Official visitor guide


Batumi Sea Port, 1917

Historical Review of Ajara Research indicates that the territory of Ajara has been populated since the Stone Age. For centuries Ajara was part of the mighty Colchis Kingdom in western Georgia and was originally settled by two ancient Kartvelian tribes, the Laz and the Megrelians (Egrisians). In the Greek sources Colchis is mentioned starting in the eighth century BCE. The economic basis of the region was agriculture, craft, iron and gold production and intensive trade relations with the Greek world. In historical sources the name “Ajara” is first mentioned in the fourth-third centuries BCE as the “Ajara Gorge.”

Christianity arrived in Ajara with Saint Andrew and from there spread all over Georgia. . In the Middle Ages the Ajara Gorge was one of the centers of Georgian material culture. Upper Ajara has numerous ancient sites of churches, chapels, arched bridges and fortresses built mostly in the tenth-eleventh centuries CE during the period of Georgian Renaissance. After the fall of Constantinople (1453), the territory of Ajara during three centuries was under the rule of Ottomans. Despite this fact, the inhabitants of Ajara region managed to preserve their faith, literature, Georgian language, traditions and wine culture. It is remarkable that the viticulture was preserved by the Ajarian people by moving it into forests, proved by a great number of wine pitchers found there. The region is famous today for its unique grape varieties including Tsolikauri, Chkhaveri, Izabela, Vaios Saperavi, etc. After the fall of the Ottomans, Ajara enjoyed development of capitalist relations that made significant changes in the social-economic life of the region. Batumi became the biggest city center in the region based on the development of the harbor, carrying the vast majority of the Transcaucasian export. The famous Nobel brothers introduced new oil-transit technologies in Batumi. The introduction and development of the tea and tobacco industries is also connected with the famous Rothschild and Mantashev families. European architects designed and built much of the city around the turn of the 20th century and many are still in use today.


As an Autonomous Republic, Ajara has its own constitution, flag and coat of arms.

The highest legislative body is the Ajara Autonomous Republic Supreme Council elected every four years.

The Government of Ajara Autonomous Republic is the highest executive body.

Local government is handled by the City Council while the City Hall serves as the executive body.

The courts offer justice based on the concept of equality for all.

A representative of the Public Defender (Ombudsman) operates independently in Ajara and supervises protection of human rights and freedoms.

Useful link: Ajara Autonomous RepublicExternal link