city center. Bagrat cathedral is one of the landmarks of Georgia. It was built in the Xith by King Bagrat III. During the golden age of Georgia, Svetskhoveli in Kartlia, Alaverdi in Kakhetia and Bagrat in Kutaisi were the jewels of Georgia’s cathedrals. This is where King David was crowned.
Riding statue of King David IV the Builder. The statue was carved in 1995 by Elgudja Davidovich Amashukeli, the most famous Georgian monumental sculptor. He carved also "Kartlis Deda” (Mother of Georgia) in Tbilisi and many other monumental monuments. Amashukeli, born in 1928 was a USSR official national artist and after the independence of Georgia, succeeded into being an official Georgian national artist.
Sorry, the photo is not good !
Kutaisi state historical museum stands also on the main square. We have not visited it but following what I have found, it has interesting artifacts but is in poor condition, with almost no captions, and anyway, they are only in Georgian and in Russian.
In the central square stands the huge Meskhishvili Drama Theatre. I don’t know what they were playing and who was playing but I have the photo (last photo) ! The building is impressive, as well as most official buildings in Kutaisi.
This official building has a very special and very heavy style. Each roof is topped by a sitting lion that holds its paw on a globe while on top of several columns stand tall warriors holding a spear.
I wondered what was this building. I have finally zoomed on one of the photo to read what was written on the front (last photo) It seemed to be the State Opera house. I have now checked with photos on the web and this is indeed the Opera, a branch of Tbilisi's Paliashvili Opera House.
While entering into Kutaisi, I noticed this huge mural on the side of a building. It shows Georgian at work in factories but it does not look like the classical realistic style of the Stalinist era. This one must have been drawn recently.
Unlike some of the best protected areas in Georgia, Sataplia is not big...
In Georgia 7 km far from Kutaisi at the bottom of the Caucasian Range, at the height of 500m. from the sea level there is marvelous place -- Sataplia State reserve.
There are five caves in the Sataplia Reserve but only one of them is used for the excursion purposes.
Sataplia karst cave #1 1925 was discovered by Petre Chabukiani while searching the dwelling of the primery human being. The entire length of the cave is 600m. height-length 15/ m. in the cave the thermometer shows 11 grades invariably.
The study of the Dinosaurs footprints showed that one hundred and twenty million years ago, in the mesosouri era they were made on the shores of the sea which covered today’s Sataplia. The footprints were later fixed and covered by sedimentNowadays there have been found about 200 footprints on the territory of 800 square meters, that are the footprints of 25 dinosaurs of 7 different species.
Sataplia is the only place (to my knowledge) in the world where you can find footprints of predacious as well as grass eating dinosaurs at the same time.
First click on this site: http://www.worldheritagesite.org/sites/bagratigelati.html
The church is located eleven kilometres to the east of Kuataisi, and definitely is a must see...
Gelati was founded at the beginning of the 12th century, the period with the most significant historical events in Gergia. The monastry was established by David the Builder in 1106.
Entering the yard of the Gelati Monastry one can see the architectural ensemble in the green glade: the Main Church with its three aspes facing the visitors, to the east of the it S.t. George’s domed church that is comparatively less in dimensions and St. Nicholas’ Church, a two-storeyed building with an arched passage on the ground floor, to the west of the MainCurch.
A little further there is a bell-tower rising near a spring from which drinking water is running through clay pipes to the ground floor of the bell-tower. To the west of the Main and St. Nichola’schurches rise the walls of the Academy founded by King David the Builder in the 12 th century...
I think the best way to explore it is to visit first http://www.worldheritagesite.org/sites/bagratigelati.html
Bagrati is located within Kutaisi....
Bagrati Cathedral, with its historical and artistic significance has an important place in the Art of Georgia in the middle-ages. It was the symbol of political power of Georgia, nation unity, and the victory over the enemy. And really the symbol of Kutaisi is the cathedral that looks the ancient town. On the north-eastern wall of the cathedral there is a message written in Capitall Letters. Here is mentioned that this cathedral was strengthened in 233. This date turns out to be the year 1003.
The figures, written on the cathedral's wall, are Arabic. And meny European scientist had been surprised by these inscription, because the Arabic figures had been used here ealier than in Europe.
In 1691, during the furious fights, the Turks ruined Kutaisi stronghold and exploded Bagrati Cathedral.
In August 6, 1770 the Russian army under command of Totleben, bombed out Kutaisi stronghold from Mtsvanekvavila. The dome of the Cathedral was crumbled, the pillars and the windows were destroyed.
Since 1996 Bagrati cathedral is under the protection of UNESCO In 2001 was made an agreement about the re-establishment ofsioni Bagrati cathedral which was signed by the President of Georgia Mr. Eduard Shevardnadze and the Katholikos of Georgia Ilia II.
In the rush to see as many things as if you were invoicing your holiday hours, don’t miss a riverside walk in Kutaisi. The area around the Rioni river is a place full of flavours, like a trip back in medieval times, with shady passages, decrepit houses almost falling into the river, a few bridges here and there, and a vivid atmosphere of bazaar-like merchants.
The main square is called, of course, David the Builder (or Davit Aghmashenebelis Moedani in Georgian), corresponding to the statue in the middle. While there’s no particular sight of interest around the square, you’ll find yourself crossing it a dozen times while in Kutaisi.
Modernist sculptures near the town hall are worth a small detour, and you can always eat your sandwiches in the park.
Gelati monastery is 11 km north-east of central Kutaisi. On the way to Gelati, you should not miss Motsameta, a small monastery few km doownhill. Both Gelati & Mostameta can be done in half a day, with the help of a cab (see transportation tip).
The monastery complex of Gelati dates back from 1106, when the first church and religious academy was constructed by King David the Builder, whose aim was to create a place of worship, study and knowledge second only to Jerusalem. And although this has not happened, the only original building still standing is the academy. The rest of the buildings, including the cathedral, date from King Bagrati III, who reconstructed the complex after the Ottoman destruction in 1510.
The soviets cast out the monks and closed the churches in 1922. In 1988, the churches were re-sanctified and links with the past restored.
Many Georgian rulers are buried here, including David the Builder himself, Queen Tamara and Bagrat III. At his express wish, King David the Builder is buried under the stone of the southern gatehouse, which was then the main entrance to the complex, meaning that all who came here would step on his tomb.