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Telavi (Municipality, Georgia)


Last modified: 2012-08-28 by ivan sache
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[Flag of Telavi]         [Arms of Telavi]

Flag and arms of Telavi - Images communicated by The State Council of Heraldry at the Parliament of Georgia, 23 February 2012

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Presentation of Telavi

The municipality of Telavi (70,589 inhabitants in 2002, 21,800 in the town proper), the capital of Kakheti, a region of eastern Georgia, is located 160 km of Tbilisi.
Telavi was mentioned in Ptolemy's Geography as Teleda. The center of the Kakheti-Hereti Kingdom in the 11th century, Telavi was one of the most important towns in Georgia in the 12th century. Seized in the middle of the 13th century by the Mongols, the town was ruled by the warlord Sadun Mankabederli. While the town emerged again in the 15th-16th centuries, the conquest by Shah Abbas I stopped its development.
In the late 17th century, King of Kakheti Archil II transferred the royal residence from Gremi to Telavi. The rulers and their families lived in the town, which became the cultural center of the kingdom, with the set up in 1758 of a college of philosophy and religion, transformed in 1782 in a seminary. Most statesmen of the times were taught there. In 1801, the Kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti was incorporated to the Russian Empire, Telavi being the capital of the Telavi Mazta administrative division.

Source: Telavi page on the Kakheti Region website

Ivan Sache, 4 June 2012

Flag of Telavi

The flag and arms of Telavi are prescribed by Decree No. 19, adopted on 26 July 2011 by the Municipal Council.

The flag of Telavi is horizontally divided red-blue with a white Pegasus all over.
The flag is derived from the coat of arms, which is "Per fess, 1a. Gules a Pegasus argent, 1b. Argent two bunches of grapes and two leaves of grapevine all vert, 2. Azure seven mounds, 4 + 3, the top mounds ensigned with four towers the whole ensigned with a crown all yellow. The shield surmounted by a three-towered mural crown argent fimbriated sable. Under the shield a scroll argent fimbriated sable charged with the name of the town in Georgian capital letters sable".

Source: The State Council of Heraldry at the Parliament of Georgia (website).

The second quarter of the arms, obviously, represents wine-growing. Kakheti is self-styled "Wine Land" and vineyards cover 8,857 ha in Telavi. In 1886, Alexander Chavchavadze set up in the village of Tsinandali a wine-cellar, today part of the Alexander Chavchavadze Museum. The museum maintains a collection of 16,500 bottles. The oldest wine of the collection ("Polish Honey") was bottled in 1814, while the oldest Georgian wine of the collection ("Saperavi"), was bottled in 1841.
The base of the shield symbolically depicts the Telavi citadel, completely revamped in the 18th century by King Heraclius II (1720/21-1798, crowned in 1744); the tradition presents the citadel as the birth and death place of the king. Covering an area of 3 ha, the citadel is enclosed in a stone fence with rounded merlons defended by four cylindrical towers. The citadel includes a castle rebuilt several times, two churches, from the 10th-11th and 18th centuries, respectively, a bath house and a tunnel.

Source: Telavi page on the Kakheti Region website

Ivan Sache, 4 June 2012