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Batumi travel guide — Batumi tourism and travel information

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Batumi travel guide

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about Batumi

Batumi (also Batum or Batoum) is a seaside town (population: approximately 137,000) on the Black Sea coast and capital of Ajaria, an autonomous republic in southwest Georgia.

Batumi, with its large port and commercial center, is also the last stop of the Trans-Caucasian railroad and the Baku oil pipeline. It is situated some 20 km (12 mi) from the Turkish border, in a subtropical zone, rich in citrus fruit and tea. Industries include oil refineries, shipbuilding, food processing, and light manufacturing.

Batumi is located on the site of the ancient Greek colony of Batis. It has been known since the 11th century for its fortifications. A part of Georgia since the Middle Ages, it came under Turkish rule in the 16th century and was annexed by Russia in 1878. Joseph Stalin was in the city in 1901 to organize strikes.

Unrest during World War I led to Turkey re-entering in April 1918, followed by the British in December, who stayed until July 1920. Then Kemal Ataturk ceded it to Lenin's Bolsheviks, on the condition that it be granted autonomy, for the sake of the Muslims among Batum's mixed population. When the U.S.S.R. collapsed, Aslan Abashidze was the appointed head of Ajaria's governing council and subsequently held onto power. In May 2004 he fled the region to Russia because of mass protests against his rull.

The town is home to all the major religions of the Caucasus, with a mixed population of Catholics, Georgian Orthodox and Apostolic Church, Muslims, and Jews. Attractions include the Ajar Museum, botanical gardens, aquarium, circus, and a former resort area along the Black Sea coast.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Batumi".

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