Artvin is located in the east of Black Sea region and the province has borders both with Georgia and the Black Sea. Ardahan, Erzurum, and Rize cities are the neighbours of Artvin. The surface area of Artvin is 7,436 square kilometres and its ranked the 55th largest province of Turkey.
Geographically 55% of the area is wooded and has a very rugged land. Artvin is populated with copper mines and the large ethnicity of the population are made of Laz, Kipchak Turks and Georgians. River Coruh plays an important place as a river in the region. Also, Şavşat Karagöl and Borçka Karagöl and Sahara National Park is an important places to be seen. Artvin’s former parish of the Borçka district of the province and the village centre of this parish Camila village, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation by the biosphere is the only region and a world heritage site in Turkey named as a reserve area.
With the presence of copper and bronze tools in Yusufeli and Savsat, It is seen that people have been living in Artvin between around 4000 years. But ancient artefacts started too late because Artvin is both geographical and remote to research centres. The ancient works were accompanied by traces of the Polished Stone Age in Artvin. The information shows that people have been living in this region around 10,000 years
Where Did Artvin Take His Name?
According to a belief, one of Scythian’s followers took the name of Artvani, then Artvin in the Ottoman period. The previous name of the province was Çoruh and later became Artvin by law in February 15, 1956.
While Artvin was among the rising outbound immigrants between 1980-1997, due to the new employment areas created after the construction of the Deriner dam in 1998 and the Borçka and Muratli dams in 1999.Marmara region, which is predominantly migrated seen tendency has decreased from the region.
Artvin is a livelihood based on livestock, whose primary means of subsistence is the people, when industrial possibilities are low and agricultural land is a limited in the province. Small head, large head, and poultry livestock have been the primary sources of livelihood for the local people. In the region, the shepherd’s institution is also based on master-apprentice relation. The shepherds who are raised as apprentices, who grow up, become the sole rule over time and continue the tradition.
Artvin Folk Medicine and Public Veterinary Medicine
Artvin is very rich concerning plant variety. There is a robust ecosystem in the region, including endemic species. It is possible to talk about the tradition of a strong “folk medicine” in Artvin, which is very efficient concerning plant species, which is the main raw material in the treatment of diseases. Artvin is a province where the practice of “folk veterinary medicine” is widespread as it is a province where animal husbandry is done intensely.
The villages in Artvin were established at high altitudes because of the area being a mountainous region. In the folkloric structure of the villages, the watching games were also developed and took place in the folk entertainment life. In the Artvin region, the play and the music are intertwined. In Village’s where traditional life is maintained, one of the games played is “Berobana.” It is based on death and resurrection, kidnapping, competition based on Arabic and Negro typologies music and dances. The Berobana game where the audience is a potential player can enter and leave the game.
Artvin Culture and Tourism
Artvin Livane Castle
Our knowledge about the history of Artvin and its surroundings goes far as 3000 BC. Artvin and Çoruh from the Central Asia and Asyanic tribes from the Hun empire, the country was acquired by the Sakalar. Various tribes have continuously invaded Artvin and its surroundings. Parses, Urartians, and Cimmerians dominated this region for a long time. Artvin and its environs entered to Ottoman rule in 1551 by Kanuni Sultan Süleyman. It is estimated that the fortress located at Artvin Köprübaşı was built in the 10th century. It was repaired in the 16th-century in the Ottoman period. There is a water reservoir (cistern) and a small church (chapel).
Ardanuç Gevhernik Castle
Ardanuç is located in Adakale district. The first construction of the castle started in two periods. The Bagratlı Kingdom, Çıldır Atabekleri and Osmanlılar. It is one of the most important monuments in the region and is the only example with the inner castle and the city structure surrounded by the city walls. It is noteworthy with the inscriptions of Süleyman the Magnificent as well as various remnants belonging to the past periods. Ardanuç Adakale location, Gevhernik Castle, Iskenderpaşa Mosque and its historical sites.
Şavşat (Satlel) Castle
Şavşat is located in Söğütlü Mahallesi was also built by the Bagrat Kingdom and was also used by the Ottomans.
Today, a large part of the abandoned castle fortification walls are still standing.
Ardanuç Ferhatlı Castle
5 km from Ardanuç, the castle was built by King Vahtang of Iberia. The building was built on a bedrock rising parallel to the valley, at the edge of Ardanuç water, before ascending to Ardanuç.
İskenderpaşa Mosque and Holey sites are located in the town of Adakale. The mosque was first repaired in 1553 during the Ottoman period and opened the worship.It is the first mosque in the region and it has come to be a solid till today.
Borçka is located in the village of Muratli (Maradit). It was built in 1846. It’s wooden elements in the wooden structure have various ornaments. Especially sentence door wings, minberi and mihrab are beautiful examples of wood carving.
Murgul town is located in Esenköy and was built in 1863. The structure, which is entirely wooden, attracts attention with local architectural features.
Şavşat is located in the village of Kocabey and was built in 1890. Besides the façades, the last congregation site, the portal, and the mihrab protect the original doctrine.
Yusufeli village is in the town of Demirkent. The wooden elements of the church from the church are the only examples that protect the original texture on the spot.
Barhal (Altiparmak) Church
The village of Yusufeli is in the town of Altıparmak in Sarıgöl. The church is understood to be from the written sources was made to the Baptist Yahya around the 9th century during King David Magistros. The church is built of tiles made of chipped stone and cut stone, called “Lamped,” without relying on a mortar-free floor with a roof attached. The structure is 28.40 x 18.65 cm from the outside. In its dimensions, it is a three-noble basilica. The facades covered with grey-coloured cut-out stones are co-dimensioned in the south and the north and are driven by curtain arches which extend from side to side in the east and west. The green figurative ornaments made in the low relief technique on the top of the window are in good condition. It is 30 km from Yusufeli town.
Ishan Monastery Church
It is in Ishan village of Yusufeli district. According to the manuscript dated in 951, Priest Khandza (759 – 861) was a student of Priest Seba, financially supported by King Andernese . The monastery was built in 955 by the Georgian King David and was completed in 1027 by the King of Bagratli Magistros. In the southwest, there is Mary Main Chapel. The structure, which is extensive, is of domed basilic plan type.
Dolishan (Hamamlı) Church
It is located in Hamali village which is connected to the central district. Artvin – Şavşat highway to the northwest direction of the Berta bridge to the 6 km. The 10th century church was built by Sumbath, the king of Bagrat. The “Sun Clock” on the southern front reflects the characteristic of the period. Around the 17th century it was turned into a mosque at the end and was used as a mosque for a while.
Porta Monastery Church
The Church is located in the Bağlı district of the Pırnallı village of the central district. It is accepted that King Gürgen (918 – 941), built between 896 and 918 by Prince Khaouli, the grandson of King 1st Ashot, took its final shape in the years of the reign. It consists of a bell tower, a chapel and a fountain. When you look at the layout of the monastery, it is understood that Tao Klarjheti area is the most important cultural and religious centre during it’s days.
Şavşat is located in the village of Cevizli and is 14 km away from the town centre. According to written sources, it is understood that the building was built during the period of Ashot Koukhi by Prince of Bagratli, who ruled the area between 899 and 914. There are “Aries sculptures” on every surface of the roof consisting of four surfaces made of chipped stone. The interior has “Apostle” figures. It attracts attention with its smooth stone quality and herbal plastic embellishments.