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Katharinenfeld 1941
Bolnisi COA.svg

Bolnisi (Georgian: ბოლნისი), is a city in the country of Georgia, located in the Kvemo Kartli region and capital of the Bolnisi district. Currently has an estimated 13,800 inhabitants.

In 1818 the colony Katharinenfeld was founded in Bolnisi by 95 German colonist families from Swabia. After the occupation of the Red Army in 1921, it was renamed to Luxemburg after the German communist Rosa Luxemburg. In 1941 all the Germans descendants who were not married to Georgians were deported to Siberia and Kazakhstan. In 1944 the town was once again renamed as Bolnisi.

The economy is mostly agrarian with the notable exceptions of a winery, brewery, and a gold mine in the nearby village of Kazreti.

Bolnisi is the home of the oldest dated Christian structure in Georgia.[1] It is known as Bolnisi Sioni (Sioni being Georgian for Zion and a designation used by many of their churches). This three-nave basilica church dates to the 5th century AD and features some pagan elements in its stonework. The original roof is missing but has been replaced with a modern covering.

A dedication inscription from the Bolnisi church, carved in the late 5th century, is one of the oldest dated specimens of Georgian writing. It mentions Bishop David of Bolnisi and two Sassanid kings Peroz I and Kavadh I.[1]

An airfield near the city was reported to have been bombed by Russia on August 8th, 2008 during the Russia-Georgia war. [1]


  1. ^ a b Rapp, Stephen H. (2003), Studies In Medieval Georgian Historiography: Early Texts And Eurasian Contexts, p. 316. Peeters Bvba, ISBN 90-429-1318-5.

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Coordinates: 41°27′N 44°32′E / 41.450°N 44.533°E / 41.450; 44.533