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 N 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.
Online List of Lights - Georgia
Coming soon: photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas (includes Abkhazia).
Lighthouses of the USSR - Azov and Black Seas
Nothing here yet, but hopefully this webmaster will be adding information on the lighthouses.
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 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.
Sarpi (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 Anatolia. 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, a 2013 photo is available, Dima Pursanov has a sunset photo showing the light in operation, Wikimedia has a 2007 photo, J. Frylark has an August 2013 street view, and Google has a satellite view. 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. ARLHS GEO-001; Admiralty N5768; NGA 19324.

Batumi Light and Alphabet Tower, Batumi, September 2015
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Colin Hepburn
* Batumi Range Front
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. J. Frylark has a street view taken in April 2013; this light is on the left. Google has a satellite view. This is an approach range for Batumi. Note: NGA lists this light with the erroneous Admiralty number N5773.6. Located to the southwest of the front light. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty N5773.72; NGA 19335.
Batumi Range Common Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 32 m (105 ft); continuous red light visible only on the range lines. 29 m (95 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower, painted white. Ayhan Unlu has a distant street view, and Google has a satellite view. Note: NGA lists this light with the erroneous Admiralty number N5773.61. Located behind a block of 4-story buildings 260 m (850 ft) west of the Outgoing Range Front light. Site status unknown. Admiralty N5773.71; NGA 19335.1.
* Batumi Outgoing Range Front
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. J. Frylark has a street view taken in April 2013; this light is on the right. Google has a 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. Located on the west side of the harbor entrance. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty N5773.7.
Batumi (Batum) Petroleum Harbor
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, a view from the harbor is available, Huelse has a historic postcard view, Shayan Bakhshi has a street view across the harbor, 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. Located at the western end of the main pier at Batumi. The pier is probably not open to the public, but there should be views from anywhere on the waterfront. Admiralty N5772; NGA 19328.
Batumi Petroleum Harbor Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 22 m (72 ft); blue flash every 4 s. 19 m (62 ft) post light with gallery, carrying a long daymark painted white with a black vertical stripe. The tower is to the right of the lighthouse in Teigen's photo at right, 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 Harbor Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 22 m (72 ft); red flash every 2 s. 19 m (62 ft) post light with gallery, carrying a long daymark painted white with a black vertical stripe. The top of the tower pokes above the trees to the left of the lighthouse in Teigen's photo at right, 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 N5773.4; NGA 19330.
Batumi Petroleum Harbor Range Front Light
Batumi Petroleum Harbor Light, Batumi, June 2006
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Jeremy Teigen
Batumi Harbor Range Common Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 26 m (85 ft); red flash every 2.5 s. 19 m (62 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower with gallery, carrying a long daymark painted white with a black vertical stripe. The seaward side of the tower carries a rectangular slatted daymark, painted black with a white vertical stripe. This light is at the center of a distant view across the harbor, 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 19334.1.
* Batumi Small Port
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); quick-flashing light, white, red or green depending on direction. 7 m (23 ft) round barbell-shaped tower colored with red and white horizontal bands. A photo is available, Guram Tamazich has a distant street view, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the breakwater of the Batumi small craft harbor, about 3 km (2 mi) northeast of the major port. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty N5767; NGA 19322.
* 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. Anton Denysiuk has a street view, 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, Nika Miminoshvili has a 2017 photo, Jano Zhvania has a 2006 photo, there's a photo taken from the gallery, Krzysztof Świdziński has a photo of the Fresnel lens, Huelse has a historic postcard view, Archili Skhvediani has a 2014 street view, and Google has a satellite view. 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. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Huelse has a postcard view of an older beacon at this location. 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) (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 20 m (66 ft); light characteristic unknown. Approx. 15 m (49 ft) square skeletal tower. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. NGA dropped its listing when the original light, a 13 m (43 ft) square masonry tower, was deactivated in 2007. Kulevi is the site of a new oil terminal, opened in 2007. 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). Admiralty N5748; ex-NGA 19260.
Kulevi Port
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. No photo available, but 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, Archili Skhvediani has a 2014 street view, 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 N5746; NGA 19256.
Anaklia Light
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

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Posted March 12, 2007. Checked and revised June 12, 2018. Lighthouses: 18. Site copyright 2018 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.