The capital city of the Autonomous Republic of Adjara in the country of Georgia. Its coastal location and sub-tropical climate make it a popular city for vacationers across the Caucasus. It's the party capital of the region with a night life to match which increasingly includes big name international DJs on the beach-front clubs. Batumi is distinguished by the abundance of diverse architectural buildings which make the city more modern and beautiful. It should be noted that in 2012 the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences named Batumi as the Best New Destination of the year.
Batumi is one of the oldest cities in Georgia founded as early as BCE. Its initial form – Batus – had already been mentioned in the 4th century BCE. The name must have derived from the Greek word meaning ‘deep’. Aristotle (4th c BCE), Pliny (2nd c CE) and others called the place “Pontus Bathea”. In antique times the local population used to have active trade relations with the neighboring as well as distant countries. During the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian (2nd c CE) there used to be a Roman military camp on the territory of present Batumi.
Batumi has always been distinguished by favorable natural and strategic location. From 18th century Batumi was under the Ottoman rule. After the Turkish-Russian war of 1877-1878 and the consideration the Berlin Treaty Batumi became the inseparable constituent part of Georgia. In 1878-1886 Batumi Port was announced as “Porto Franco” that fostered the further development of the city. After the construction of Baku – Batumi railway system (1883), reconstruction of the Batumi port and connection to Baku via pipelines (1897-1907) Batumi became an important sea terminal along the Black Sea littoral. The Caspian Sea oil products were transferred from this location to other countries. In 1918 and 1920 the city was governed by the Ottomans and the British respectively.
Interesting historical past has considerably preconditioned architectural diversity of Batumi (a number of interesting projects were accomplished by European architects during the Porto Franco period). During the soviet and post-soviet times it was also turned into a popular seaport and tourist city.
Batumi is distinguished by a seacoast humid subtropical climate. Winters are cold, without snow and summers are warm to hot. The average annual temperature is 15 C, 7 C in January and 23 C in August. Annual precipitation is 2.560 mm. Relative humidity is 81%. There are frequent showers. It rarely snows but melts very soon. The average annual water temperature is 17 C at the shore. Cool breezes blowing from the sea moderate the temperature in the summer. A small natural lake is located in Batumi in the 6 May Park. Various types of subtropical plants are spread throughout in Batumi and its vicinities. There are many cultivated parks, tea plantations and citrus plantations. Indigenous Colchis natural trees and shrubs have still been preserved in select areas around the region. Most Georgians do not use central heating so although the day temperature can be warm, bring warm clothes for sleeping at night.
Local cuisine is distinguished by its diversity and cooking technology, table-laying and relevant rituals. It has always been complemented with fruit, viticulture and bee keeping products as well as local fish. There are almost 150 types of dishes registered in the region. The cuisine has numerous Asian influences. Dairy products are prevalent in the highlands. The most popular local dishes are: borano (cheese melted in butter), chirbuli (breakfast with eggs and walnut) and sinori (a dish with cottage curds and dough plates). Batumi is unimaginable without Ajarian khachapuri distinguished first of all by its shape. It resembles a boat while an egg yolk inside represents the sun. Varieties of local sweet pastry are also famous, especially baklava and shakarlama (sugar pastry).
• Gonio-Apsarosi Fortress, Gonio (On the way to Batumi-Sarpi boarder), Catch a bus from Tbilisi Square to Sarpi (1 Lari) and tell the driver you want to get out at Gonio. Located at the sea shore the ruins host stunning views and interesting architecture. The museum-reserve was founded in 1994. The area comprises Gonio-Apsaros fortress and its vicinities. Archaeological excavations on this territory discovered materials of Hellenistic period. Public buildings are found together with material items (pottery, bronze, silver, gold, Justinian I coins, etc.). The Gonio hoard is especially significant with its jewels presently preserved at Batumi Archeological Museum.
• Ajara State Art Museum, Ajara State Art Museum is located in one of the historical buildings of Batumi. This monumental building was designed in 1949 by a well-known architect Kakha Javakhishvili. It is distinguished with a refined and strict architecture and modesty of décor. Its façade is embellished with relief freeze of well-known sculptor Tamar Abakelia. The museum was founded in 1998 and is relatively new. It preserves paintings of foreign and Georgian artists. Also, it holds graphic works and sculptures and pieces of decorative art as well.
• Batumi Archeological museum, 77 Chavchavadze str.,. Batumi Archeological museum was founded in 1994. It is one of the most important cultural and scientific centers in the region. Scientific-research and cultural-educational works are conducted here. The museum preserves exponents from different archeological bases as well as rich archeological material found during archeological excavations. Special attention should be paid on archeological exponents belonging to Colchis (5th c. BC), Greek (5th - 4th c. BC) and Hellenistic (4th - 3rd c. BC) period. Gold treasure (1st -2nd cc AD) found on the territory of Gonio Fortress mainly consists of unique items of jewelry and has great archeological value.
