1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Kutais (town)

KUTAIS, a town of Russian Caucasia, capital of the government of the same name, 60 m. by rail E. of Poti and 5 m. from the Rion station of the railway between Poti and Tiflis. Pop. (1897), 32,492. It is one of the oldest towns of Caucasia, having been the ancient capital (Aea or Kutaea) of Colchis, and later the capital of Imeretia (from 792); Procopius mentions it under the name of Kotatision. Persians, Mongols, Turks and Russians have again and again destroyed the town and its fortress. In 1810 it became Russian. It is situated on both banks of the Rion river, which is spanned by three bridges. Its most remarkable building is the ruined cathedral, erected in the 11th century by the Bagratids, the ruling dynasty of Georgia, and destroyed by the Turks in 1692; it is the most important representative extant of Georgian architecture. The fort, mentioned by Procopius, is now a heap of ruins, destroyed by the Russians in 1770. The inhabitants make hats and silks, and trade in agricultural produce and wine. On the right bank of the Rion is a government model garden, with a model farm.