Batumi (Georgian: ბათუმი [bɑtʰumi]) is the
second-largest city of Georgia, located on the coast of the Black Sea
in the country's southwest. Situated in a subtropical zone near the
foot of the Lesser
Batumi is a popular tourist
destination known for its varying weather–it is a bustling seaside
resort during warm seasons, but it can get entirely covered in snow
during winter. Much of Batumi's economy revolves around tourism and
gambling, but the city is also an important sea port and includes
industries like shipbuilding, food processing and light manufacturing.
Batumi has been transformed by the construction of modern
high-rise buildings, as well as the restoration of classical
19th-century edifices lining its historic Old Town.
1.1 Early history
1.2 Ottoman rule
1.3 Imperial Russian rule
1.4 War, communism, and late 20th-century independence
1.5 Present day
2.3.1 Contemporary architecture
2.3.2 Novelty architecture
2.4 Sites of interest
2.4.1 Main sights
2.4.2 Tourist attractions
4.1 Notable people
5 Economy and infrastructure
6 Postage stamps
7 International relations
7.1 Twin towns – sister cities
8 See also
10 External links
Kingdom of Georgia
Kingdom of Georgia 1008–1463-1490
Principality of Guria
Principality of Guria 1460s-1564-1609-1723
Ottoman Empire 1723-1866
Russian Empire 1866–1918
British Empire 1918–1920
Democratic Republic of Georgia
Democratic Republic of Georgia 1920–1921
Main article: History of Batumi
See also: Timeline of Batumi
Batumi is located on the site of the ancient Greek colony in Colchis
called Bathus or Bathys – derived from the Greek phrase βαθύς
λιμεν bathus limen or βαθύς λιμήν bathys limin meaning
"deep harbor". Under
Hadrian (r. 117–138 AD), it was converted into
a fortified Roman port and later deserted for the fortress of Petra
founded in the time of
Justinian I (r. 527–565). Garrisoned by the
Roman-Byzantine forces, it was formally a possession of the kingdom of
Lazica until being occupied briefly by the Arabs, who did not hold it;
in the 9th century it formed part of the Bagratid monarchy of
Tao-Klarjeti and at the close of the 10th century of the unified
kingdom of Georgia which succeeded it.
From 1010, it was governed by the eristavi (viceroy) of the king of
Georgia. In the late 15th century, after the disintegration of the
Batumi passed to the princes (mtavari) of Guria, a
western Georgian principality under the sovereignty of the kings of
A curious incident occurred in 1444 when a Burgundian flotilla, after
a failed crusade against the Ottoman Empire, penetrated the Black Sea
and engaged in piracy along its eastern coastline until the
Burgundians under the knight
Geoffroy de Thoisy were ambushed while
landing to raid Vaty, as Europeans then knew Batumi. De Thoisy was
taken captive and released through the mediation of the emperor John
IV of Trebizond.
In the 15th century in the reign of the prince Kakhaber Gurieli, the
Ottoman Turks conquered the town and its district but did not hold
them. They returned to it in force a century later and inflicted a
decisive defeat on the Georgian armies at Sokhoista.
recaptured by the Georgians several times, first in 1564 by prince
Rostom Gurieli, who lost it soon afterwards, and again in 1609 by
Mamia II Gurieli. In 1723,
Batumi again became part of the Ottoman
Empire. With the Turkish conquest, the
Islamisation of the hitherto
Christian region began but terminated and to a great degree reversed,
after the area was re-annexed to Russian Imperial Georgia after the
Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78.
Imperial Russian rule
Detail from a map of Antonio Zatta, 1784, depicting Georgian
Guria and its major town Batumi.
Batumi in 1881
It was the last
Black Sea port annexed by
Russia during the Russian
conquest of that area of the Caucasus. In 1878,
Batumi was annexed by
Russian Empire in accordance with the Treaty of San Stefano
Russia and the
Ottoman Empire (ratified on March 23) .
Occupied by the Russians on August 28, 1878, the town was declared a
free port until 1886. It functioned as the center of a special
military district until being incorporated in the Government of
Kutaisi on June 12, 1883. Finally, on June 1, 1903, with the
Artvin, it was established as the region (oblast) of
Batumi and placed
under the direct control of the General Government of Georgia.
