Kutaisi – Antique Kutaia. – Old Kutay. In history, it was the second capital of Georgia after Tbilisi in scale. According to the legend of the Golden Fleece, Kutaisi is the land where the epic legend of the Argonauts was played out. In the 6th century BC, the tribes of western Georgia formed a state, the Kingdom of Colchis, lying along the eastern coast of the Black Sea. The legend speaks of the brave Greeks, who were led by Jason, crossed the Straits of the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus and reached the shores of the Kingdom of Colchis, where the powerful King Aiet ruled, and where the golden fleece was kept. Ancient Colchis kept in secret how to get gold; the discovery of this mystery and the acquisition of golden sheep wool were the quest for the Argonauts.
Bagrati Church – (11th c). This is an old architectural monument of Kutaisi. Currently, only ruins are left from the church. The church is one of the UNESCO heritage.
The Gelati complex consists of the Church of the Virgin Mary (the main church), St. Nicholas, St. George, as well as the Academy, which was the center of cultural and spiritual life. The Gelati Monastery complex was founded by King David the Builder in the 12th century. Here the walls are decorated with the finest examples of Georgian painting and frescoes. Among them is the only surviving portrait of King David the Builder, whose grave is located at the gates of the monastery. The giant 12th century mosaic of the Virgin and Child is absolutely unique.
The complex of the Motsameta Monastery (8th – 11th century) is beautifully located between the valleys of two rivers near Kutaisi. Here, in the 8th century, the brothers David and Konstantin Mkheidze, the governors of the region, were killed by the Arabs because they refused to accept Islam – a foreign faith for them. The old church was destroyed. The existing monastery complex was founded on the site of the old church by King Bagrat in the 11th century. Monastery “Motsameta” means “monastery of martyrs”. The sacred remains of the brothers are preserved in the crypt of the church.
Sataplia Cave is a rather small cave, known for its beautiful stalactites and stalagmites and dinosaur footprints nearby. The tour enters through one cave in a single slope, crosses the hill under the ground and then returns to the surface past the dinosaur tracks. This cave is difficult to reach and it is not very visited by individual travelers.