Zugdidi (Georgian ზუგდიდი; Mingrelian ზუგდიდი ) is the capital of the Samegrelo and Upper Svaneti region, in western Georgia. It is equipped with 72,300 inhabitants (as of 1 January 2009) is the fifth largest city in Georgia and is located on the left bank of the river Enguri.
The city's name comes from either the word Surgdidi (Eng. " big hill " ) or the toponym Sybi ( Subdidi ). He was first mentioned at the beginning of the 17th century. However, it has been around much longer. Testimony that time is a domed church from the second half of the 14th century.
Until 1803 the city was a center of the western Georgian principality Mingrelien. The princes Dadiani built 1860-1890 a palace with Hofkirche and a botanical garden. The client was Achille Napoleon, a grandson of Napoleon's sister, Caroline Bonaparte, 1868, the daughter of the last ruler Mingrelian, Salome Dadiani married. The palace was built in 1894 and 2000 ravaged by fire and is currently being restored.
The city's " Museum of History and Folklore " since 1921, presents more than 41,000 objects from the collections of Dadiani Palace. These include a death mask of Napoleon, one of the French Emperor, weapons, arms, furniture, dishes and books. It also contains the, to 1453 kept in the imperial treasury of Constantinople Opel, Robe of the Virgin Mary. The relic had until 1921 their place in an Orthodox monastery near Zugdidi, was then spent by the Communist Party in the Dadiani Palace.
In Zugdidi 2005, a modern heart hospital was opened. The city has a Georgian- French high school, which allowed a French secondary school completion.
Near Zugdidi is at Djvari before entering the Enguri in the Kolchisebene the Enguri dam with the largest hydroelectric power plant in the Caucasus, at the same time highest arch dam in the world.
Zugdidi maintains with the following cities twinned:
- United States Columbus, Georgia ( USA)
Sons and daughters of the town
- Andria Dadiani, Prince of Samegrelo
- Nona Gaprindashvili, Georgian chess player
See also: List of cities in Georgia