The expansion of
Batumi began in 1883 with the construction of the
Batumi-Tiflis-Baku railway (completed in 1900) and the finishing of
Batumi pipeline. Henceforth,
Batumi became the chief Russian
oil port in the Black Sea. The town expanded to an extraordinary
extent and the population increased rapidly: from 8,671 inhabitants in
1882 to 12,000 in 1889. By 1902 the population had reached 16,000,
with 1,000 working in the refinery for Baron Rothschild's Caspian and
Black Sea oil company.
In the late 1880s and after, more than 7400
Doukhobor emigrants sailed
for Canada from Batumi, after the government agreed to let them
emigrate. Quakers and Tolstoyans aided in collecting funds for the
relocation of the religious minority, which had come into conflict
with the Imperial government over its refusal to serve in the military
and other positions. Canada settled them in
Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
War, communism, and late 20th-century independence
During 1901, sixteen years prior to the October Revolution, Joseph
Stalin, the future leader of the Soviet Union, lived in the city
organizing strikes. On March 3, 1918, the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk gave
the city back to the Ottoman Empire; unrest during the closing weeks
of World War I led to the re-entry of Turkish forces in April 1918,
followed in December by British forces, who stayed until July 1920.
Kemal Atatürk ceded the area to the Bolsheviks of the
Soviet Union on
the condition that it be granted autonomy, for the sake of the Muslims
among Batumi's mixed population.
USSR collapsed in 1989,
Aslan Abashidze was appointed head of
Adjara's governing council and subsequently held onto power throughout
the unrest of the 1990s. Whilst other regions, such as Abkhazia,
attempted to break away from the Georgian state,
Adjara remained as an
integral part of the Republic's territory. Abashidze exploited the
central government's weaknesses and ruled the area as a personal
fiefdom. In May 2004, he fled to
Russia because of mass protests in
Tbilisi sparked by the Rose Revolution.
Black Sea coast continues to develop, high-rises are
being built amongst Batumi's traditionally classical cityscapes.
Batumi today is one of the main port cities of Georgia. It has the
capacity for 80,000-ton tankers to take materials such as oil that are
shipped through Georgia from Central Asia. Additionally, the city
exports regional agricultural products. Since 1995 the freight
conversion of the port has constantly risen, with an approximate
8 million tons in 2001. The annual revenue from the port is
estimated at between $200 million and $300 million.
Since the change of power in Adjara,
Batumi has attracted
international investors, and the prices of real estate in the city
have trebled since 2001. In July 2007, the seat of the Constitutional
Court of Georgia was moved from
Batumi to stimulate
regional development. Several new hotels opened after 2009, first
the Sheraton in 2010 and the Radisson Blu in 2011. The Trump Tower and
Kempinski was scheduled to open in 2013[clarification needed]. The
city features several casinos that attract tourists from Turkey, where
gambling is illegal.
Batumi was host to the Russian 12th Military Base. Following the Rose
Revolution, the central government pushed for the removal of these
forces and reached agreement in 2005 with Moscow. According to the
agreement, the process of withdrawal was planned to be completed in
2008, but the Russians completed the transfer of the
Batumi base to
Georgia on November 13, 2007, ahead of schedule.
In 2013, TAM GEO LLC announced it was investing $70 million to start
construction of the 170-meter, 45-story mix-use complex Babillon
Tower, which will be the tallest residential building in Georgia.
Batumi as seen from a nearby cliff
Batumi has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa) according to Köppen's
classification. The city's climate is heavily influenced by the
onshore flow from the
Black Sea and is subject to the orographic
effect of the nearby hills and mountains, resulting in significant
rainfall throughout most of the year, making
Batumi the wettest city
in both Georgia and the entire
The average annual temperature in
Batumi is approximately 14 °C
(57 °F). January is the coldest month with an average
temperature of 7 °C (45 °F). August is the hottest month,
with an average temperature of 22 °C (72 °F). The absolute
minimum recorded temperature is −6 °C (21 °F), and the
absolute maximum is 40 °C (104 °F). The number of days
with daily temperatures above 10 °C (50 °F) is 239. The
city receives 1958 hours of sunshine per year.
