Batumi

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"Batum" redirects here. For other uses, see Batum (disambiguation).
Batumi
ბათუმი
Panoramic view of Batumi at night
Panoramic view of Batumi at night
Flag of Batumi
Flag
Coat of arms of Batumi
Coat of arms
Batumi is located in Georgia (country)
Batumi
Batumi
Location of Batumi in Georgia
Coordinates: 41°38′45″N 41°38′30″E / 41.64583°N 41.64167°E / 41.64583; 41.64167
Country Georgia
Autonomous republic Adjara
Founded 8th century
City status 1866
Government
 • Mayor Jemal Ananidze
Area
 • Total 64.9 km2 (25.1 sq mi)
Elevation 3 m (10 ft)
Population (2012)
 • Total 190,405
 • Density 2,900/km2 (7,600/sq mi)
Time zone Georgian Time (UTC+4)
Postal code 6000-6010
Area code(s) (+995) 422
Website Official website

Batumi (Georgian: ბათუმი, formerly known as Batum) is a seaside city on the Black Sea coast and capital of Adjara, an autonomous republic in southwest Georgia. With a population of 190,000 (2013 census), Batumi serves as an important port and a commercial center. It is situated in a subtropical zone, rich in agricultural produce such as citrus fruit and tea. While industries of the city include shipbuilding, food processing, and light manufacturing, most of its economy revolves around tourism. Since 2010, the face of the city has been transformed by the construction of new high-rise landmark buildings and the renovation of the Old Town.[1]

History[edit]

Main article: History of Batumi

Early history[edit]

Batumi is located on the site of the ancient Greek colony in Colchis called Bathus or Bathys – derived from the Greek phrase bathus limen or bathys limin meaning "deep harbour". Under Hadrian (r. 117–138 AD), it was converted into a fortified Roman port later deserted for the fortress of Petra founded in the times 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 Georgian kingdom, Batumi passed to the princes (mtavari) of Guria, a western Georgian principality under the sovereignty of the kings of Imereti. A curious incident occurred in 1444 when the 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 during their landing raid at the port of 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. Batumi was recaptured by the Georgians several times, first in 1564 by prince Rostom Gurieli, who lost it soon afterwards, and again in 1609 by Mamia Gurieli. In 1723 Batumi again became part of the Ottoman Empire. With the Turkish conquest the Islamisation of the hitherto Christian region began, but was terminated and to a great degree reversed, after the area was re-annexed to Russian Imperial Georgia in the mid 19th century.

Imperial Russian rule[edit]

Detail from a map of Antonio Zatta, 1784, depicting Georgian principality of Guria and its major town Batumi.
Port of Batumi in 1881

In 1878, Batumi was annexed by the Russian Empire in accordance with Treaty of San Stefano between 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 a 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 Okrug of Artvin, it was established as the region (oblast) of Batumi 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 by the finishing of the Baku-Batumi pipe-line. Henceforth Batumi became the chief Russian oil port in the Black Sea. The town expanded to an extraordinary extent and the population increased very rapidly: 8,671 inhabitants in 1882, and 12,000 in 1889. By 1902 there were 16000 in the port, 1000 worked in the refinery for Baron Rothschild's Caspian and Black Sea oil company.[2]

War, Communism and independence[edit]

During 1901, 16 years prior to the October Revolution, Joseph Stalin, the future leader of the Soviet Union, lived in the city organizing strikes. On 3 March 1918, the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk gave the city back to the Ottoman Empire; unrest led to Turkish forces' re-entry in April 1918, followed by British forces in December, who stayed until July 1920. Kemal Atatürk then ceded it to the Bolsheviks, on the condition that it be granted autonomy, for the sake of the Muslims among Batumi's mixed population.

When the USSR collapsed, 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 maintained an integral part of the Republic's territory. However, due to fragile security, Abashidze was able to exploit the central government's weaknesses and rule the area as a personal fiefdom. In May 2004, he fled to Russia because of mass protests sparked by the Rose Revolution in Tbilisi.

