Gori is a city in eastern Georgia, which serves as the regional capital of Shida Kartli and the centre of the homonymous administrative district. The name is from Georgian gora, that is, "heap", or "hill". Gori was an important military stronghold in the Middle Ages and maintains a strategic importance due to its location on the principal highway connecting eastern and western parts of Georgia. In the course of its history, Gori has been invaded by the armies of regional powers several times; the city was occupied by Russian troops during the 2008 Russo–Georgian War. Gori is known as the birthplace of the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, ballistic missile designer Alexander Nadiradze and philosopher Merab Mamardashvili. Gori is located 86 kilometers west of Georgia's capital Tbilisi, at the confluence of the rivers Mtkvari and Greater Liakhvi, 588 meters above sea level; the climate is transitional from moderately warm steppe to moderately humid. Summer is hot; the average annual temperature is 10.6 °C, maximal in July and August.
The maximum precipitation falls in minimum in February. Precipitation here averages 603 mm; the territory of Gori has been populated since the early Bronze Age. According to medieval Georgian chronicles, the town of Gori was founded by King David IV who settled refugees from Armenia there. However, the fortress of Gori appears to have been in use in the 7th century, archaeological evidence indicates the existence of an urban community in Classical Antiquity. In 1299, Gori was captured by the Alan tribesmen fleeing the Mongol conquest of their original homeland in the North Caucasus; the Georgian king George V recovered the town in 1320, pushing the Alans back over the Caucasus mountains. With the downfall of the medieval Georgian kingdom, Gori – strategically located at the crossroads of major transit routes – was targeted by foreign invaders, changed its masters on several occasions, it was first taken and sacked by Uzun Hassan of the Ak Koyunlu in 1477, followed by Tahmasp I of Persia in the mid-16th century.
By the end of that century, Gori passed to the Ottomans through the 1578-90 Ottoman-Persian War, became their major outpost in Georgia until being recovered by the Georgians under Simon I of Kartli after heavy fighting in 1599. The town was once again garrisoned by the Persians under Shah Abbas I in 1614. Following successive occupations by the Ottomans and Persians, Gori returned to Georgian control under the kings Teimuraz II and Erekle II whose efforts helped to advance economy and culture in the town. Following the Russian annexation of Georgia, Gori was granted the status of a town within the Tiflis Governorate in 1801, it was destroyed in the 1920 earthquake. An important industrial center in Soviet times, Gori suffered from an economic collapse and the outflow of the population during the years of a post-Soviet crisis of the 1990s. Gori is close to the Georgian-Ossetian conflict zone, it is connected to breakaway South Ossetia's capital Tskhinvali via a railroad spur, defunct since the early 1990s.
Since the 2000s, Georgia has increased the military infrastructure around the city. Thus, the Central Military Hospital was relocated from Tbilisi to Gori and re-equipped in October 2006. On January 18, 2008, Georgia’s second NATO-standard base to accommodate the 1st Infantry Brigade of the Georgian Ground Forces was established at Gori; the Georgian Agrarian Science Academy Branch was established in the city in 1995. In the 2008 Russo-Georgian War, the town came under aerial attack by the Russian Air Force from the outset of the conflict. Military targets and residential districts of Gori were hit by the airstrikes, resulting in civilian injuries and deaths. Human Rights Watch claimed that Russian forces had indiscriminately deployed cluster bombs in civilian areas around Gori. According to HRW, on August 12 Russian forces dropped cluster bombs in the center of Gori, killing 11 civilians and wounding dozens more. Russian military officials deny using cluster munitions in the conflict, calling the HRW assertion "slanderous" and questioning the HRW's objectivity.