Batumi's average annual precipitation is 2,392 mm (94.2 in).
December is the wettest month with an average of 303 mm
(11.9 in) of precipitation, while May is the driest, averaging
84 mm (3.3 in).
Batumi generally does not receive
significant amounts of snow (accumulating snowfall of more than
30 cm (11.8 in)), and the number of days with snow cover for
the year is 12. The average level of relative humidity ranges from
Climate data for Batumi
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Mean monthly sunshine hours
Source #1: Climate Data
Source #2: 
According to the March 31, 2008, decision of the
Batumi City Council,
Batumi is divided into seven boroughs, those of:
Batumi (ძველი ბათუმის უბანი)
Rustaveli (რუსთაველის უბანი)
Khimshiashvili (ხიმშიაშვილის უბანი)
Bagrationi (ბაგრატიონის უბანი)
Aghmashenebeli (აღმაშენებლის უბანი)
Javakhishvili (ჯავახიშვილის უბანი)
Tamar (თამარის უბანი)
Airport (აეროპორტის უბანი)
Kakhaberi (კახაბრის უბანი)
Batumi Industrial (ბათუმის
Green Cape (მწვანე კონცხის
Street in Batumi
Batumi Neptun Square
Batumi boulevard and beach
Batumi's skyline has been transformed since 2007 with remarkable
buildings and monuments of contemporary architecture,
Radisson Blu hotel
Public Service Hall
Kempinski hotel and casino is to open in 2013, a Hilton Hotel
as well as a 47-storey Trump Tower is also planned.
Novelty architecture in
Sheraton Hotel, designed in the style of the Great Lighthouse at
Alphabetic Tower (145 metres (476 ft) high), celebrating Georgian
script and writing
Piazza, a mixed-used development in the form of an Italian piazza
Buildings designed in the style of a lighthouse, the Acropolis, and an
upside-down White House
Sites of interest
Batumi University Fountain
Adjara State Museum
Batumi Botanical Garden
Former resort area along the
Black Sea coast.
Batumi Botanical Gardens
Dancing Fountains, Batumi
Argo Cable Car
6 May Park
Batumi Sea Port
Chacha Clock Tower(defunct)
Fountain Of Neptun
Batumi Archeological Museum
Monument Of Ilia Chavchavadze 
Georgian Orthodox Cathedral of the Mother of God
Historical ethnic composition of Batumi
Although there is no religious data available separately for Batumi,
the majority of the region's inhabitants are Eastern Orthodox
Christian, and primarily adhere to the national Georgian Orthodox
Church. There are also Sunni Muslim, Catholic, Armenian Apostolic,
and Jewish communities.
The main places of worship in the city are:
Georgian Orthodox Cathedral of the Mother of God, and Saint Barbara
Catholic Church of the Holy Spirit
Saint Nicholas Church
Batumi Armenian church
Notable people who are from or have resided in Batumi:
Joseph Stalin (1878-1953) Soviet dictator
Herbert Backe, Reich Minister of Food in Nazi Germany
Odysseas Dimitriadis (1908–2005) Greek-Soviet music conductor
Eristavi (1888–1986), Georgian princess and model
Irakli Alasania (*1973), Georgian politician, Minister of Defense
Victor Asrielevich Grossman (ru), (1887–1978), writer
Sopho Khalvashi (*1986), first Georgian entrant to the Eurovision Song
Mindia Khitarishvili (*1973), composer
Konstantin Meladze (*1963), composer and producer
Valery Meladze (*1965), singer
Katie Melua, singer
Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
Arkady and Boris Strugatsky (1925–1991 ; 1933–2012), science
Ioseb Bardanashvili (*1948), composer
William Horwood Stuart (1857–1906), British diplomat who was
murdered there in 1906
Fyodor Yurchikhin (*1959), astronaut
Sergei Yesenin (1895–1925), Russian lyrical poet
Khatia Buniatishvili (*1987), a concert pianist
Devi Khajishvili (*1991), a Hollywood actor
Economy and infrastructure
The city is served by
Batumi Airport, one of three international
airports in the country. A bike-sharing scheme named BatumVelo allows
you to rent a bicycle on the street with a smart card.
The seaport of
Batumi with the city in the background.