Present day[edit]

Batumi today is one of the main port cities of Georgia. It has the capacity for 80,000-tonne tankers to take materials such as oil which is 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 tonnes in 2001. The annual revenue from the port is estimated at between $200 million and $300 million.

Since the change of power in Ajara, Batumi has attracted several international investors with real estate prices in the city trebling since 2001. Several new hotels opened after 2009, first the Sheraton in 2010 and the Radisson Blu in 2011. The Trump-tower and the Kempinski will open 2013.

Batumi was also host to the Russian 12th Military Base. Following the Rose Revolution, the central government pushed for the removal of these forces, and in 2005 an agreement with Moscow was reached. According to the agreement, the process of withdrawal was planned to be completed in the course of 2008, but the Batumi base was officially handed over to Georgia on November 13, 2007, ahead of planned schedule.[3]

In July 2007, the seat of the Constitutional Court of Georgia was moved from Tbilisi to Batumi in an attempt to further facilitate the regional development.[4]

In 2013 Year, TAM GEO LLC announced investing $70 million to starting of construction 170 meters height, 45 storey mix-used complex Babillon Tower, which will be highest residential building in Georgia[5]

Climate[edit]

Batumi lies at the northern periphery of the humid subtropical zone. 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 Caucasus Region.

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 2,718 mm (107.0 in). September is the wettest month with an average of 335 mm (13.2 in) of precipitation, while May is the driest, averaging 92 mm (3.6 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 70–80%.

Climate data for Batumi
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 25
(77)
26
(79)
28
(82)
32
(90)
33
(91)
36
(97)
40
(104)
37
(99)
34
(93)
31
(88)
30
(86)
28
(82)
40
(104)
Average high °C (°F) 10
(50)
11
(52)
12
(54)
16
(61)
19
(66)
23
(73)
26
(79)
26
(79)
23
(73)
19
(66)
16
(61)
12
(54)
17.8
(64)
Daily mean °C (°F) 7
(45)
7
(45)
9
(48)
12
(54)
16
(61)
20
(68)
22
(72)
22
(72)
20
(68)
16
(61)
12
(54)
9
(48)
14.3
(58)
Average low °C (°F) 4
(39)
4
(39)
5
(41)
9
(48)
13
(55)
17
(63)
19
(66)
19
(66)
16
(61)
13
(55)
9
(48)
6
(43)
11.2
(52)
Record low °C (°F) −5
(23)
−6
(21)
−3
(27)
1
(34)
5
(41)
8
(46)
11
(52)
11
(52)
10
(50)
5
(41)
−1
(30)
−4
(25)
−6
(21)
Precipitation mm (inches) 281
(11.06)
228
(8.98)
174
(6.85)
122
(4.8)
92
(3.62)
163
(6.42)
182
(7.17)
255
(10.04)
335
(13.19)
306
(12.05)
304
(11.97)
276
(10.87)
2,718
(107.01)
Mean monthly sunshine hours 99 105 126 148 199 235 214 223 201 176 125 107 1,958
Source #1: weatherbase.com[6]
Source #2: [7]

Cityscape[edit]

Contemporary architecture[edit]

Street in Batumi
Batumi Neptun Square
Coasts of Batumi in summer
Sheraton Hotel and adjacent square
Street in Batumi
Theater Square

Batumi's skyline has been transformed since 2007 with remarkable buildings and monuments of contemporary architecture,[1] including:[8]

  • Radisson Blu hotel
  • Public Service Hall

A large Kempinski hotel and casino is to open in 2013, a Hilton Hotel as well as a 47-storey Trump Tower is also planned.[9]

Novelty architecture[edit]

Novelty architecture in Batumi includes:

Transportation[edit]

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.

