Ninotsminda

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This article is about the town in Georgia. For the cathedral in Georgia, see Ninotsminda Cathedral.

Ninotsminda (Georgian: ნინოწმინდა, Armenian: Նինոծմինդա, Turkish: Altunkale) is a town and a rayon located in Georgia's southern district of Samtskhe-Javakheti. The rayon has a population of 34,305 according to 2002 Census. The Armenians number 32,856, Georgians 476 and Russians 943. It is near the border with Armenia.[1]

Around Ninotsminda

During the Ottoman rule, this was a sanjak of Çıldır Eyaleti, called Altunkale, which means "Golden Castle" in Turkish.

Before 1991, the town of Ninotsminda was called Bogdanovka (Russian: Богдановка) - a name going back to the history of the Doukhobor settlement in the region in the 1840s.[2][3] After the conquest of Kars in 1878, some Doukhobors from Bogdanovka moved to the newly created Kars Oblast. Twenty years later, some of them (or their descendants) emigrated from Kars Oblast to Canada, where they established a short-lived village named Bogdanovka in Langham district of Saskatchewan.[4] Another group of emigrants, coming straight from Georgian Bogdanovka, established another Bogdanovka near Pelly, Saskatchewan.[5]

Armenian school in Ninotsminda

In Soviet Union, Doukhobor population of the region was in comparatively favorable conditions, isolated from attention of civil officials as population of ethnically mixed borderline region. In the 1990s, following the collapse of Soviet Union and rise of nationalist pressure (both local Armenian and state-imposed Georgian), a significant part of remaining Russian settlers abandoned their homes to settle in Russia.[6][7][8]

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Coordinates: 41°15′52″N 43°35′27″E / 41.26444°N 43.59083°E / 41.26444; 43.59083