Rebuilt in 2010, the Dormition of the Virgin Bagrati Cathedral stands upon Ukimerioni Hill in Kutaisi, making it visible from every part of the city. This area had been inhabited from as early as the 2nd millennium BCE, with the first Christian church being built here in the 4th century.
Bagrati itself, a crossed-dome cathedral church, was built at the turn of the 10th and 11th centuries, by order of King Bagrat III, who unified Georgia. Bagrat III’s coronation ceremony took place there, and so the name of the church is connected to those events.
The power and grandeur of the church was written about by travelers for centuries, although it, along with Kutaisi Fortress, which surrounded it, fell victim to the Ottomans at the end of the 17th century.
There are inscriptions in two scripts preserved in the ruined cathedral, including one with ancient Arabic numerals that tells us the cathedral was built in 1003. Ornaments, sculptures, fragments of a mosaic floor, and traces of frescoes depicting the Virgin have been discovered here, and gold jewelry was found in the graves. There is still a three-story tower in the church to this day.