Numerous unexploded "bomblets" have been found by HRW employees. By August 11, Georgian military personnel and most residents had fled the city, captured and occupied by the Russian military and South Ossetian separatist militia. HRW accused the militia of unleashing a campaign of looting, arson and other attacks against the remaining civilian population; the Russian and South Ossetian forces withdrew from the city on August 22, 2008. Gori and its environs house several notable historical landmarks. Although for many foreigners Gori is principally known as the birthplace of Joseph Stalin, in Georgian historical memory the city has long been associated with its citadel, the Gori Fortress, built on a cliffy hill overlooking the central part of the modern city. On another hill stands the 18th century St. George's church of Gorijvari, a popular place of pilgrimage; the famous ancient rock-hewn town of Uplistsikhe and the 7th century Ateni Sioni Church are located not far from Gori. Stalin's association with the city is emphasized by the Joseph Stalin Museum in downtown Gori and, until the Stalin monument in front of the Gori City Hall, one of the few such monuments to survive Nikita Khrushchev's de-Stalinization program.
The monument was a source of controversy in a newly independent Georgia in the 1990s, but for seve
Javalkheti Plateau is a volcanic plateau within the Caucasus Mountains that covers the Samtskhe-Javakheti region of Georgia, along the border with Turkey and Armenia. Elevation: over 2,000 m; the plateau is a large grassland plain with many wetlands and alpine lakes. The Javalkheti Wetlands are included in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance; the plain is crossed from north to south by the Abuli-Samsari Mountain Range, a series of volcanic cones. The western side of the plateau is surrounded by the Javakheti Range Vanis Kvabebi cave fortress Abul-Samsari Range Mount Didi Abuli Javakheti Range Caucasus birding: Javalkheti
The Ottoman Empire known in Western Europe as the Turkish Empire or Turkey, was a state that controlled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. It was founded at the end of the 13th century in northwestern Anatolia in the town of Söğüt by the Oghuz Turkish tribal leader Osman I. After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into Europe, with the conquest of the Balkans, the Ottoman beylik was transformed into a transcontinental empire; the Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror. During the 16th and 17th centuries, at the height of its power under the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman Empire was a multinational, multilingual empire controlling most of Southeast Europe, parts of Central Europe, Western Asia, parts of Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, North Africa and the Horn of Africa. At the beginning of the 17th century, the empire contained numerous vassal states; some of these were absorbed into the Ottoman Empire, while others were granted various types of autonomy during the course of centuries.
With Constantinople as its capital and control of lands around the Mediterranean basin, the Ottoman Empire was at the centre of interactions between the Eastern and Western worlds for six centuries. While the empire was once thought to have entered a period of decline following the death of Suleiman the Magnificent, this view is no longer supported by the majority of academic historians; the empire continued to maintain a flexible and strong economy and military throughout the 17th and much of the 18th century. However, during a long period of peace from 1740 to 1768, the Ottoman military system fell behind that of their European rivals, the Habsburg and Russian empires; the Ottomans suffered severe military defeats in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, which prompted them to initiate a comprehensive process of reform and modernisation known as the Tanzimat. Thus, over the course of the 19th century, the Ottoman state became vastly more powerful and organised, despite suffering further territorial losses in the Balkans, where a number of new states emerged.
The empire allied with Germany in the early 20th century, hoping to escape from the diplomatic isolation which had contributed to its recent territorial losses, thus joined World War I on the side of the Central Powers. While the Empire was able to hold its own during the conflict, it was struggling with internal dissent with the Arab Revolt in its Arabian holdings. During this time, atrocities were committed by the Young Turk government against the Armenians and Pontic Greeks; the Empire's defeat and the occupation of part of its territory by the Allied Powers in the aftermath of World War I resulted in its partitioning and the loss of its Middle Eastern territories, which were divided between the United Kingdom and France. The successful Turkish War of Independence against the occupying Allies led to the emergence of the Republic of Turkey in the Anatolian heartland and the abolition of the Ottoman monarchy; the word Ottoman is a historical anglicisation of the name of Osman I, the founder of the Empire and of the ruling House of Osman.
