|Elevation||25 m (82 ft)|
|Time zone||Georgian Time (UTC+4)|
Samtredia (Georgian: სამტრედია) is a town in Imereti, Georgia, lying in a lowland between the rivers Rioni and Tskhenis-Tsqali, 244 km (152 mi) west of Tbilisi, and 27 km (17 mi) west of Kutaisi, the nation’s capital and the second largest city respectively. Georgia’s most important roads and railways converge there, making Samtredia the country’s vital transport hub. The Kopitnari Airport is also located in 10 km (6 mi) from Samtredia. The town's population is 29,694 as of the 2002 all-Georgia census. The climate is humid subtropical, with mild and warm winters and hot summers.
Samtredia evolved as a town from a crucial railway junction in the 1870s and acquired a town status in 1921. Under the Soviet rule, it was industrialized for the production of food and wood. Due to its strategic location, Samtredia played a prominent role in the civil unrest early in the 1990s. In a high-profile incident, from July 26 to 31 1990, the Samtredia junction was blocked by anti-Soviet opposition groups which forced, in this way, the Soviet Georgian leadership to adopt a liberal election code. The junction was again blocked, this time by the new government of Zviad Gamsakhurdia, in March–April 1991 in an attempt to exert pressure on the central Soviet authorities. This blockade, however, inflicted a heavy damage to the economy of Georgia and the neighboring Republic of Armenia which was largely dependent on Georgia’s railways. Later in 1993, Samtredia became one of the major battlegrounds in the Georgian Civil War in which the forces loyal to the ousted President Gamsakhurdia confronted the post-coup government troops, and briefly controlled the town from October 17 to October 23, 1993, putting all communications to Tbilisi under threat. Although Samtredia has been stable ever since, the post-Soviet crisis resulted in a significant economic decline the effects of which have not completely been reversed.
Famous people from Samtredia
- Samtredia Municipality. Imereti regional administration. Accessed on May 1, 2008.
- Jonathan Wheatley (2005), Georgia from National Awakening to Rose Revolution: Delayed Transition in the Former Soviet Union, p. 52. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., ISBN 0-7546-4503-7.
- Cornell, Svante (2001), Small Nations and Great Powers: A Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict in the Caucasus, p. 173. Routledge, ISBN 0-7007-1162-7.