Kutaisi is located in the most beautiful part of Georgia. The city, built on the banks of the Rioni River has a great history. It is one of the most ancient cities in the world. It was first mentioned in the ancient Greek mythology and history during the Minoan era (B.C XVII-XV century). Kutaisi is also mentioned in a famous Greek epic poem “Argonautica”, written 3300 years ago. In the VI century the cities of Lazika-Egrisi (a kingdom which existed in that time on the territory of present Western Georgia) turned into the war arena between Byzantines and Persians. In the VIII century Kutaisi was the capital of the Kingdom of Abkhazia-Egrisi. In the X century there was a war for the unification of Georgia that was led by Bagrat III (975-1014) and in 978 he brought the throne to Kutaisi. He built a wonderful church in the city which is a symbol of united Georgia. For 124 years (978-1122) Kutaisi was the capital of the United Kingdom of Georgia. In the XV century, after the division of the country, Kutaisi became the capital of the Kingdom of Imeretia. With its culture, history and economy Kutaisi is an outstanding city. Many famous poets, writers, scientists, public figures, musicians, composers, linguists, painters, world-class opera singers, Olympic champions of the World and Europe and prize winners lived in the city. The city has a 100 year-old theater named after a theatre actor and director Lado Meskhishvili, an opera and a puppet theater. Worldwide famous songs Suliko and Cicinatela were written in Kutaisi. The city has a long sport tradition. Five-time world chess champion Maia Chiburdanidze, famous basketball and football sportsmen were raised here. Kutaisi is also home to the State University of Akaki Tsereteli, private and higher education institutions, art galleries and museums. The people from Kutaisi are distinguished for their hospitality, politeness, sharp-wit and their delicious cuisine is known all over Georgia. The marvelous views spread out from Bagrati Temple and the beauty of Khvamli’s mountain, the gorge of the Rioni River and the Kolkheti Lowland is easily noticeable from there. The antiquity of the city is merged with modern buildings and cultural monuments.