Osman's name in turn was the Turkish form of the Arabic name ʿUthmān. In Ottoman Turkish, the empire was referred to as Devlet-i ʿAlīye-yi ʿOsmānīye, or alternatively ʿOsmānlı Devleti. In Modern Turkish, it is known as Osmanlı Devleti; the Turkish word for "Ottoman" referred to the tribal followers of Osman in the fourteenth century, subsequently came to be used to refer to the empire's military-administrative elite. In contrast, the term "Turk" was used to refer to the Anatolian peasant and tribal population, was seen as a disparaging term when applied to urban, educated individuals. In the early modern period, an educated urban-dwelling Turkish-speaker, not a member of the military-administrative class would refer to himself neither as an Osmanlı nor as a Türk, but rather as a Rūmī, or "Roman", meaning an inhabitant of the territory of the former Byzantine Empire in the Balkans and Anatolia; the term Rūmī was used to refer to Turkish-speakers by the other Muslim peoples of the empire and beyond.
In Western Europe, the two names "Ottoman Empire" and "Turkey" were used interchangeably, with "Turkey" being favoured both in formal and informal situations. This dichotomy was ended in 1920–23, when the newly established Ankara-based Turkish government chose Turkey as the sole official name. Most scholarly historians avoid the terms "Turkey", "Turks", "Turkish" when referring to the Ottomans, due to the empire's multinational character; as the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum declined in the 13th century, Anatolia was divided into a patchwork of independent Turkish principalities known as the Anatolian Beyliks. One of these beyliks, in the region of Bithynia on the frontier of the Byzantine Empire, was led by the Turkish tribal leader Osman I, a figure of obscure origins from whom the name Ottoman is derived. Osman's early followers consisted both of Turkish tribal groups and Byzantine renegades, many but not all converts to Islam. Osman extended the control of his principality by conquering Byzantine towns along the Sakarya River.
It is not well understood how the early Ottomans came to dominate their
Samtskhe–Javakheti, is a region in southern Georgia which includes the historical Georgian provinces of Meskheti and Tori. Akhaltsikhe is its capital; the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, the South Caucasus natural gas pipeline, the Kars–Tbilisi–Baku railway pass through the region. Samtskhe–Javakheti is bordered by the regions of Adjara to the west and Imereti to the north, Shida Kartli and Kvemo Kartli to the north-east and to the east, by Armenia and Turkey to the south and southwest; the area of the region is 6413 km squares and the population is of 160262 inhabitants. The administrative center of the region is Akhaltsikhe. There are 353 populated areas, including: 5 cities: Akhaltsikhe, Borjomi and Ninotsminda 7 "daba": Bakuriani, Bakurianis Andeziti, Akhaldaba, Abastumani, Aspindza 258 villages The current division of Georgia into "regions" was introduced by the Shevardnadze government in the mid-1990s as a response to the secession of Abkhazia and the South Ossetia conflict. Samtskhe–Javakheti was formed by combining the two traditional provinces of Meskheti and Javakheti.
The ancient tribes of Meskhi and Mosiniks are the first known inhabitants of the area. Some scholars credit the Mosiniks with the invention of iron metallurgy. From the 2nd millennium to the 4th century BC, Meskheti was believed to be part of the Kingdom of Diauehi, in the 4th century BC to the 6th century AD part of the Kingdom of Iberia. From the 10th to the 15th century it was part of the united Georgian Kingdom. In the 16th century Meskheti was integrated followed by the Ottoman Empire. After the conclusion of the Russo-Persian War of 1826-28, it was a part of Russian Tiflis Governorate from 1817 till 1829, from 1918 to 1921 part of the Democratic Republic of Georgia, from 1921 to 1990 part of the Georgian SSR. After independence from the USSR Meskheti was reinstalled as a province of Georgia, cast into the new Samtskhe–Javakheti region. In ancient sources, the region was recorded as Zabakha by the king Argishti I of Urartu. According to Cyril Toumanoff, Javakheti was part of the Iberian duchy of Tsunda from the 4th or 3rd century BC.
Saint Nino entered Iberia from Javakheti, following the course of the River Kura, she arrived in Mtskheta, the capital of the kingdom, once there, she began to preach Christianity, which culminated by Christianization of Iberia. In struggle against the Arab occupation, Bagrationi dynasty came to rule over Tao-Klarjeti and established the Kouropalatate of Iberia. Rulers of Tao-Klarjeti fought the Arabs from there incorporating the surrounding lands of Samtskhe and Javakheti, along with a few other lesser lands, from the Arab dominance. For a long time the region became a cultural safe-house and one of the most important religious centers of Georgia. In the mid-10th century, Javakheti was incorporated into Kingdom of Abkhazia. In 964 Leon III of Abkhazia extended his influence to Javakheti, during his reign was built Kumurdo Cathedral. In subsequent centuries, Javakheti was integral part of unified Georgian monarchy and had a period of significant development: lot of bridges, churches and royal residences were built.