• The Nobel Brothers Batumi Technological Museum, 3 Leselidze str., . The Nobel Brothers Batumi Technological Museum was founded in 2007. The museum is located in the same building where a century ago the “Batumi Office” of the Nobel brothers’ oil industry company was placed. The museum preserves a number of interesting exhibits depicting economic and cultural development of old Batumi. You can get acquainted with the history of tea culture and interesting biography of Lao Jin Jao; history of commercial Georgian wines including the church wine history connected with Batumi.
• Khariton Akhvlediani Ajara State Museum, 4 Kh. Akhvlediani str.,. The museum was founded in 1908. It preserves unique archaeological materials of 12th-9th cc BCE and 7th-6th cc BCE including Greek black-glaze crater of antique period, engraved axes, sculpture, Gonio hoard – intaglio depicting Aphrodite and Eros, gold chased bowl of 1st-2nd cc CE, gold figure of a disc thrower, fragments of golden belt, pendants with Helios and stylized images, beads, foils, pendants, cult statues (bronze), various samples of ethnographic, folk and applied art of the turn of 19th-20th cc CE.
• Kemal Turmanidze Art Salon, 5 Melashvili str., It’s a private studio owed by Kemal Turmanidze – a prominent master of a special woodcarving technique and a guardian of the distinctive traditions of living Georgian heritage. Some of Kemal’s works are kept at the Ajara State Museum and his best works have been internationally exhibited. The master will show you his studio and his works, and will demonstrate the techniques for you.
• Orthodox Church, 25 Chavchavadze str.. At the end of the 19th century, European Catholics along with their consulates requested a church in Batumi. Their prayers were answered in 1897 when the Virgin Nativity Church was built by the Zubalashvili brothers. The church was built in the Neo-Gothic style with three domes. The exterior part is decorated with Gothic ornaments. There are statues of St. Nino and St. Andrew above the main entrance. During Soviet times it was used for various purposes including an archive and a high-voltage laboratory. Later the building was handed over to the Georgian Orthodox Church. In 1989 the Cathedral was consecrated by the Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia, His Holiness and Beatitude Ilia II. Today the Virgin Nativity Cathedral is the main cathedral of the Batumi and Lazeti Dioceses.
• St. Nicolas Church, 24 Parnavaz Mepe str.. Greeks living in Batumi gave a gift to an Ottoman sultan for his jubilee thus earning his approval to build a church on one interesting condition - not to ring the bells. The stones for the St. Nickolas Church were brought from Trabzon and the foundation was laid in 1865. Initially it was considered as a Greek Church but from 1879 it was called a Russian Orthodox Church. In 2012 the building was rehabilitated and today it is one of the main churches in the city.
• Catholic Church, 54 Gogebashvili str.. The Batumi Catholic Church of Holy Ghost was built in 2000 by Catholics living in Batumi. The church was consecrated by Giuseppe Pasotto, the Ordinary of the Apostolic Administration of Caucasus. The church is often visited by the Ambassador of Vatican to Georgia and ceremonial liturgy is delivered. There are approximately 50,000 Catholics in Georgia.
• Armenian Church, 25 K. Gamsakhurdia str.. The Batumi Armenian Apostolic Church was built in 1873.In 1885 the original wooden church was destroyed and a new church was built by local donations under the supervision of the Austrian architect Manfred. The church also ceased existence during the Soviet rule. A planetarium was opened in the building that saved it from destruction. In 1992 with the request of the Armenian Diaspora in Batumi, the church regained its previous functions. The Planetarium was moved to Batumi State University and the liturgical services were resumed in the church structure.
• Old Mosque, 19 Kutaisi str.. The Orta mosque was built in 1886. Like other religious shrines, the mosque ceased existence in 1930 during the Soviet rule. The service was resumed in 1990's. Restorations were also made in the yard, square and nearby territory.
• Synagogue, 33 Vazha-Pshavela str.. In 1899 the Jews of Batumi received permission from the Russian Emperor to construct a synagogue in the city. Designed by Leo Volkovich in 1904, it was opened the same year. In 1929 the Soviets mandated that the synagogue cease functioning, along with the other religious sites. The congregation met in sports venues during that time. The Jews returned their shrine only in 1998. The building was renovated the same year.
• Alphabetic Tower, Miracle park (Near Radisson Blu Hotel). 130 - meter high iron construction embossed with 33 Georgian letters represents the sample of architecture similar to DNA cell.
• Astronomical Clock, 44 K. Gamsakhurdia str. (Europe square). Astronomical clock equipped with special mechanisms is located on a building of unique architecture. Besides ordinary time, the clock gives the chance to find out some astronomical information.
• Colonnades, Batumi boulevard. Colonnades are one of the most interesting constructions in Batumi. The colonnades used to act as a gate for seaside zone, from which the sea shore was nearer compared with current location.
• Piazza, arnavaz Mepe str.,. It is spread on 5700 sq/m and is distinguished by its painting, as well as by its exquisite mosaics and stained glass windows. The main architect of the square is Vazha Orbeladze, while Estonian artists Dolores Hoffman is the author of stained glass windows. Piazza Square is already the venue of entertaining and cultural events.
• Batumi Cable Way, Gogebashvili str.. The cable way is 2.586 m. in length with 9 gondolas each with capacity for 8 people. It takes approximately 10 minutes to cover the one way distance. During an hour the cable way serves about 245 people.