Historians date the royal Georgian winter palace at Geguti to the 8th century CE. It was originally constructed as a hunting lodge, consisting of a large room with a fireplace. But by the 12th century the structure had expanded to a four-tiered, 2,000 square meter palace, buttressed by a massive bulwark.
The palace had a large dome ceiling covered in glazed tile, the remains of which are visible to this day. In its heyday, light would have streamed through this dome and into the central, cross-shaped area of the hall, as well as the surrounding bedrooms, treasury, and kitchen, where, if the stories are to be believed, a deer could be roasted whole in the massive fireplace.
The remains of the royal stone bath are still preserved in the Geguti Palace, along with the remnants of the ancient sewerage system used to bring water in and out of it.
The Geguti Palace evolved further in the 13th and 14th centuries when another building and a courtyard church were built around it.
In 2006, the palace was awarded the status of an immovable cultural monument.
So if you’re ever in Kutaisi, be sure to take a quick trip to the ruins of Geguti for a glimpse of Georgia’s impressive royal residence.