Sokhumi / Sukhumi
Sokhumi (pop. 111 700) the capital of Abkhazeti is located on a wide bay of the eastern Black Sea coast, with nearby hills rising to 140 m (460 ft) above sea level and lies at a large picturesque bay. In antiquity there was a trading town, Dioscuria, on the site. Sokhumi is an important transport junction of the republic; through it pass the Black-Sea railway and an asphalt motor-way, connecting the town with districts of the Georgia and North Caucasus.
The Sokhumi is a port, a rail junction, and a major subtropical resort, whose sulfur baths have been frequented since Roman times.The city has several institutes affiliated with the Georgian Academy of Sciences. The Greek colony of Dioscurias was founded on the site of the city in the 6th cent. b.c. It was known as Sebastopolis under Rome and Byzantium. Russia acquired it in 1810 as the Turkish fortress of Sokhum-Kale.
Sokhumi's semitropical climate, sandy beaches, mineral-water spas, and sanatoriums have long made it a popular resort. The center of Abkhazia - Sokhumi has many educational institutions, including the State University (founded in 1985), a teacher-training institute, and a medical research institute. It also has the State Museum (founded in 1915), a drama theater, and a research institute of linguistics, literature, and history. One of the oldest botanical gardens in the entire former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) is located here.
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