Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery (1994)

Back to index

The construction of Bagrati Cathedral, named after Bagrat III, the first king of united Georgia, started at the end of the 10th century and was completed in the early years of the 11th century. Although partly destroyed by the Turks in 1691, its ruins still lie in the centre of Kutaisi. 
  • Georgia 1995. Bagrati Cathedral. 
  • Georgia 2004. Bagrati Cathedral with the UNESCO-emblem. 

Georgia 1995. Bagrati Cathedral

Georgia 2004. Bagrati Cathedral with UNESCO-emblem.

Georgia 1993. Definitive stamp. Gelati Church.

Georgia 2004. Gelati Church with the UNESCO-emblem.

The Gelati Monastery, whose main buildings were erected between the 12th and 17th centuries, is a well-preserved complex, with wonderful mosaics and wall paintings. The cathedral and monastery represent the flowering of medieval architecture in Georgia. 
  • Georgia 1993. Definitive stamp. Gelati Church in the province of Imereti. The stamp is part of a series of seven stamps "Places of Worship". The series exists also in an imperforate version. 
  • Georgia 2004. Gelati Church with the UNESCO-emblem.

Origin of the name Georgia 
Georgians call themselves Kartvelebi, their land Sak’art’velo, and their language Kartuli. These names are derived from a pagan chief called Kartlos, who is said to be the father of all Georgians. The foreign name Georgia, used in many languages of the world, is derived from Persian Gurji via the Arabic Jurj. Because the spelling was influenced by the Greek root geōrg- indicating farming, the word has been mistakenly supposed to have come from a cognate such as St. George, who is the country's patron saint. Gorj, the Persian designation for the Georgians, is also the source of Turkish Gürcü (pronounced "Gürdjü") and Russian "Gruzin". 

The name of the country is in Persian Gorjestan, in Turkish Gürcistan, and in Russian and Hebrew Gruziya. The Persian name is probably related to the wolf [gorg], the old cult of Caucasian peoples, hence Gorjestan - the land of wolves. The Armenian words for Georgian and Georgia are Vir and Virq, and derive from "Iberia", with loss of the initial 'i'- and substitution of 'w' or 'v' for the 'b' of "Iberia".

The ancient world knew the inhabitants of eastern Georgia as Iberians, from the Caucasian kingdom of Iberia, thus confusing the geographers of antiquity, who thought this name applied only to the inhabitants of the Iberian Peninsula (Spain, Portugal, Andorra, and Gibraltar). There may also be an an etymological connection between the name "Iberia" and the historic province of Georgia called Imereti. 

Sources and links: 

Other World Cultural Heritage sites in Georgia (on this web site). For more information about Georgia, please refer to the UNESCO-listing, Georgia-section

Back to index

Click the banner to return to Heindorffhus

Revised 21 jul 2006  
Copyright © 1999-2007 Ann Mette Heindorff 
All Rights Reserved