Number of inhabitants: 7 300

Area (km²): 30 km2

Dusheti is first mentioned in the historical sources in 1215, although the place had been populated since antiquity. In the late Middle Ages this was the residence of the princes of Aragvi. Later on, Dusheti developed its importance due to its location on the main military road connecting Georgia to Russia. Dusheti was officially declared a town in 1801. Following the establishment of Soviet rule, the urban culture of Dusheti declined, and private enterprises and workshops were closed. Soon afterwards, the Military Road was also re-routed. Dusheti remains a small town with a modest but remarkable historical district overlooked by the medieval palace. It is of particular national importance due to the fact that the prominent writer and statesman Ilia Chavchavadze worked here in the 19th century.

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Statement by the Governor about COMUS Statement by the Governor about COMUS

"In our view, COMUS will create the right conditions for the historic towns, like Dusheti, to elaborate efficient strategies for urban development, based on heritage resources in towns, with the active participation of local citizens, reflecting their vision for the future. We expect that the project will assist us in better using the town’s potential, especially as regards its rich and diverse cultural heritage, in order to increase the local attractiveness, develop a specific Dusheti “brand”, strengthen the sense of local identity and improve people’s income. Our main challenge is to bring back the vibrant urban life to the town. To achieve this goal, careful and democratic planning is necessary. We, the local government of Dusheti, will spare no effort to make the best use of the possibilities offered by the project, to contribute to a better future for our town."

Governor of Dusheti municipality

Priorities Priorities

Heritage specificities

The Dusheti urban fabric incorporates both medieval and 19th-20th century architecture. Amongst these, the 9th century Church is the most ancient one. And yet, what makes the town of Dusheti a distinguished architectural phenomenon are the residential houses of high artistic merit. Amongst the outstanding old dwellings is the ancient “Darbazi” which is preserved within the later mid-19th century house which represents the marvelous example of Georgian Darbazi type of vernacular dwelling. The ancient archaeological layers give additional historical value to the 19th century town. Of special importance for local identity are the late medieval “White palace”, the drama theatre (since 1880) and the Geophysical Observatory (since 1935).

Local challenges

As with many other small towns in Georgia, Dusheti is striving to regain its economic prosperity, lost after the collapse of the Soviet system. Creating a stable basis for employment, education, culture and enterprise development, reducing emigration are the challenges to overcome. Heritage is regarded by Dusheti’s local government as one of the resources for achieving balanced economic development. COMUS is expected to assist local government with up-to-date methodologies and with building capacity for managing the large-scale rehabilitation works.

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