Imereti

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Location of Imereti within Georgia

Imereti is a historic province in Western Georgia, situated along the middle and upper reaches of the Rioni river. It is bordered by Racha and Lechkhumi to the north, Kartli to the east, Samtskhe-Javakheti to the south, Guria and Samegrelo to the west.

The province's main city is Kutaisi; other urban industrial centers include Samtredia, Chiatura (manganese production centre), Tkibuli (coal mining centre), Zestaponi (known for metals production), Khoni, and Sachkhere. Traditionally, Imereti is an agricultural region, known for its mulberries and grapes.

The 800,000 Imeretians speak a Georgian dialect; they are one of the local culture-groups of the ethnically subdivided Georgian people. In late antiquity and early Middle Ages the ancient western Georgian kingdom of Egrisi existed on the territory of Imereti. Its king declared Christianity as an official religion of Egrisi in 523 AD. In 975-1466 Imereti was part of the united Georgian Kingdom. Since its disintegration in the 15th century, Imereti was an independent kingdom. In the 17th-18th centuries the kingdom of Imereti suffered frequent invasions by the Turks, but managed to maintain its independence to 1810, when it was occupied and annexed by the Tsarist Russian Empire. The last King of Imereti was Solomon II (1789-1810). In 1918-1921 Imereti was part of the independent Democratic Republic of Georgia, in 1922-1936 part of the Transcaucasian Federative Soviet Socialist Republic and in 1936-1991 part of the Georgian SSR. Since Georgian independence in 1991 Imereti has been a region in the Republic of Georgia and Kutaisi is the regional capital.et:Imerethi he:אימרתי ka:იმერეთის მხარე ru:Имерети

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