The word Senaki refers to a monk’s room in a small house, and in this city monastic life dates back to ancient times. This place has of always had a strategic purpose. In the 4th-8th centuries, the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Egrisi stood just a few kilometers from modern-day Senaki.
Later, Senaki fulfilled a more important function: in the beginning of the 20th century, a railway station was built here, and the place became an important junction on the Tbilisi-Poti railway line, while in 1921 it was granted city status.
Cultural life has always thrived here, with a theater having been situated here for many years, and books printed in the printing house including a copy of the “Knight in the Panther’s Skin” later kept in the Wardrop Library in England. A school for nobles was also established here.
Today, Senaki boasts a house of culture, museums, art galleries, sports complexes, as well as hazelnut, laurel, and tea processing factories.
In its center stands the beautiful building of the Akaki Khorava Drama Theater bearing a neo-baroque style. It was built in 1959 and today is a monument of cultural heritage. Attending a performance of the professional troupe of the theater is a widely appreciated pleasure.
Historical monuments are located on the territory of old Senaki. Particularly interesting here are the karst cave-hall under Unagira Mountain, the Shkhefi Fortress of the 4th-16th centuries, and the Teklati Nunnery of the 19th century.
If you come to Senaki in early November, do not miss "Egrisoba" festival, which is held 17 kilometers from the city, on the territory of the Nokalakevi Museum-Reserve.
Here, you can travel back to the Kingdom of Egrisi, discover local history through theatrical performances, taste sumptuous Megrelian dishes, listen to local songs, and watch horse-riding competitions including Isindi and Marula, which are monuments of intangible cultural heritage.