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Batumi (Town, Georgia)


Last modified: 2018-12-08 by ivan sache
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Flag and arms of Batumi - Images by The State Council of Heraldry at the Parliament of Georgia, 25 January 2011

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Presentation of Batumi

The town of Batumi (123,500 inhabitants in 2008; 1,900 ha; municipal website), the capital of the Autonomous Region of Adjara (south-west Georgia), is located on the Black Sea, 20 km form the border with Turkey. Batumi is the marine gateway of Georgia, with the country's biggest sea port.

Batumi was known by the ancient Greeks and Romans as Batusi, from bathys, a Greek world meaning "deep", referring to its convenient port. Incorporated in the 5th-15th centuries into different Georgian feudal states, Batumi was seized by the Ottomans at the end of the 15th century; expelled in 1609 by Mamia Gureli, the Turks eventually reconquerred the region at the end of the 17th century, making of Batumi the capital of the Lazeti District, depending on the Trabzon Governorate.
Following the Russian-Ottoman War, the San Stefano Treaty (3 March 1878) and its subsequent revision during the Berlin Congress (13 June-13 July 1878) transferred Adjara to Russia. The Russian troops entered Batumi on 25 August 1878. Per an English request at the Berlin Congress, Batumi was made a free port, with little profit for the local population; the free status was abolished in 1886.
On 12 June 1883, the Russian State Council suppressed the Batumi Region, transferring the town to the Kutaisi Province; following appeal by the inhabitants of the town, Batumi was granted a municipal status on 28 April 1888. The Batumi Region was reinstated in 1903. At the time, Batumi was a well-developed town with a significant commerce port.
According to Article IV of the Brest Treaty signed on 3 March 1917 between Russia and Germany, the border between Russia and Turkey had to be restored as it was in 1877, transferring back Batumi to Turkey, which was unacceptable for the locals. The Trabzon Conference, aimed at a border negotiation, was not successful and the Ottoman army annexed Batumi on 14 April 1918. Further negotiations held on 11-26 May and 31 May-4 June 1918 in Batumi led to the proclamation of the independence of Georgia, confirmed on 26 May and to the incorporation of the self-proclaimed Republic of Batumi into the new state. The Ottomans withdrew from the region after the defeat of their allies in the war, and were succeeded in 1919 by a British occupation government. The peace treaty signed on 7 May 1920 between Russia and Georgia did not prevent Russia to invade Georgia, Tbilisi being occupied on 25 February 1921. On 12 March 1921, the Ottomans entered Batumi, with the "official" aim of ousting the Russians. The Georgian government left Batumi on 17 March on its way to exile, while the remains of the Georgian army and volunteers, commanded by General George Mazniashvili, expelled on 21 March the Turks from Batumi and Adjara.

Ivan Sache, 6 December 2010

Flag of Batumi

The flag and arms of Batumi are prescribed by Decree No. 16-3, adopted on 30 October 2009 by the Municipal Council.

The State Council of Heraldry at the Parliament of Georgia, 25 January 2011

The flag is blue with three horizontal white stripes and an escutcheon, "Per fess wavy, 1. Gules three bezants or, 2. Argent", in the middle. The proportions of the flag shall be 2:3.
In the coat of arms, the aforementioned escutcheon is placed over a shield "Azure three bends argent", itself placed over two anchors or crossed per saltire, surmounted by a three-towered mural crown or, surrounded by a scroll argent charged with the name of the town in Georgian capital letters sable.
The escutcheon was shown, as the arms of Batumi, on a colour plate published by H.G. Strohl in Jahrbuch der K.K. Heraldischen Gesellschaft 'Adler' (three plates labelled Kaukasien, "Caucasus"), Vienna, 1901. These arms, granted on 17 June 1881 to the Batumi Region, are surmounted by a golden Imperial crown and surrounded by golden oak branches tied by a red Alexander's ribbon. The golden bezants (Byzantine coins) represent trade, while the wavy division, as well as the anchors in the modern version of the arms, symbolize the sea port of Batumi.
[State Council of Heraldry at the Parliament of Georgia]

Ivan Sache, 6 December 2010

Batumi Shota Rustaveli State University


Flag of BSU - Image by Ivan Sache, 15 October 2017

The Batumi Shota Rustaveli State University (ბათუმის შოთა რუსთაველის სახელობის სახელმწიფო უნივერსიტეტი; website) comprises the Faculties of Humanities, Education, Business and Economics, Law, Social and Political Sciences, Natural Sciences and Health Care, Physics-Mathematics and Computer Sciences, Technological Sciences, and Tourism. It also embraces three research institutes: the Niko Berdzenishvili Institute, the Agrarian and Membrane Technologies Institute, and the Institute of Phytopathology and Biodiversity. About 6 000 students study at the vocational, bachelor, master and doctoral programs.

