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ZUGDIDI

Zugdidi town is located in the western part of Georgia in the Colchis Lowland, 318 kilometres west of Tbilisi. This is a fairly young town of Georgia, founded in 1918, but despite that, it is of great historical and cultural heritage. Zugdidi is the administrative center of the Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti region. At this time period, the population here is about 70 000 people. The population consists mainly of Megrels – the most cheerful and communicative race of Georgians. The town is also known for its hydro power plant which is the biggest in the entire Caucasus region. The city serves as a residence of Metropolitan of Zugdidi and Tsaishi Eparchy of the Georgian Apostolic Autocephalous Orthodox Church.

Dadiani Palace

Dadiani palace Dadiani palace is in downtown Zugdidi. This historical palace and now museum was the residence of Dadiani family – potentates of Samegrelo. The residence of the sovereign was first built by the ruler of Odishi, Levan II Dadiani (1611-1657). Today the historical monument of Dadiani palace consists of palace units constructed under the auspices of the sovereign of Samegrelo, David Dadiani (1813-1853), his spouse, Ekaterine Chavchavadze-Dadiani (1816-1882), and their son Niko Dadiani, as well as court church and botanical garden.

In the 60-ies of the XIX century Ekaterine trusted reconstruction of Dadiani palace to a German architect, Reiss, who used Gothic style while renovating the palace. Two-level palace of Niko Dadiani was built in the 80-ies of the XIX century by a Russian architect, Vasiliev.

The museum of Dadiani palace is the oldest in Georgia. David Dadiani founded personal museum back in 1839 with archeological, numismatic, military and ethnographic rooms. There are more than 40 000 exhibits in the museum today. Among them especially should be mentioned the Shroud of the Virgin Mary, a mask of Napoleon Bonaparte, Shamil’s sword, collections of XVIII-XX century European and Georgian painting. In the Gold Fund of the museum there are exhibits of Antique and Middle Age goldsmith’s artefacts.

Zugdidi Botanical Garden

Zugdidi Botanical Garden, Zugdidi branch of Garden administered by the Georgian Academy of Sciences; was built in the late 19th century by the prince of Samegrelo David Dadiani, near his residence. The garden now has over eighty genus of exotic plants introduced from southeast Asia, India, Japan, Mediterranean and the Americas.   David Dadiani ruler of Samegrelo began the construction of a decorative garden in 1840. That year, he fenced in a forest area surrounding the palace, which was he considered his "Baghdad Palace" and set up a specialist institution for horticultural sciences. Soon care and its management of the estate passed to his wife, Ekaterina Chavchavadze-Dadiani. Ekaterina was enthusiastic about her work, and in a short time had stocked the garden with a great variety of native and exotic plants.
In 1922, the People's Commissariat of Education appointed Georgian scientist A. Chanturia as director of the garden. After 1926 the garden fell under the writ of the Georgian SSR Tbilisi Botanical Garden. The New Director of the Botanical Garden, I. Lomouri decried the dire state of the garden. He sent Professor Sosnovski, to describe and account for trees and shrubs, fenced garden area of a living fence, cleaned and restored some of the alley, planted box-curbs and so forth.

Tsaishi Cathedral

The Tsaishi Cathedral of St. Mary is administered by the Zugdidi and Tsaishi Eparchy of the Georgian Orthodox Church. The domed church was built in the 13th -14th centuries. The church was destroyed by an earthquake and was rebuilt in the 17th century. For centuries Tsaishi Church was a centre of education. The oldest part of the church is located outside the wall and dates back to the 11th century, judging by its interior.

The climate in the town is subtropical humid, with an average temperature of +25 °C for the summer and -2 °C for the winter. It very often rains here – about 1500 mm of rainfall in a year.

The climate in Zugdidi is warm and temperate. There is significant rainfall throughout the year in Zugdidi. Even the driest month still has a lot of rainfall. This climate is considered to be Cfa according to the Köppen-Geiger climate classification. The average temperature in Zugdidi is 14.0 °C.

By Train

Trains run to Tbilisi and all stops on the way. Night trains are also available, and are the most popular way to get from Tbilisi to Zugdidi, since the marshrutkas to Mestia are coordinated with them .Arrival in Zugdidi is at 6:25 (as of 2014). Marshrutkas and buses are also available to most major cities in Georgia.

By Bus

Besides getting in by Marshrutka (mini bus) there is a bus line (coaches) from Tbilisi: Metro Bus departs three times a day (5 h, 20 lari) and tickets can be purchased online. Same from Zugdidi to Tbilisi.

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