From the 11th century, the center of upper Javakheti became Akhalkalaki. From the 10th century, the center of lowland Javakheti was Tmogvi. From the 12th century, the domain was ruled by representatives of the feudal family of Toreli. In the 15th century, Javakheti was incorporated to principality of Samtskhe-Saatabago. In the 16th century, the region, as well as the adjacent territories of western Georgia, was occupied by the Ottoman Empire; the Georgian population of Javakheti was displaced to inner regions of Georgia such as Imereti and Kartli. Those who remained became Muslim; as a result of the struggles of the Russian Empire with the Ottomans, Russian authorities settled Christian Armenians and Greeks in the area after 1828. Armenian refugees from the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire came in the early 20th century. A large number of Russian Doukhobor sect members settled the region. Georgia came under Soviet control in 1921, after the Red Army invasion of Georgia; the remaining Muslim minority in Meskheti known as "Meskhetian Turks", were deported in cattle-trucks to Central Asia by order of Stalin and settled within an area that overlaps the boundaries of the modern nations of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
Today, many are still dispersed across those countries. Of the 100,000 forcibly deported, a total of 10,000 perished; the region comprises six municipalities: In 2017, Samtskhe–Javakheti province of Georgia had the following ethnic makeup of 160,504 total population:Armenians - 81,089 Georgians - 77,498 Russians - 712 other ethnic groups - 1,194 The most densely populated districts are the Akhaltsikhe and Akhalkalaki municipalities. The major tourist attractions are the cave monasteries of Vardzia, Vanis Kvabebi, Rabati Castle and Khertvisi fortress. Among national visitors is popular 10th century Sapara Monastery, Tmogvi fortress, 8th century Zarzma monastery. Subdivisions of Georgia Friends at Dinner, Foes at Politics Obstacles Impeding the Regional Integration of the Javalkheti Region, an ECMI working paper
Gyumri, is an urban municipal community and the second largest city in Armenia, serving as the administrative centre of Shirak Province in the northwestern part of the country. By the end of the 19th century, when the city was known as Alexandropol, it was one of the largest cities of Russian-ruled Eastern Armenia with a population similar to that of Yerevan, it was renamed to Leninakan during the Soviet period. The city's population grew above 200,000 prior to the 1988 Spitak earthquake, when it was devastated; as of the 2011 census, the city had a population of 121,976, down from 150,917 reported at the 2001 census. Gyumri is the seat of the Diocese of Shirak of the Armenian Apostolic Church; the area of modern-day Gyumri was known as Kumayri during the period of the Kingdom of Urartu. It is that the name has been originated from the Cimmerians who conquered the region and founded the settlement. Under the domination of the Turkic tribes, Kumayri was Turkified as Gümrü. In 1837, Kumayri was renamed Alexandropol after of Tsar Nicholas I's wife, Princess Alexandra Fyodorovna.
Between 1924 and 1990, the city was known as Leninakan in honor of Vladimir Lenin. Following independence, the original name Kumayri was used until 1992, when Gyumri was chosen as the name of the city. Archaeological excavations conducted throughout the Soviet period have shown that the area of modern-day Gyumri has been populated since at least the third millennium BC; the area was mentioned as Kumayri in the historic Urartian inscriptions dating back to the 8th century BC. This name is phonetically associated with Cimmerians, who migrated to the western banks of the Black Sea region from European Lowlands. Historians believe that Xenophon passed through Kumayri during his return to the Black Sea, a journey immortalized in his Anabasis. At the decline of the Urartu Kingdom by the second half of the 6th century BC, Kumayri became part of the Achaemenid Empire; the remains of a royal settlement found just to the south of Gyumri near the village of Beniamin dating back to the 5th to 2nd centuries BC, are a great example of the Achemenid influence in the region.
