GEORGIA - Kutaisi

23:18 Travel Bunny 0 Comments

DSC06438_thumb1Kutaisi is the second largest city and is the legislative capital of Georgia since 2012 when the parliament of Georgia was relocated to this city. Capital at various times of several kingdoms, Kutaisi has a rich history which incidentally houses two UNESCO sites.


DSC06317_thumbArrived in Kutaisi at night to check in to the hotel, Gora Hotel.


DSC06315_thumb3The hotel’s lobby area.


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DSC06324_thumbWalked around the city at night which seemed pretty deserted.


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DSC06330_thumbMost of the shops were closed except for some eateries.


DSC06354_thumb1Kutaisi Central Park is a nice place to walk around.


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DSC06332_thumbFew statues at the park.


DSC06333_thumbDon’t know who are they though. Most probably famous Georgian poets.


DSC06338_thumbSome building with nice architecture in the city.


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DSC06343_thumbColchian Fountain at the Central Square of Kutaisi.


DSC06347_thumbColchian is actually a late Bronze and Iron Age culture of western Caucuses.


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DSC06353_thumbA theatre.


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DSC06359_thumbIf you feel lucky, try out the casino while you’re in Kutaisi.


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DSC06365_thumbThe Art Gallery of Kutaisi.


DSC06362_thumb1If you want to know more about the city, you can always go to the Tourism Information Center.


DSC06322_thumbRioni River.


DSC06368_thumbAfter exploring the city for about 2 hours, I headed back to the hotel.


DSC06371_thumb1Located up on the hill, Hotel Gora is 10 minutes walk to the city. However it was a tiring walk back to the hotel.


DSC06376_thumb3The view of Kutaisi from the hotel.


DSC06381_thumbRise and shine.


DSC06385_thumbElijah touching a leopard… statue in the hotel.


DSC06386_thumbA simple breakfast at the hotel before heading out.


DSC06389_thumbHad my breakfast while enjoying the view of the city.


DSC06379_thumb1Look, I could see Bagrati Cathedral from the hotel.


DSCF6576_thumbThe Kutaisi Cathedral of Dormition (Bagrati Cathedral), known as the symbol of united Georgian kingdom, was founded by the first king of united Georgia, Bagrat III Bagrationi (978 – 1014). It was completed in the 11th century.


DSC06443_thumb1Located up a hill, Bagrati’s Cathedral is the landmark of Kutaisi.


DSCF6586_thumbIt was partly destroyed by the Turks in 1691 where an explosion caused the cupola and ceiling to collapse.  In 1994, the Bagrati Cathedral together with Gelati Monastery was included in UNESCO World Heritage Site list as a single entity.


DSCF6578_thumb1The history of the reconstruction of Bagrati Cathedral from 1900 to 1994.


DSCF6580_thumb1The cathedral was officially rebuilt on 16 September 2012.


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DSC06416_thumb1New steel steps being installed at the side of entrance door.


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DSC06404_thumbThe archaeological excavations has revealed the cultural layers of different periods, among them the fragments of a 4th century church, the mosaic floor dated to 1003 and several royal burial vaults.


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DSC06408_thumbThe metal clad column and ceiling are modern addition to the old church which stand out in contrast. If you think this looks awkward, wait till you see the exterior of the church.


DSC06409_thumbThe reconstruction of Bagrati Cathedral is still on-going.


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DSC06420_thumbGuess what’s that giant chunk of glass structure adjoined to the building… It’s actually a lift. This is the first time I saw a lift in a church. Why would they add a modern looking lift to an old church’s facade. Can anyone please explain it to me?


DSC06423_thumbIt is no wonder that UNESCO considered the rebuilding damaged the integrity and authenticity of the site and later demanded that the reconstruction to be stopped.


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DSCF6583_thumbA steel plated cross outside Bagrati Cathedral overlooking the town of Kutaisi.


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DSC06456_thumbBack to the Colchian Fountain at the Central Square of Kutaisi for a photo stop.


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DSCF6610_thumbThen, I’m off to visit the Gelati Monastery next.


DSCF6617_thumbOn the way to Gelati Monastery, our tour guide stop by another church.


DSCF6619_thumbThe church is surrounded by forest.


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DSCF6640_thumbIt looks like an old church but I couldn’t remember its name.


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DSCF6659_thumbLight filters in through the window creating a peaceful atmosphere.


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DSCF6667_thumbThis is the mummified remains of someone important in the church.


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DSCF6675_thumbA sheep being tied aside. Hmm, I wonder where its owner is?


DSC06477_thumbFinally we arrived at the Gelati Monastery whose main building were erected between 12th and 17th centuries. In 1994, it was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The main church is in the centre, flanked by Church of St. George to the west and the two storey Church of St. Nicholas and the academy building behind it.


DSC06483_thumbThe Gelati Monastery is not simply a monastery, it is also a centre of science and education.


DSC06489_thumbThis is the 13th-century Church of St. Nicholas with a small domed church on the upper floor, approached by a stone stairway.


DSC06491_thumbAn ancient wine cellar.


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DSC06499_thumbThe original main entrance.


DSC06503_thumbThe ancient steel gate.


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DSC06511_thumbThe exterior of the main church has decorative arcading on all of its facade.


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DSC06515_thumbOn top of the main door is a mural depicting the Virgin and Child with two archangels.


DSC06518_thumbThe interior of the church is covered with frescoes which depict biblical scenes and historical personages.


DSC06521_thumbThe view of roses in glass vase is made captivating by light streaming in from many windows.


DSC06523_thumbThis is the famous 12th-century mosaic in the conch of the apse, depicting the Virgin and Child with two archangels in colour against a gold background.


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DSCF6700_thumbMany children touch the tomb of one of the greatest Georgian kings, David the Builder.


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DSC06541_thumbA bible in Georgian language.


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DSC06555_thumbLooks like a wedding on it’s way.


DSC06561Bride and bridegroom walking towards the church.


DSC06569Accompanied by sexy bridesmaids.


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DSC06579_thumbAfter Kutaisi, I headed back to Tbilisi.


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