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Kutaisi (Town, Georgia)


Last modified: 2018-12-17 by ivan sache
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Flag and arms of Kutaisi - Images by The State Council of Heraldry at the Parliament of Georgia, 25 January 2011

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Presentation of Kutaisi

The municipality of Kutaisi (147,635 inhabitants in 2014;, therefore the 3rd most populous town in the country 6,770 ha) is the capital of Imeriti.
Kutaisi was listed by The Telegraph among Europe's 16 oldest cities. Kutaisi was the capital of the Kingdom of Colchis, an ancient region of the southern Caucasus, from as early as the second millenium BC. The city has been the centre of multiple conflicts between Georgian kings, and Russian and Ottoman rulers, and was an industrial centre when Georgia formed part of the Soviet Union. Its state historical museum contains 16,000 artefacts relating to Georgian history and culture.

The Bagrati cathedral was restored in 2012 against the wishes of UNESCO, which then placed it on its list of World Heritage Sites in Danger, saying the project wuld "undermine the integrity and authenticity of the site".
[The Telegraph, 24 October 2018]

The World Heritage Committee, holding its 34th session chaired by João Luiz da Silva Ferreira, the Minister of Culture of Brazil, has inscribed the site of Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery (Georgia) on the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Committee expressed its serious concern about irreversible interventions carried out on the site as part of a major reconstruction project. The Committee believes this project will undermine the integrity and authenticity of the site and should be immediately halted.
The construction of Bagrati Cathedral, named after Bagrat III, the first king of united Georgia, started at the end of the 10th century and was completed in the early years of the 11th century. The Gelati Monastery, whose main buildings were erected between the 12th and 17th centuries, is a well-preserved complex, with wonderful mosaics and wall paintings. The cathedral and monastery represent the flowering of medieval architecture in Georgia.
[UNESCO, 29 July 2010]

A decision adopted on Sunday, introduced a major reduction in the boundaries of the Georgian site of Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery, inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1994 and on the List in Danger in 2010. The new boundaries exclude Bagrati Cathedral, which has undergone major reconstruction detrimental to its integrity and authenticity. The decision retains the Monastery of Gelati's World Heritage standing as a site of outstanding universal value.
[UNESCO, 10 July 2017]

Founded in 1106 in the west of Georgia, the Monastery of Gelati is a masterpiece of the Golden Age of medieval Georgia, a period of political strength and economic growth between the 11th and 13th centuries. It is characterized by the facades of smoothly hewn large blocks, balanced proportions and blind arches for exterior decoration. The Gelati monastery, one of the largest medieval Orthodox monasteries, was also a centre of science and education and the Academy it housed was one of the most important centres of culture in ancient Georgia.
On the lower southern slopes of the mountains of the Northern Caucasus, Gelati Monastery reflects the 'golden age' of medieval Georgia, a period of political strength and economic growth between the reigns of King David IV 'the Builder' (1089-1125) and Queen Tamar (1184-1213). It was David who, in 1106 began building the monastery near his capital Kutaisi on a wooded hill above the river Tskaltsitela. The main church was completed in 1130 in the reign of his son and successor Demetré. Further churches were added to the monastery throughout the 13th and early 14th centuries. The monastery is richly decorated with mural paintings from the 12th to 17th centuries, as well as a 12th century mosaic in the apse of the main church, depicting the Virgin with Child flanked by archangels. Its high architectural quality, outstanding decoration, size, and clear spatial quality combine to offer a vivid expression of the artistic idiom of the architecture of the Georgian “Golden Age” and its almost completely intact surroundings allow an understanding of the intended fusion between architecture and landscape.
[UNESCO World Heritage List, 10 July 2017]

Ivan Sache, 8 December 2018

Flag of Kutaisi

The flag and arms of Kutaisi are prescribed by Decree No. 203, adopted on 25 February 2009 by the Municipal Council.

The State Council of Heraldry at the Parliament of Georgia, 25 January 2011

The flag of Kutaisi is quartered green-blue with a big yellow "Georgian" cros patty in the middle and a smaller yellow "Georgian" cross patty in each quarter.

The charges and colors used in the coat of arms express the historical past, dignity, wealth of the residents of Kutaisi and the historical power of the region. Vert and the sails furled lymphad (antique ship) represent the hope for the future and aspiration to the noble goal.
The colors of the flag and arms are taken from historical documents of the 18th-19th centuries, mostly the green coat of arms designed for Imeritia by Vakhushti Bagrationi. Moreover, the Kingdom of Colchis and its capital, Aia (Kutaia, Kutaisi) is related to the legend of Argonauts, therefore the Golden Fleece, which is basically fixed with or on a field azure field in the heraldry of the Western Europe. Azure and the lymphad also reflects arrival of Argonauts by sea to the Kingdom of Colchis.
In addition, the Golden Fleece expresses the "heavenly lamb", as the spiritual and intellectual sun in the Christian symbols. This highlights Kutaisi, as one of the spiritual and intellectual pillows of Georgia. The four-towered, or, mural crown, instead of the htree-towered argent crown used for other municipality, recalls that Kutaisi was the capital of Georgia in the early medieval centuries.
[State Council of Heraldry at the Parliament of Georgia]

One of the most famous myths about the land that we now know as Imeretia is the legend about the golden fleece and the Argonauts' journey. It can be explained by the natural riches of the land, where the precious metal was to be found in abundance. Colchis was an ancient land, nowadays incorporated in Imeretia. It is this land that became the aim for Jason and his companions, who set out to find the golden fleece belonging to a fantastic sheep Chrysomallos. Jason had to win the golden fleece in order to reclaim his right to the throne of Iolkos, maliciously taken away from him by his uncle Pelias. Yet, to win the golden fleece and get back his right to reign, he had to complete several tasks and get over many obstacles. Luckily Jason, with a considerable help of enamoured sorceress Medea, daughter of the king of Colchis, succeeded in his mission and found the fleece. Origins of the golden fleece itself, be it taken literally or as a metaphor, are probably related to the local method of extracting gold. One of them was to fish for golded nuggets in the river: the fleece was first put in the river, and afterwards put out to dry in the sun sun. Finally, it was brushed in order to collect the bits of gold stuck to the fleece.
[Visit Kutaisi]

Ivan Sache, 8 December 2018

F.C. Torpedo Kutaisi

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Flags of Torpedo Kutaisi - Images by Victor Lomantsov, 24 July 2015

The supporters of Torpedo Kutaisi (Wikipedia) use at least three flags charged in the middle with the club's emblem, horizontally divided into six yellow and green stripes (photo), plain yellow (photo), or plain green (photo).

Victor Lomantsov, 27 July 2015