Subdivisions[edit]

According to the March 31, 2008 decision of the Batumi City Council, Batumi is divided into seven boroughs, those of:

  • Old Batumi (ძველი ბათუმის უბანი)
  • Rustaveli (რუსთაველის უბანი)
  • Khimshiashvili (ხიმშიაშვილის უბანი)
  • Bagrationi (ბაგრატიონის უბანი)
  • Aghmashenebeli (აღმაშენებლის უბანი)
  • Javakhishvili (ჯავახიშვილის უბანი)
  • Tamar (თამარის უბანი)
  • Boni-Gorodok (ბონი-გოროდოკის უბანი)
  • Airport (აეროპორტის უბანი)
  • Gonio-Kvariati (გონიო-კვარიათის უბანი)
  • Kakhaberi (კახაბრის უბანი)
  • Batumi Industrial (ბათუმის სამრეწველო უბანი)
  • Green Cape (მწვანე კონცხის უბანი)[11]

Demographics and religion[edit]

Georgian Orthodox (former Catholic) Cathedral of the Mother of God

According to the 2002 Georgian census, Batumi had a population of 121,806 with population density of 7293.8 per km2. Ethnic groups include:

The majority of the inhabitants belong to the Orthodox Church, while there is a Sunni Muslim minority. Batumi is a home to Eastern Orthodox Christian, Muslim, Catholic, Armenian Apostolic, and Jewish communities. The places of worship in the city are:

Main sights[edit]

Attractions include

Postage stamps[edit]

International Relations[edit]

Twin towns - sister cities[edit]

Batumi is twinned with:[13][14]

(French)

Tourist Attractions[edit]

  • Batumi Boulevard
  • Batumi Botanical Gardens
  • Dancing Fountains, Batumi
  • Dolphinarium
  • Piazza Square
  • Panoramic Wheel
  • Astronomical clock
  • Argo Cable Car
  • 6 May Park
  • Europe Square
  • Alphabetic Tower
  • Batumi Sea Port
  • Miracle Park
  • Chacha Tower
  • Fountain Of Neptun
  • Batumi Archeological Museum
  • Monument Of Ilia Chavchavadze [16]

Notable people[edit]

Notable people who are from or have resided in Batumi:

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Dinah Spritzer, "Next Stop: Glamour revives port of Batumi", New York Times, September 9, 2010.
  2. ^ Simon Sebag Montefiore, Young Stalin, page 77.
  3. ^ "Russia Hands Over Batumi Military Base to Georgia". Civil Georgia, Tbilisi. November 13, 2007. 
  4. ^ Constitutional Court of Georgia - Brief History
  5. ^ http://ghn.ge/news-93867.html Tam Geo LLC Reporting 13 MLN Dollar sprend
  6. ^ "Weatherbase". Retrieved April 6, 2009. 
  7. ^ "The duration of sunshine in some cities of the former USSR" (in Russian). Meteoweb.ru. Retrieved 27 September 2012. 
  8. ^ Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, Lonely Planet
  9. ^ "TOURISM IS FLOURISHING IN BLACK SEA RESORT", AP, November 11, 2012
  10. ^ "Sheraton Hotels & Resorts Debuts in the Black Sea Resort Destination of Batumi", Starwood Hotels and Resorts site
  11. ^ (Georgian) დადგენილება N 3-1 ბათუმის უბნები (Decision #3.1. Boroughs of Batumi). Batumi City Council. Accessed November 15, 2009
  12. ^ "Batumi: sights". Official website of Batumi. Retrieved May 10, 2009. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t "Batumi - Twin Towns & Sister Cities". Batumi City Hall. Archived from the original on 2012-05-04. Retrieved 2013-08-10. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j ზოგადი ინფორმაცია / დამეგობრებული ქალაქები [in Georgian]
  15. ^ "Twinnings". Central Union of Municipalities & Communities of Greece. Retrieved 2013-08-25. 
  16. ^ Georgia Batumi
  • Georgian Soviet Encyclopedia. Georgian SSR (Supplementary Edition). 1981. pp. 16–18.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°38′19″N 41°38′14″E / 41.63861°N 41.63722°E / 41.63861; 41.63722