Area: 70,0 sq. km
Population: 185 965 (2002)
The city is located in the Western Georgia (Imereti) on both banks of the Rioni river at 125-300 m height above the sea level.
It is one of the central cities of the caravan track, connecting Asia with Europe. The location of Kutaisi forms it into the binding center between various regions of the Western Georgia.
100-150 km from Kutaisi there are Poti and Batumi seaports, and also the resort zones such as Tshaltubo, Kobuleti, Abastumani, etc.
Kutaisi is one of the oldest cities of the world. Archeologists and historians continue to argue on the age of the city: some sources state that its age is 3500 years, the others – that it is 2800. The first mentions about the city concern the VI-III centuries BC. Kutaisi is mentioned in the antique works as the wonderful city of Colchis, where Medea lived, being stolen by Greek hero Jason together with “Golden Fleece”.
Since 806 it has been the capital of the Abkhazian kingdom. Before releasing Tbilisi from Turk-seljuq (1122) it was the residence of the Georgian tsars. Since the XVth century – the center of the Imeretinsky kingdom. In 1760-s it was grasped by the Turks, in 1770 it was released by Russian and American armies. In 1810 it was attached to Russia. Since 1846 it has been the center of the Kutaisi province. During the Soviet period it was the second industrial center of Georgia.
In September, 1995 under the aegis of UNESCO, people celebrated the 1000-year-old anniversary from the date of declaring Kutaisi the capital of the united Georgia.
The industrial potential of the city consists of automobile, electromechanical, tractor factories, factory of rubber-technical products, silk production association and furniture industrial complex, cotton-weaver’s and woolen factories, small and middle food enterprises.
After the disintegration of the Soviet Union the economy of Kutaisi, as well as of all Georgia, has undergone deep crisis.
In the city there are: pedagogic institute, Georgian polytechnic institute faculty, college of mines, automotive, timber and co-operative technical schools; medical, musical and cultural-educational school.
The ancient capital of Kolkhis and Imereti kingdoms of Kutaisi is considered to be one of the most original cities of the country. The interest of the tourists is raised by the picturesque embankment Rioni with «hanging verandahs», the Historical-ethnographic museum, A.G. Tsulukidze House museum, S.P. Paliashvili House museum, Art gallery and the well-known ruins of the Mother of god cathedral (a temple of Bagrati, X-XIth centuries), where David “the Builder” has been crowned.
The well-known cult center Gelati (XIIth century) with the well-known Gelati academy, the Plateau of Dinosaurs, the cave of Sataplia and the fountain near Gordi village are located near the city.
The city has opera, drama theater and puppet show.
Kutaisi has 15 twin towns in Europe and America, among them there are: Newport (Great Britain), Donetsk (Ukraine), Kharkiv (Ukraine), Rashta (Iran), Nikeja (Greece), Plovdiv (Bulgaria), Ashkelon (Israel), Samsun (Turkey), Gandzha (Azerbaijan), Gjumri (Armenia), Colombia (Missouri, the USA), Genzelkinhel (Germany), Vitoria Gastejs (Spain), etc.
Kutaisi is the member of the World organization of the twinned cities and the member of the International Council of this organization.
The agreement on cooperation between Kharkiv and Kutaisi was signed on the 23rd of August, 2005.
The annual exchanges of the official delegations are conducted within the framework of the Agreement.
In August, 2005 the Agreement on cooperation between the Commercial and industrial chambers of Kharkiv and Kutaisi were signed.
The big cultural action dedicated to the Year of Georgia and supported by the Georgian diaspora of Kharkiv city took place in August, 2005 : the State Ensemble of a song and dance of Georgia “Kutaisi” has performed concerts on the various stages of Kharkiv.
The Kutaisi scientists’ visit to the university in NTU «KPI» in January, 2006, has become the beginning of the cooperation between two higher educational establishments, aimed to create the Center of remote training in Kutaisi.
The photo-exhibition «Kharkiv – the Kutaisi twin-city» was organized in June, 2007 in Kutaisi in the honor of the Year of Ukraine in Georgia.