|Location||Kutaisi, Imereti Province (Mkhare), Georgia|
|Affiliation||Georgian Orthodox Church|
|Official name: Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery|
|Designated:||1994 (18th session)|
The Cathedral of the Dormition, or the Kutaisi Cathedral, more commonly known as Bagrati Cathedral (Georgian: ბაგრატი; ბაგრატის ტაძარი, or Bagratis tadzari), is the 11th-century cathedral church in the city of Kutaisi, the region of Imereti, Georgia. The cathedral, rebuilt officially on September 16, 2012 after heavy damage ages ago,served as a masterpiece in the history of modern and medieval Georgian architecture.
A distinct landmark in the scenery of central Kutaisi, the cathedral rests upon the top of Uk’imerioni Hill. It was built in the early years of the 11th century, during the reign of King Bagrat III due to which it was called "Bagrati" Cathedral, i.e., Bagrat’s cathedral. An inscription on the north wall reveals that the floor was laid in "chronicon 223", i.e., 1003. In 1692, it was devastated in an explosion by the Ottoman troops, which had invaded the Kingdom of Imereti. The incident caused the cupola and ceiling to collapse.
The conservation and restoration are at works, as well as archaeological studies, which began in 1952, are finally finished. In 1994, the Bagrati Cathedral, together with the Gelati Monastery, was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list as a single entity. In 2001, the cathedral was restored to the Georgian Orthodox Church. It is now of limited use for worship services, but attracts many pilgrims and tourists. It is also frequently used as a symbol of the whole city of Kutaisi, being one of its main tourist attractions.
Threats to Bagrati Cathedral
The ongoing reconstruction aimed at returning Bagrati Cathedral back to its original state as a religious space has led ICOMOS to recommend that it should be left as a ruin and added to the list of UNESCO Heritage Sites in danger. UNESCO considered the rebuilding damaged "the integrity and authenticity of the site", and in a later report urged the state authorities to develop a rehabilitation strategy that would reverse some of the changes, though acknowledging that the interventions may be "almost irreversible".
As of May 2012, construction of the drum was well underway against the wishes of UNESCO. The addition of a drum and dome has sparked concerns that it may weaken and stress the original walls of the cathedral with the added weight above as well as undermine the integrity and authenticity of the site, as many recent attempts to "restore" churches and monasteries across Georgia have done in recent years.
- UNESCO Report on the Mission to Historical Monuments of Mtskheta and Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery, Georgia, June 2–10, 2008.
- Article in English version of Tabula (4 October 2010)
-  Decision - 35COM 7A.29 - Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery (Georgia) (C 710), Paris, 7 July 2011
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