City, northeastern Turkey, on the Çoruh River near the Georgian border. A local market for agricultural and animal products, it is linked by road with its port of Hopa to the northwest, which is on the Black Sea, and with Erzurum to the south. The population includes many Georgians, Kurds, and Lazes. Together with the neighbouring region of Kars, Artvin was ceded to Russia at the conclusion of the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78. It was returned to Turkey by a treaty between Turkey and Soviet Russia signed at Brest-Litovsk in 1918. Pop. (1990) 20,306.
Like all cities extending along the beautiful Black Sea coast, Artvin is a lovely district, 64 kms southeast of Hopa, possessing picturesque views of nature. Typical of this region, wide forests cover the area, and this landscape of mountains and lakes, plateaus and rivers, together with the traditional settings of pretty wooden houses, offers a pleasant atmosphere to visitors.
The wild and romantic Coruh river with its impressive rapids crosses the land here. White water rafting is possible on this river for the adventure-lovers to enjoy the excitement that few other rivers in the world offer. Along the road to Erzurum, are the Tortum waterfalls, constituting another attraction with a calm and peaceful atmosphere. 55 kms east of Artvin, are the towns of Savsat and Borcka, and the nearby Karagoller, a dreamlike place of beautiful lake. Wide plateaus are also found in Artvin, one being the Bilbilan; and the other Kafkasor, where the famous Kafkasor Festival is held with the interesting bull-fights. Sarp border gate is at Hope. There are many historical citadels, mosques, churches, and bridges, along with yachting, hunting, fishing facilities and thermal springs .
In this city of diverse nature, there also exist numerous ancient sites for sightseers to visit. The ruins of a 16th-century castle lie at the foot of the hill where the city is situated. There are fine old churches, dating to the 7th- and 10th-centuries, near the villages of Barhal, Ishan, Bagbasi and Camliyamac. Balih Bey Mosque is another important monument of Artvin, and the typical old Turkish houses are the part of the charming historical scenery.
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