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Zestaponi is a municipality in western Georgia, in the Imereti region. In historical sources it is first mentioned in the XVI century. The origin of the name itself is related to the upper background (upper background of the Kvirila River). In the 20s of the XIX century there was a post of Cossack army - a post of Kvirila and at the same time, Zestaponi was called Kvirila. In the 20s of the XX century, for a short time it was called the Revolutionary Jugheli, later it regained its historical name. The opening of the Ferroalloy Plant in the ХХ century has led to the growth of Zestaponi and it has become one of the industrial centers of Georgia. The leading industrial sectors in the region are: black metallurgy, electricity food Industry, agriculture is also developed, especially viticulture. Nowadays, on the territory of the municipality is functioning a museum, 2 vocational schools, theatres and 42 libraries. The local newspaper “Zestafoni’s Moambe” is also published. People have lived in Zestaponi since ancient times and there are many monuments of historical importance in the region. Especially noteworthy is the Shorapani Fortress of ancient period, Tabakini Church of the V Century, Zeda Sakari Church of the XI Century, Sazano Fortress, Tamari’s Bridge in Chalatke, etc. Apart of cultural monuments, Zestaponi is distinguished with its beautiful nature as well. Especially popular is the Samtsvera Waterfall hidden in the greenery.
Geography and Climate
Zestafoni municipality is located in western Georgia, in Imereti region, on the Kolkheti Lowland and Imereti Highland. Its administrative center is the city of Zestaponi. The region consists of 19 administrative units (1 city- Zestaponi, 1 Daba- Shorapani, 13 community: Boslevi, Dilikauri, Ilemi, Kvaliti, Kldeeti, Meore (second) Sviri, Rodinauli, Sanakhshire, Kveda (lower) Sazano, Kveda (lower) Sakara, Shrosha, Tskhratskaro, Dzirula and 4 villages: Zeda (upper) Sakara, Zovreti, Pirveli (first) Sviri, Puti). Zestafoni is bordered by the municipalities of Terjola, Baghdati, Kharagauli and Chiatura. The height of the terrain on the territory of the municipality varies from 90 meters to 200 meters above sea level, however, in some parts of the south and east, the height reaches 1088 meters. The following rivers flow in the territory of Zestaponi: Kvirila, Dzirula, Cholaburi, Chkherimela, Buja, which are fed by rain, snow and groundwater. The hilly area of the district is covered by Colchian forests, where valuable species of trees are found (Oak, beech, ash, walnut and more). Zestafoni municipality has an average subtropical climate, with relatively cold winters and dry summers. Average annual temperature is 14°C. Average temperature in January is - 3,7-4,3°C, in August- 24°C. The hilly and mountainous zones are characterized by relatively low temperatures and west and east winds.
What to see
Zestaponi municipality is distinguished by its beautiful nature and abundance of cultural monuments. Especially popular is the Samtsvera Waterfall, which is visited by many tourists and locals in the summer. You will find many cultural and historical monuments of different periods in Zestaponi. There is located the Shorapani Fortress of the ancient period, which was built by King Parnavaz I of Kartli. According to Strabo, it was so huge that the entire population of the city could freely accommodate there. Sazano Fortress, Tamari’s Bridge, Tabakini Monastery, Sakari Church, Diklauri Fortress and many other medieval temples or fortresses are preserved in the region, that makes it very interesting and attracts many tourists. In Zestaponi the museum of local lore is functioning. The rich archaeological material preserved in the museum includes the period from the Stone Age to the XIX-XX centuries. Ceramic samples, household items, numismatics, photographs, fine art and more are featured here.
Tamari’s Bridge in Chilatke
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