However, at the beginning of the 5th century BC, Kumayri became part of the Satrapy of Armenia under the rule of the Orontids. An alternative theory suggests that Kumayri has been formed as an urban settlement in the late 5th century BC, ca. 401 BC, by Greek colonists. In 331 BC, the entire territory was included in the Ayrarat province of Ancient Armenian Kingdom as part of the Shirak canton. Between 190 BC and 1 AD Kumayri was under the rule of the Artaxiad dynasty of Armenia. During the 1st century AD, Shirak was granted to the Kamsarakan family, who ruled over Kumayri during the Arsacid Kingdom of Armenia. Following the partition of Armenia in 387 between the Byzantines and the Persians, as a result of the fall of the Arsacid Kingdom of Armenia in 428, Shirak including Kumayri became part of the Sasanian Empire of Persia. In 658 AD, at the height of the Arab Islamic invasions, Kumayri was conquered during the Muslim conquest of Persia to become part of the Emirate of Armenia under the Umayyad Caliphate.
Kumayri was a quite-developed urban settlement during the Middle Ages. According to the Armenian scholar Ghevond the Historian, the town was a centre of the Armenian rebellion led by Artavazd Mamikonian against the Islamic Arab Caliphate, between 733 and 755. After 2 centuries of Islamic rule over Armenia, the Bagratids declared independence in 885 establishing the Bagratid Kingdom of Armenia. Kumayri entered e new era of growth and progress when the nearby city of Ani became the capital of the kingdom in 961. By the second half of the 10th century, Kumayri was under the influence of the Armenian Pahlavuni family, who were descendents of the Kamsarakans; the Pahlavunis had a great contribution in the progress of Shirak with the foundation of many fortresses, monastic complexes, educational institutions, etc. After the fall of Armenia to the Byzantine Empire in 1045 and to the Seljuk invaders in 1064. Under the foreign rulers, the town had gradullay lost its significance during the following centuries, until the establishment of the Zakarid Principality of Armenia in 1201 under the Georgian protectorate.
During the Zakarid rule, the Eastern Armenian territories Lori and Shirak, entered into a new period of growth and stability, becoming a trade centre between the east and the west. After the Mongols captured Ani in 1236, Armenia turned into a Mongol protectorate as part of the Ilkhanate, the Zakarids became vassals to the Mongols. After the fall of the Ilkhanate in the mid-14th century, the Zakarid princes ruled over Lori and Ararat plain until 1360 when they fell to the invading Turkic tribes. By the last quarter of the 14th century, the Ag Qoyunlu Sunni Oghuz Turkic tribe took over Armenia, including Shirak. In 1400, Timur invaded Armenia and Georgia, captured more than 60,000 of the survived local people as slaves. Many districts including Shirak were depopulated. In 1410, Armenia fell under the control of the Kara Koyunlu Shia Oghuz Turkic tribe. According to the Armenian historian Thomas of Metsoph, although the Kara Koyunlu levied heavy taxes against the Armenians, the early years of their rule were peaceful and some reconstruction of towns took place.
Under the rule of the Turkic tribes, Kumayri was known to the Turks as Gümrü. In 1501, most of the Eastern Armenian territories including Kumayri were conquered by the emerging Safavid dynasty of Iran led by Shah Ismail I. Soon after in 1502, Kumayri became part of the newly formed Erivan Beglarbegi, a new administrative territory of Iran formed by the Safavids. During the first half of the 18th century, Kumayri became part of the Erivan Khanate under the ru
Borjomi is a resort town in south-central Georgia with a population of 10,546. It is one of the districts of the Samtskhe-Javakheti region and is situated in the northwestern part of the region in the picturesque Borjomi Gorge on the eastern edge of the Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park; the town is noted for its mineral water industry, the Romanov summer palace in Likani, the World Wide Fund for Nature-site Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park. Borjomi mineral water is well known in those countries which were part of the former Soviet Union; because of the supposed curative powers of the area's mineral springs, it is a frequent destination for people with health problems. Borjomi is home to the most extensive ecologically-themed amusement park in the Caucasus. In the Middle Ages, the area of what is now Borjomi was part of the Tori province, it was populated by a series of forts guarding the strategic crossroad of routes leading to the western and southern provinces of Georgia. Three important forts – those of “Gogia”, “Petra”, “Sali” – still overlook the town from nearby hills.
