Lighthouses of Georgia (Sakartvelo)

This page is for lighthouses of the former Soviet republic of Georgia, not the U.S. state that has the same name by coincidence. The citizens of the country call it Sakartvelo; the name "Georgia" seems to come from an early name Gurzhan or Gurjistan. Georgia, or Sakartvelo, is located south of the Caucasus Mountains at the eastern end of the Black Sea. After being annexed by the Russian Empire in 1800, Georgia was briefly independent during the Russian Revolution (1918-21). The country was then incorporated into the Soviet Union from 1921 to 1991.

Historically, Georgia was primarily an inland nation that struggled to maintain control over the neighboring Black Sea coastline. The coastal region has two distinct parts: Guria in the west and Adjara in the southwest. Each of these regions has its own complex history, and each has a distinct status today (as described below). Poti is the major port of Guria, and Batumi (Batum) is the capital and major port of Adjara. The Ukrainian line UKRFerry provides rail, auto, and passenger ferry service across the Black Sea between Poti and Batumi and ports in Ukraine and Romania.

A note is in order concerning Abkhazia, an autonomous republic on Georgia's northwestern frontier with Russia. In 1931, the Soviet Union transferred Abkhazia from the Russian Federation to the Soviet Republic of Georgia. After Georgia regained its independence in 1991, Abkhazia revolted against Georgian rule. A bitter struggle in 1992-93 led to Abkhazia becoming a de facto independent state, guarded by Russian peacekeeping troops. The independence of Abkhazia from Georgia is not recognized internationally. However, since reunion of Abkhazia with Georgia does not seem likely in the near future, the lighthouses of Abkhazia are listed on a separate page.

Lighthouses in Georgia are maintained by the State Hydrographic Service. The Georgian language is written in a distinctive script; the word for a lighthouse is shuqura (შუქურა). Aids to navigation in Georgia are presumably maintained by the port authorities of Batumi and Poti.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volume E of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 113.

General Sources
Maritime Navigation Beacons
Photos of four lighthouses (one in Abkhazia) posted by the State Hydrographic Service.
Lighthouses in Georgia
Photos available from Wikimedia (includes Abkhazia).
Russische Leuchttürme auf historischen Postkarten
Historic postcard images posted by Klaus Huelse; the Georgian section is near the bottom of the page.

Batumi Light
Batumi Light, Batumi, May 2006
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Gilad Rom

Lighthouses of Adjara (Ajaria)
Note: Adjara is an autonomous republic located at the southwestern corner of Georgia and the southeastern corner of the Black Sea. Always a frontier province, Adjara was conquered by the Ottoman Turkish Empire in 1614 and converted forcibly to Islam. In 1878 Turkey was obliged to cede Adjara to the Russian Empire. After World War I, British troops occupied the territory, but it was united with Georgia in 1920. Under Soviet rule, Adjara was organized as an autonomous republic within the Soviet republic of Georgia. After the collapse of the Soviet central government in 1991, Adjara remained under the control of its Communist dictator and Russian troops occupied the former Soviet base at Batumi. This situation continued until 2003, when the new Georgian government of Mikheil Saakashvili used the threat of armed force to bring down the dictator and reunite Adjara with Georgia. The Russian troops were withdrawn by the end of 2007, and Georgia is moving to develop the province economically. Lighthouses in Adjara are operated by the Batumi Sea Port.
Sarp (Hopa-Sarp, Georgia-Turkey Boundary) Range Rear
1980. Active; focal plane 33.5 m (110 ft); white light occulting once every 4 s. 27 m (89 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery. The entire seaward side of the tower is covered by a slatted daymark, painted white with a red vertical stripe on the range line. No photo available, and the tower has not been located in Bing's satellite view. These range lights were built following an agreement between Turkey and the Soviet Union establishing the boundary between the two countries' 12-mile territorial waters; the range line lies along this sea boundary, which is not on exactly the same line as the land boundary. The front light is built just on the Turkish side of the border and is listed under Northern Anatolia. The Turkish Coastal Safety Directorate has an account of the history of the station. Sarp is a town on the border. Located just north of the Turkish border and about 300 m (1000 ft) inland. Site status unknown. Admiralty E5779.1; NGA 19348.
* Batumi (Batum, Mys Burun Tabiya) (3)
Date unknown (early 1900s) (station established under Ottoman rule in 1863). Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); two red flashes every 6 s. 17 m (56 ft) octagonal masonry tower with lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted white; lantern dome is dark metallic. Gilad Rom's photo is at the top of this page, another good photo and a 2009 closeup are available, a 2011 photo shows construction near the lighthouse, Wikimedia has a good photo, and Bing has a good satellite view. Russia built a lighthouse here in 1883, replacing a smaller Turkish light. Located on the point of Mys (Cape) Burun Tabiya, which partly shelters the harbor of Batumi, about 1 km (0.6 mi) northwest of the harbor light. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty E5768; NGA 19324.
* Batumi Entrance (Range Front?)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); continuous red light. 20 m (66 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower, painted white. The seaward side of the tower carries a rectangular slatted daymark, painted black with a white vertical stripe. Bing has a satellite view, and the lighthouse is in the distance at the right of a winter photo by Maxim Lavrov. The rear light is said to be 260 m west on a similar tower, but it cannot be seen in Google satellite images. Located on the west side of the harbor entrance. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty E5773.6; NGA 19335.
* Batumi (Batum) Petroleum Harbor (Range Front)
1904. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); continuous white, red or green light, depending on direction. 11 m (36 ft) round cylindrical cast iron tower with lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted white with two horizontal black bands on the seaward side only. Jeremy Teigen's photo is at right, Gela Vasadze has a photo, another good photo is available, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Bing has a good satellite view. This appears to be the original lighthouse, a cast iron tourelle of typical French design. The harbor of Batumi has been an important oil terminal since 1883, with oil arriving here by pipeline from Baku, Azerbaijan. The rear light is on a small structure 1.3 km (3/4 mi) to the south. Located at the western end of the main pier at Batumi. The pier is probably not open to the public, but there should be excellent views from anywhere on the waterfront. ARLHS GEO-001; Admiralty E5772; NGA 19328.
* Batumi Approach Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 22 m (72 ft); continuous blue light visible only on the range line. 19 m (62 ft) post light with gallery, carrying a long daymark painted black with a white vertical stripe. The top of the tower pokes above the trees to the left of the lighthouse in Teigen's photo at right. Google has a satellite view. Located about 150 m (500 ft) east of the Petroleum Harbor lighthouse on the main pier at Batumi. There should be excellent views from anywhere on the waterfront. Admiralty E5773; NGA 19334.
* Batumi Approach Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 26 m (85 ft); continuous blue light visible only on the range line. 19 m (62 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. The seaward side of the tower carries a rectangular slatted daymark, painted black with a white vertical stripe. A photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located across the harbor basin from the front light. Site status unknown, but the light is easy to see from nearby. Admiralty E5773.1; NGA 19334.1.
Batumi Petroleum Harbor Range Front Light
Batumi Petroleum Harbor Range Front Light, Batumi, June 2006
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Jeremy Teigen
* Kobuleti
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 37 m (121 ft); green flash every 3 s. Lantern mounted atop a 30 m (98 ft) building. This is the easternmost light of the Black Sea. Kobuleti is a beach resort town in northern Adjara; a photo shows two high-rise buildings adjoining the beach, and the light is probably on the closer one. Bing has a satellite view. Located about 25 km (15 mi) north of Batumi. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty E5765; NGA 19320.

