The heart of Sukhum is its waterfront. Before the Revolution it was...
Sunny city on the coast
The city of Sukhum (Aqua in Abkhaz) is the capital of the Republic of Abkhazia and one of the oldest cities in the world. It is cozily located in a spacious bay and protected with mountain ranges from the north-east, which makes the climate in Sukhum milder than in other regions of the Black Sea coast. The average temperature is +6 degrees in Centigrade in January, the coldest month, and +26 degrees in July, the warmest month. Autumn and winter are warmer here than on the French Riviera, and the average of sunny days per years is 220 which is more than on the Swiss Davos resort.
Most of the city is located on the coastal plain. Kelasur and Gumista, two rivers to the South and the West of the city, naturally mark its boarders.
Remains of a Paleolithic settlement were discovered in Yashtukha village near Sukhum; it is one of the oldest settlements in Europe. Settlements of Copper, Bronze and Iron ages were also discovered around Sukhum. Dolmens, the most ancient stone buildings in the Caucausus, discovered in Achandar and Esher not far from Sukhum, date back to the Bronze age. Cromlechs of the Megalithic culture, rows of stones piled up in circles, have also been discovered in Esher. Later in the Bronze age, around 12th-7th centuries BC, the unique Colchian culture blossomed in Sukhum and along the entire Caucasus coastline. Archaeologists still discover burial mounds with decorated bronze axes, arrowheads, bracelets and ceramics.
Sukhum - the heart of Abkhazia
Sukhum is the administrative, political and cultural center of Abkhazia and also the main transport and industrial hub of the country. This is where the legislative and governmental bodies are located as well as the Academy of science, the Abkhazian State University, the National Library, The National Museum, the Philharmonic Society, the Abkhazian State Broadcasting Company, Abkhazian and Russian drama theatres, colleges, specialized schools and other educational and cultural institutions. Sukhum is also home to several churches of different confessions: the Orthodox Cathedral, the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church, the Sinagogue, the Mosque. Hotels and health resorts are open for tourists as well as many cafes and restaurants. The total population of the city is approximately 80 thousand people.
Sukhum is the most beautiful city of Abkhazia. Its architectural identity formed mainly in the 19th-20th centuries. Major manufacturers and merchants as well as members of the intelligentsia built their houses, villas, hotels each in its own style and thus formed the architectural appearance of the city. The city plan is very comprehensive; the streets are straight and broad, with many squares and public gardens.
During the war with Georgia of 1992-1993, Sukhum was invaded by the Georgian army and suffered major losses in course of the battles. Destroyed buildings can still be seen in the streets nowadays. The city was freed on September 27, 1993. In course of the recent years Sukhum is being restored, historical monuments are being renovated, new buildings are being constructed and the streets are being recoated with asphalt and well-lighted.
Sukhum - the city of walks, relaxation and contemplation
Sukhum offers its tourists many places of interest: the Botanical Garden, the Arboretum, the Monkey Colony, the State Museum, the Art Gallery. There are many places for walks: the Sukhum mountain with a panoramic view of the city, the waterfront with lots of exotic plants and the most beautiful mansions. One of the traditional local pastimes is drinking coffee in the street cafés at the seaside, listening to the waves and admiring the view of the picturesque bay.