Located 157 km from Tbilisi at 1,740 meters above the sea level, this small town was founded by a monk called Stephan, who built a hermitage here. This town’s name, Stepanstsminda is a portmanteau of the two words, ‘Stephan’ and ‘Saint.’
Just like Mtskheta, Kutaisi is a former capital and one of the oldest cities in Georgia. Its UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bagrati Cathedral, is a 11-century old building that was built during the rule of King Bagrat III. During the various invasions, it was destroyed many times and was entirely reconstructed in 2012. Next to Bagrati Cathedral stands the Gelati Monastery founded in 1106 by King David IV (known as David the Builder). Historically, it was one of the primary cultural centres of the country and was recognised as one of the earliest educational institutions of the state.