The second largest city in Georgia - Kutaisi is a symbol of unified Georgia since David Agmashenebeli's (David the Builder) achievements were connected to its name. Etymologically, Kutaisi is comprised of three words - 'Qva' ('stone'), 'Mta' ('mountain'), 'Isi' (Town on a rocky mountain), which points to its striking relief. Aia - the capital of Colchis, is frequently mentioned in Greek poems of the Hellenistic period. The most prominent example is Argonautica by Apollonius of Rhodes (the 3rd century BC) - The poem about Greeks going to war in an effort to retrieve the Golden Fleece.
In the Middle Ages (in 978) Bagrat III relocated the capital of newly unified Georgia to Kutaisi. Kutaisi retained the title of the capital city until 1122.
In 1106 David the Builder founded a theological academy, also known as Gelati Academy. Among its scholars were Ioane Petritsi and Arsen Ikaltoeli (Arsen of Iqalto).
The three notable Georgian architectural monuments are Bagrati, Gelati, and Motsameta.
The city's cultural geography is diverse and its most appealing aspect is the mixture of the new and old cultures. In the 1920s Kutaisi was an avant-garde hub and a creative association Tsisferi Kantsebi (“Blue Horns”), which was founded in 1916 by the Georgian poets and writers is a testament to this. Kutaisi is acclaimed as a city of poetry. The city is simultaneously traditional and revolutionary in its sense of innovation.
Zacharia Paliashvili and a pioneer of Georgian opera music - Meliton Balanchivadze were born here. They've created a new platform for music composition by the end of the 18th century.
Kutaisi's history is ethnically diverse and a Kutaisian Jewish neighborhood, which is an integral part of the city's history is just one example of it. Nowadays, there are three synagogues in Kutaisi.
This is a city of an intersection, mixture, and synthesis, which always aspires to transformation.