Where did the Argonauts find Golden Fleece? On which rocks was Prometheus chained? Where did St. Andrew the Apostle and Matthew the Evangelist preach? Look for the answers in Batumi.
Modern Batumi is a city and port in Georgia, the capital of Autonomous Republic of Adjara and represents the main tourist center.
The first Greek settlements emerged on this territory in the 7th –6th centuries B.C Written records of this fact were found in the works of Aristotle. The first human settlements found in mountains of Beshumi date back to the Stone Age. Choloki River basin is considered the birthplace of Bronze and Early Iron Age metallurgy.
From Adjara ,in the 3rd century B.C. Christianity began to spread all over Georgia– after the arrival of St. Andrew the Apostle. In Gonio fortress, the citadel of ancient Colchis, the first reference of which belongs to Pliny the Younger (the first century A.D.), a tomb of one of the followers of Jesus Christ– Matthew the Evangelist was found, chosen by lot to be among the twelve Apostles instead of Judas Iscariot.
After the Turkish occupation of Adjarian territory, it was separated from the rest of Georgia, for a long period of time. According to the Turkish- Iranian treaty Georgia was separated under their influence zones, although Turkey occupied the Iranian parts as well and by 1564 it had approved its dominance on the entire territory. For more than 300 years Adjara was under the influence of the Ottoman Empire, and in 1878 it reunited with Georgia.
Modern period of Adjaria will probably figure in history as «economical miracle», an analogue to Japan. Over the past few years in the period of global financial crisis the region has been flourishing: skyscrapers, golf clubs, ski resorts and world class hotels such as Sheraton, Radisson, Hilton and Kempinsky are being built. Investment projects boggle the imagination.
Batumi could be called the city of Dancing Fountains, one of which shows a truly cosmic action – holographic show at a height of 30 mtr. With all the ongoing intensive development, Old Batumi has always been and remains the dearest part of the city with its 19th century architectural elements, such as chimeras and caryatids, cozy and quiet streets with cafes, where one can drink a cup of flavorous coffee, prepared on hot sand, sip a glass of famous Georgian wine or smoke a famous Adjarian cigar.
The most prominent sights of the city are Boy Statue with the pipe and former Post Office Building built in the early 20thcentury and located at the crossroads of two main city streets. At night the city changes: illuminated buildings resemble palaces and the city acquires quite a different look, a great number of magnolias in bloom fill the city with inimitable fragrance. Batumi easily steals a way to the hearts of its guests! Welcome!