The educational system in Adjara dates back to 1897, when the Boys' Gymnasium was established in Batumi, joined in 1900 by the Women's Gymnasium. A Pedagogical Institute was founded in 1923, afterwards turned into a Pedagogical College.
In the building of the Boys’ Gymnasium in 1935 a Teacher’s Institute was opened with the four Faculties of Georgian Language and Literature, Physics-Mathematics, History, and Natural Sciences-Geography. To this the Faculty of Physical Education was added in 1936 and the Faculty of Russian Language and Literature in 1938.
In June 1945 a Pedagogical Institute was founded on the basis of the Teachers’ Institute that was followed by reconstruction process and improvement of the facilities and equipment. In 1977 the construction of a new five-storeyed building began that was finished in 1982.

The collapse of Soviet Union and Georgia’s fight for independence made it possible to realize the wish of Ivane Javakhishvili (1876-1940, an historian and linguist, among the founders of the Tbilisi State University) who said: “If there is to be another university in Georgia, it should be in Batumi.”
Decision No. 453, adopted on 3 September 1990 by the Council of Ministries, established the Batumi State University. The Faculties of Law, Economics and Medicine were created.
Decree No. 37, issued on 23 February 2006 by the Georgian Government, established the Shota Rustaveli State University, merging the Batumi Shota Rustaveli State University, the Batumi Institute of Art, the Batumi Zakaria Paliashvili State Conservatory, the Batumi Institute of Aviation, the Batumi Institute of Agrarian Biotechnologies and Business, the Scientific-Research Institute of Membrane Technologies and the Batumi Agricultural Institute.

The institute was named in 1938 after the poet Shota Rustaveli (1160/1165 – died after c. 1220; biography), one of the greatest contributors to Georgian literature. He is author of The Knight in the Panther's Skin (ვეფხისტყაოსანი, Vepkhistkaosani), the Georgian national epic poem.
Little, if anything, is known about Rustaveli from contemporary sources. His poem itself, namely the prologue, provides a clue to his identity: the poet identifies himself as "a certain Rustveli." "Rustveli" is not a surname, but a territorial epithet which can be interpreted as "of/from/holder of Rustavi". Later Georgian authors of the 15th–18th centuries are more informative: they are almost unanimous in identifying him as Shota Rustaveli, a name which is preserved on a fresco and a document from the formerly Georgian Monastery of the Holy Cross at Jerusalem. The fresco was described by the Georgian pilgrim Timote Gabashvili in 1757/58, and rediscovered by a team of Georgian scholars in 1960. The same Jerusalem document speaks of Shota as a sponsor of the monastery and a "high treasurer", thus echoing a popular legend that Rustaveli was a minister at Queen Tamar’s court and retired to the monastery at an advanced age. Both a folk tradition and the 17th century royal poet Archil identify Rustaveli as a native of the southern Georgian region of Meskheti, where his home village Rustavi was located (not to be confused with the modern-day city of Rustavi near Tbilisi). A legend states that Rustaveli was educated at the medieval Georgian academies of Gelati and Ikalto, and then in "Greece" (i.e., the Byzantine Empire). He must have produced his major work no earlier than the 1180s and no later than the first decade of the 13th century, most probably c. 1205–1207.

The flag of BSU (photo) is white with the university's emblem in the center.
The emblem of the university is made of a blue shield placed on a white parchment and charged with a golden yellow bough and a white flying bird. The shield is surrounded in base by two blue fishes and surmounted by a portrait of Shota Rustaveli, flanked by a Georgian and an Adjaran flag, respectively, and blue figs leaves and grapes. The name of the university is written in Georgian script on a white scroll placed beneath the shield.
The representation of Shota Rustaveli matches the traditional iconography of the poet, for example, the bust (photo) erected in 1897 by Iakob Nikoladze (1876-1951, the first Georgian professional sculptor) in the landscaped garden of the Villa Borghese in Rome (Italy).

Ivan Sache, 15 October 2017

Batumi State Maritime Academy


Flag of the Batumi State Maritime Academy - Image by Victor Lomantsov, 31 August 2018

The flag of the Batumi State Maritime Academy (website), as hoisted on the mast of a cadet ship anchored in the port, is white with the academy's emblem.

Victor Lomantsov, 31 August 2018

Batumi Chess Olympiad


Flag of the Batumi Chess Olympiad - Image by Victor Lomantsov, 31 August 2018

The flag of the Batumi Chess Olympiad (April-July 2018; website), as hoisted in the steets, is white with the academy's emblem.

Victor Lomantsov, 31 August 2018