From the 16th century into the 19th, the area belonged to the noble family of Avalishvili, but was depopulated as a result of Ottoman inroads. After the Russian annexation of Georgia, the Borjomi area began to revitalize; the toponym Borjomi is first recorded in the 1810s. The town and its surroundings were placed under the Russian military authorities. Borjomi began receiving soldiers in the 1820s. Buildings and baths began going up in the 1830s. Early in the 1840s, when the Russian Viceroy of the Caucasus Yevgeny Golovin brought his daughter down to partake of the cure, he expedited the official transfer of the waters from the military to civil authorities; the viceroy Mikhail Vorontsov, fascinated by local landscape and mineral waters, made Borjomi his summer residence and refurnished it with new parks. Its warm climate, mineral water springs, forests made Borjomi a favorite summer resort for the aristocracy, gave it its popular name of "the pearl of Caucasus". In the 1860s, new hotels were built, an administration for mineral waters was established.
In 1871, Borjomi was bestowed upon the royal family member, Grand Duke Mikhail Nikolayvich the viceroy of the Caucasus. In the 1890s, Mikhail’s son, built a park and a chateau at Likani, at the western end of Borjomi; the bottled mineral waters began to be extensively exported. The town grew at the expanse of Russian migrants and, in 1901, the number of ethnic Russian inhabitants outstripped the native Georgians for the first time. Following the Red Army invasion of Georgia in 1921, the Soviet regime confiscated all aristocratic mansions and turned them into sanatoria, frequented by the Communist party elite. Despite significant damage caused by a flood on April 18, 1968, Borjomi continued to grow throughout the Soviet era; the post-Soviet years of political and economic crisis hindered development of the area, but it remained a popular destination for internal tourism. In the 2000s, a growing government and private investment into tourism and municipal infrastructure helped Borjomi recover from a decade of decay.
Borjomi, together with Bakuriani, was named by Georgia as an applicant city for the 2014 Winter Olympics on June 22, 2005, but it was eliminated as a candidate by the International Olympic Committee on June 22, 2006. Nikolay Abramashvili, Soviet Air Forces fighter ace Nodar Kumaritashvili, one-man luger Otto Smik, DFC, Royal Air Force fighter ace Jemal Zeinklishvili – Former football player of "Dinamo" Tbilisi, Champion of USSR The Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park administration, with offices, small hotel and visitors communication center are located at 23 Meskheti st, in Borjomi; the total area occupies 85,083 ha, more than 1% of the territory of Georgia. Borjomi-Kharagauli Protected Areas includes 6 districts - Borjomi, Akhaltsikhe, Adigeni and Baghdati. There are administrative and visitors centers of the national park in Kharagauli. Borjomi Strict Nature Reserve, Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park, Nedzvi Managed Reserve and Goderdzi Petrified Forest Natural Monument are the protected areas and managed by the park administration.
Hiking, horse riding, snow shoes and educational tours are available in Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park tourist route network. The network amounts to 400-2,642 meters; the routes are provided with picnic spots and camping sites. Samtskhe-Javakheti Borjomi travel guide from Wikivoyage Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park Borjomi Mineral Water Company Боржом. An entry from the Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary, 1890–1906
Batumi is the capital of Autonomous Republic of Adjara and the second-largest city of Georgia, located on the coast of the Black Sea in the country's southwest. It is situated in a Subtropical Zone at the foot of Caucasus. Much of Batumi's economy revolves around tourism and gambling, but the city is an important sea port and includes industries like shipbuilding, food processing and light manufacturing. Since 2010, Batumi has been transformed by the construction of modern high-rise buildings, as well as the restoration of classical 19th-century edifices lining its historic Old Town. Batumi is located on the site of the ancient Greek colony in Colchis called "Bathus" or "Bathys" – derived from. Under Hadrian, it was converted into a fortified Roman port and deserted for the fortress of Petra founded in the time of Justinian I. Garrisoned by the Roman-Byzantine forces, it was formally a possession of the kingdom of Lazica until being occupied by the Arabs, who did not hold it. From 1010, it was governed by the eristavi of the king of Georgia.