The port of
Batumi is on one of the routes of China's proposed
Eurasian Land Bridge
Eurasian Land Bridge (part of the "New Silk Road"), which would see an
eastern freight link to China via
Azerbaijan and the Caspian Sea, and
a western link by ferry to
Ukraine and on to Europe.
Main article: Postage stamps of Batum under British occupation
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See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Georgia
Twin towns – sister cities
Batumi is twinned with:
Bari, Italy, 1987.
Donostia–San Sebastián, Spain, 1987.
Savannah, USA, 1992.
Piraeus, Greece, 1996.
Kislovodsk, Russia, 1997.
Ashdod, Israel, 2011.
Trabzon, Turkey, 2000.
Vanadzor, Armenia, 2006.
Volos, Greece, 2007.
Yalta, Ukraine, 2008.
Burgas, Bulgaria, 2009.
Marbella, Spain, 2010.
Kuşadası, Turkey, 2010.
Ordu, Turkey, 2011.
Ternopil, Ukraine, 2011.
New Orleans, USA, 2012.
Yalova, Turkey, 2012.
Nakhichevan, Azerbaijan, 2012.
Daugavpils, Latvia, 2012.
Arak, Iran, 2013.
Brest, Belarus, 2015.
Hotel Intourist Palace
^ Mekvabishvili, Kakha. "Mayor of Batumi". Retrieved October 8,
^ a b "2014 General Population Census Main Results General
Information" (PDF). National Statistics Office of Georgia. Retrieved 2
^ a b Spritzer, Dinah (9 September 2010). "Glamour revives port of
Batumi". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
^ Simon Sebag Montefiore, Young Stalin, page 77.
^ Constitutional Court of Georgia – Brief History Archived July 21,
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Russia Hands Over
Batumi Military Base to Georgia". Civil Georgia,
Tbilisi. November 13, 2007.
^ Tam Geo LLC Reporting 13 MLN Dollar sprend Archived August 15, 2013,
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^ "Climate Data". Retrieved 26 November 2016.
^ "The duration of sunshine in some cities of the former USSR" (in
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^ (in Georgian) დადგენილება N 3-1
ბათუმის უბნები[permanent dead link]
(Decision #3.1. Boroughs of Batumi).
Batumi City Council. Accessed
November 15, 2009
^ Planet, Lonely; Noble, John; Kohn, Michael; Systermans, Danielle
(April 1, 2012). "Lonely Planet Georgia,
Armenia & Azerbaijan".
Lonely Planet. Retrieved October 8, 2016 – via Google Books.
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Archived August 17, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
^ "Sheraton Hotels & Resorts Debuts in the
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^ "население грузии". Retrieved October 8, 2016.
^ "Демоскоп Weekly – Приложение.
показателей". Archived from the original on August 18,
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^ "Батумский округ 1897". Retrieved October 8,
^ a b National Statistics Office of Georgia. Population Census 2014:
Population by Regions and Religion, Retrieved: 6 May 2016
^ "Batumi: sights". Official website of Batumi. Retrieved May 10,
^ Dyussembekova, Zhazira (21 January 2016). "Silk Road Renewed With
Launch of New Commercial Transit Route". The Astana Times.
^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t "
Batumi – Twin Towns &
Batumi City Hall. Archived from the original on
2012-05-04. Retrieved 2013-08-10.
^ a b c d e f g h i j Mekvabishvili, Kakha.
აქტები". Retrieved October 8, 2016.
^ "Twinnings" (PDF). Central Union of Municipalities & Communities
of Greece. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
Batumi and Belarus' Brest become twin cities". Agenda.ge.
24 April 2015. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
Georgian Soviet Encyclopedia. Georgian SSR (Supplementary Edition).
1981. pp. 16–18.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Batumi.
Batumi travel guide from Wikivoyage
Official Visitor Guide to Batumi
Batumi Photo Gallery
Coordinates: 41°38′19″N 41°38′14″E / 41.63861°N
41.63722°E / 41.63861; 41.63722
Cities, towns and townlets in Georgia
Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia
Autonomous Republic of Adjara
Cities with local government
Municipalities of Georgia
Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia
Autonomous Republic of Adjara
Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti