Back Places: Batumi and Adjara - Next 
Typical street in Batumi
Typical street in Batumi. Photo: flickr/Henning(i)

Batumi is an attractive tourist city on the Black Sea coast of Georgia. Being in very close proximity to the Turkish border, Batumi serves as one of the main ports in Georgia. Its architecture is described by Peter Nasmyth in his book as a 'blend of Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Neo-classical, Italian Baroque and all of it mixed with the Caucasian balcony.'

Today the city is experiencing a new wave of construction which started in 2005, soon after the Rose Revolution. Contrary to Peter Nasmyth's description of his 1994 visit to a dark Batumi without electricity and water, today the city is well lit at night, giving it a fresh new look.

Batumi, with a population of 122,000 inhabitants, is the biggest city of the coastal region of Adjara (Autonomous Republic), reconciled with the rest of Georgia in 2004. (Until then, the Georgian central authorities exercised little control over the region). Adjara's story is central to the origins of the Rose Revolution, writes Ghia Nodia in Statehood and Security: Georgia after the Rose Revolution. He explains that Adjara was autonomous for the first time during 1918-1921, the brief period when all of Georgia was independent from Russia. During these three years, Adjara

October 2008

 Back Places: Batumi and Adjara - Next