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).
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 by various photographers available from Wikimedia (includes Abkhazia).
- World of Lighthouses - Georgia
- Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
- Russische Leuchttürme auf historischen Postkarten
- Historic postcard images posted by Klaus Huelse; the Georgian section is near the bottom of the page.
Poti Light, Poti, 2013
Georgian State Hydrographic Service photo
- 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
probably 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, but Google has a 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
The Turkish Coastal Safety Directorate has an account of the history of the station. Sarpi is a town on the border, 12 km (7.5 mi) south of Batumi. Located just north of the Turkish
border and about 300 m (1000 ft) inland. Site status unknown. Admiralty
N5779.1; 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. Colin Hepburn's
photo is at right, Sebastian Bauer has a 2009 closeup, another good photo is
available, a 2011 photo shows construction near the lighthouse, Wikimedia has a good photo, and Google has a satellite
view and an August 2013 street view by J. Frylark. Russia built a lighthouse here in 1883, replacing a smaller
Turkish light. A 130 m (427 ft) tall observation tower (called the Alphabet Tower because it displays the 33 letters of the Georgian alphabet) has been built close to the lighthouse. 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
N5768; NGA 19324.
Batumi Light and Alphabet Tower, Batumi, September 2015
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Colin Hepburn
- * Batumi Range Front (2)
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); continuous red light visible only on the range line. 20
m (66 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower with a domed top, painted white. An aerial view shows both range towers, and J. Frylark has a Google street view taken in April 2013; the front light is on the left. The towers must be too new to appear in Google's satellite view. The earlier front light is at the right in Osman Koçali's photo and in the distance at the right of a winter photo by
Maxim Lavrov. This is an approach range for Batumi. Located on the west side of the
harbor entrance. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty N5773.6; NGA 19335.
- * Batumi Range Rear (2)
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 32 m (105 ft); continuous red light visible only on the range line. 29
m (95 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower with a domed top, painted white. An aerial view shows both range towers, and J. Frylark has a Google street view taken in April 2013; the rear light is on the right. The towers must be too new to appear in Google's satellite view. Located to the south of the front light. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty N5773.61; NGA 19335.1.
- * 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, Lightphotos.net has a closeup, Gela Vasadze has a photo,
Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a 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 Bakı, 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 N5772; NGA 19328.
- * Batumi Approach
- 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, it is behind the lighthouse in Gela Vasadze's photo, and
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 N5773; NGA 19334.
- * Batumi Approach
- 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 N5773.1; NGA
Batumi Petroleum Harbor Range Front Light, Batumi, June
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. Google has a street view by Anton Denysiuk, and Google has a satellite view. Located about 25 km (15 mi) north of Batumi. Site open,
tower closed. Admiralty N5765; 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 the top of this page, Jano
Zhvania has a 2006 photo, George Jaoshvili has 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 satellite
view and a 2014 street view by Archili Skhvediani. 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. The 150th anniversary of the lighthouse was celebrated in 2014. 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 N5749.1; 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 N5749; NGA 19280.
- Poti Entrance Range Front
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); continuous red light. 13 m (43 ft) square skeletal tower. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on the short north breakwater at the entrance to Poti harbor. Site and tower closed. Admiralty N5762; NGA 19277.
- Poti Entrance Range Rear
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); continuous red light. 20 m (66 ft) square skeletal tower. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on the south inner breakwater of Poti harbor. Site and tower closed. Admiralty N5762.1; NGA 19277.1.
- #Kulevi (Redut-Kale) (1)
- Date unknown. Inactive since 2007 and removed soon after. 13 m (43 ft) square masonry tower. No photo available, but Google's satellite
view confirms the removal of the light. Kulevi is the site of a new oil terminal, opened in 2007. This light
was also 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 closed (industrial property). 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, and Google has a satellite
view. Located on the south side
of the terminal's entrance.
Site and tower closed (industrial property). Admiralty N5747.
- 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. A photo is at right, the State Hydrography Service has a photo, Pogromca Gašnič has a photo, and Google has a satellite view and a 2014 street view by Archili Skhvediani 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 N5746; NGA 19256.
Anaklia Light atop the Golden Fleece Hotel, Anaklia, February 2012
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Anaklia2012
Information available on lost lighthouses:
Notable faux lighthouses:
Adjoining pages: North: Abkhazia | South: Northern Turkey
Return to the Lighthouse Directory index
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Posted March 12, 2007. Checked and revised June 20, 2016.
Lighthouses: 15. Site copyright 2016 Russ Rowlett and the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill.