|Coordinates:||41°38′45″ N 41°38′30″ E / 41°38′45″ N 41°38′30″ E|
|Historical names:||until 1878 - Batomi, until 1921 – Batum |
|Population:||122,5 thous. people (2009)|
Batumi is the capital of Adjara Autonomous Republic. Adjara occupies 2900 km² with population over 400 000 people. The Black Sea cost of Adjara is 121 km.
The first written mention of the name "Batumi" can be found in Aristotle’s works of the IV century AD. The ancient Batumi, as a Colchis settlement, was situated at the mouth of the river Korolistskali and its moving to the south had taken place in XVIII-XIX centuries, that, basically, was caused by a favorable disposition of modern Batumi and of a deep-water bay allowing to accept big sized vessels.
The city, which has arisen on this place in the far past, according to Xenophontis and Apollo from Rodos, was well familiar to the antique world. In an antiquity the territory of present Batumi and nearby areas were the part of legendary bastion, which name was well-known in an ancient Middle East and culture of Aegean.
The illustration of this fact is the antique myth about Argonauts, the ancient Greek written sources, telling about Colchis tribes –the first discoverers of iron and steel, and also numerous products of jeweler, clay and steel. The city was the bastion of Colchis power. Through the centuries the local population had had many trials, including struggle with natural conditions, bloody wars, and also three hundred-year long yoke of the neighbors - Osman Empire.
Last Turkey conquered Batumi in the beginning of XVII century. On August 25, 1878 Batumi, together with Adjara, reunited with a native Land - Georgia.
By the end of 19 century trade and industry developed in Batumi very successfully. In 1883 Batumi was connected by railway to Tbilisi and Baku. At this period Batumi had the status of the free port. In 1885 the reconstruction of Batumi port was finished. The most important factories and plants had appeared. A favorable geographical disposition and a natural deep-water bay by the end of XIX had predetermined the transformation of Batumi into port of global importance, through which Baku petroleum was exported to the various countries of the world.
In 1888 Batumi was given the status of city. The first mayor of city was K. Gavrovski. For today the territory of Batumi city occupies the area of about 1775, 9 ha, its population is about 122,5 thousand people.
Batumi is the main sea gate of Georgia, and not only Adjara’s economical development, but the whole country’s, depends on its stable work. Batumi and its port have the common history. First reference of Batumi, as a sea port, dates back to the period of the Adrian III regimen and Batumi had represented Roman's military base. Exactly in that period the name of city was created - from a word "Batus", that means "deep". Greeks and Romans named this city so. And indeed the Batumi bay is one of the deepest in the Black Sea basin. Batumi and its port are inseparable concepts.
The port has been participating actively in the city live for a long time. It takes part in all processes of city updating and one of the main sponsors of the events in the field of a science, culture, sports and social issues. Batumi is the sea capital of Georgia.
Such world-class hotels, as "Sheraton" and "Radisson" were built in Batumi recently and several more are being under construction at present, including "Hilton", "Kempinski" and "Hyatt". Other tourist and entertainment infrastructure is being developed. The famous Batumi seaside park has been expanded, and it's length at present is 12 km.
Thanks to a simplified control system, foreign passengers can go ashore as soon as the ship is berthed. Travel operators have developed more than 10 special one-day excursions for their entertainment. The distances from the passenger terminal to the cultural and architectural monuments are relatively small.