Lighthouses of Guria
Note: For roughly a thousand years, Guria has been Georgia's most reliable window on the sea. After several centuries when its princes held the front line against the Ottoman Empire, the province was annexed by the Russian Empire in 1810, a few years after central Georgia. Lighthouses in Guria are presumably operated by the Poti Sea Port.
**** Poti (Inner Range Rear)
1864. Active; focal plane 36 m (118 ft); two flashes every 7.5 s, first white then red; the tower is also floodlit at night. 37 m (121 ft) round cast iron tower with lantern and gallery, painted with red and white horizontal bands. 2-story keeper's house. A photo is at right, Jano Zhvania has a 2006 photo, a photo showing the keeper's house, a view from the south mole and a twilight view of the lighthouse in action are available, there's a photo taken from the gallery, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a good satellite view of the light station. A historic photo of the station is also available. Prefabricated in London for the Russian empire by Easton Amos and Sons, this is one of the oldest lighthouses of the eastern Black Sea. The lighthouse was refurbished in 1967 and fully restored in 2011-12; a museum on site was opened in 2012. Ships approach Poti harbor from the north, parallel to the coast, so the lighthouse is located 1930 m (1.2 mi) south southeast of the front light, close to the beach and beside one of the branches of the Rioni River delta. Accessible by road. Site open, museum and tower open although schedule information is not available online. ARLHS GEO-004; Admiralty E5749.1; NGA 19284.
* Poti Inner Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); continuous green light. 15 m (49 ft) square skeletal tower. The tower carries a rectangular daymark, painted orange with a black vertical stripe on the range line. A photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. There's also a historic photo of an older beacon at this location, and Huelse has a postcard view of the older light. Located on the south mole of Poti harbor. Site probably open, tower closed. Admiralty E5749; NGA 19280.
Kulevi (Redut-Kale) (1)
Date unknown. Inactive since 2007. 13 m (43 ft) square masonry tower. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Kulevi is the site of a new oil terminal, opened in 2007. This lighthouse has been dropped from the NGA list. Located about 1 km (0.6 mi) south of the terminal's entrance and about 12 km (7.5 mi) north of Poti. Site status unknown. ex-NGA 19260.
Kulevi (Redut-Kale) (2)
2007. Active; focal plane about 48 m (157 ft); white light occulting in a 4+1 pattern. 45 m (148 ft) square skeletal tower, painted a reddish brown. Archil Guchmanidze has a view from the sea, but the light is too new to appear in Google's satellite view. Located on the south side of the terminal's entrance. Site status unknown. Admiralty E5747.
Poti Light
Poti Light, Poti, 2013
Georgian State Hydrographic Service photo
Anaklia (3?)
2011. Active; focal plane 47 m (154 ft); flash every 15 s, white, red or green depending on direction. 45 m (148 ft) light mounted atop a seaside hotel building. The State Hydrography Service has a photo, Wikimedia has a photo, Mindia Davitadze has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. The light replaced a 13 m (43 ft) square skeletal tower, believed to be the second light on this site. Located on a low cape a short distance south of the Abkhazian border. Site open. Site manager: Golden Fleece Hotel. Admiralty E5746; NGA 19256.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Abkhazia | South: Northern Turkey

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Posted March 12, 2007. Checked and revised August 12, 2013. Lighthouses: 12. Site copyright 2013 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.