In the late 15th century, after the disintegration of the Georgian kingdom, Batumi passed to the princes of Guria, a western Georgian principality under the sovereignty of the kings of Imereti. A curious incident occurred in 1444 when a Burgundian flotilla, after a failed crusade against the Ottoman Empire, penetrated the Black Sea and engaged in piracy along its eastern coastline until the Burgundians under the knight Geoffroy de Thoisy were ambushed while landing to raid Vaty, as Europeans knew Batumi. De Thoisy was released through the mediation of the emperor John IV of Trebizond. In the 15th century in the reign of the prince Kakhaber Gurieli, the Ottoman Turks conquered the town and its district but did not hold them, they returned to it in force a century and inflicted a decisive defeat on the Georgian armies at Sokhoista. Batumi was recaptured by the Georgians several times, first in 1564 by prince Rostom Gurieli, who lost it soon afterwards, again in 1609 by Mamia II Gurieli. In 1723, Batumi again became part of the Ottoman Empire.
After the Turkish conquest Islamisation of the hitherto Christian region began but this was terminated and to a great degree reversed, after the area was re-annexed to Russian Imperial Georgia after the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78. It was the last Black Sea port annexed by Russia during the Russian conquest of that area of the Caucasus. In 1878, Batumi was annexed by the Russian Empire in accordance with the Treaty of San Stefano between Russia and the Ottoman Empire. Occupied by the Russians on August 28, 1878, the town was declared a free port until 1886, it functioned as the center of a special military district until being incorporated in the Government of Kutaisi on June 12, 1883. On June 1, 1903, with the Okrug of Artvin, it was established as the region of Batumi and placed under the direct control of the General Government of Georgia; the expansion of Batumi began in 1883 with the construction of the Batumi-Tiflis-Baku railway and the finishing of the Baku-Batumi pipeline. Henceforth, Batumi became the chief Russian oil port in the Black Sea.
The town population increased doubling within 20 years: from 8,671 inhabitants in 1882 to 12,000 in 1889. By 1902 the population had reached 16,000, with 1,000 working in the refinery for Baron Rothschild's Caspian and Black Sea oil company. In the late 1880s and after, more than 7,400 Doukhobor emigrants sailed for Canada from Batumi, after the government agreed to let them emigrate. Quakers and Tolstoyans aided in collecting funds for the relocation of the religious minority, which had come into conflict with the Imperial government over its refusal to serve in the military and other positions. Canada settled them in Saskatchewan. During 1901, sixteen years prior to the October Revolution, Joseph Stalin, the future leader of the Soviet Union, lived in the city organizing strikes. On March 3, 1918, the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk gave the city back to the Ottoman Empire. Kemal Atatürk ceded the area to the Bolsheviks of the Soviet Union on the condition that it be granted autonomy, for the sake of the Muslims among Batumi's mixed population.
When Georgia gained its independence from the Soviet Union in 1989, Aslan Abashidze was appointed head of Adjara's governing council and subsequently held onto power throughout the unrest of the 1990s. Whilst other regions, such as Abkhazia, attempted to break away from the Georgian state, Adjara remained as an integral part of the Republic's territory. Abashidze ruled the area as a personal fiefdom. In May 2004, he fled to Russia because of mass protests in Tbilisi sparked by the Rose Revolution. Batumi today is one of the main port cities of Georgia, it has the capacity for 80,000-ton tankers to take materials such as oil that are shipped through Georgia from Central Asia. Additionally, the city exports regional agricultural products. Since 1995 the freight conversion of the port has risen, with an approximate 8 million tons in 2001; the annual revenue from the port is estimated at between $200 million and $300 million. Since the change of power in Adjara, Batumi has attracted international investors, the