Poti center district

Poti center district

Foreign and Georgian written sources has been mentioning the existence of an ancient city of Phasis in the vicinity of modern the city of Poti since 7 century BCE. Although its exact location is still unknown. As for Poti, it appears for the first time in the 8th century CE and since then this toponym has not changed.
Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti

After the 16th century, Poti periodically became part of the Ottoman Empire. In the middle of the city, the castle, which was destroyed many times before, was built during the Ottoman rule in the 1720s. Once defeated in the war by Russian Empire, the Ottomans, according to the Treaty of Adrianople, handed over Poti and its surrounding coastline to the Russian Empire in 1829.

The strategic location of Poti, in case of its development, would ensure dominance in the Black Sea area, which Russia was well aware of. Since 1858, Poti has been officially granted the status of a port city. The construction of the pier began in 1863.

Poti has been writing a new history since 1894, when Niko Nikoladze, a well-known public figure of the city, was elected mayor. Under his direct leadership, in 1907, the construction of the harbor, which began in 1863, was finally completed, and it became one of the best ports on the Black Sea in terms of safety, equipment and services.


The historical part of Poti is spread on both banks of the Rioni river. The left side includes a radial street network stemming from the city park and a small part of the right side is a natural continuation of the regularly planned island district.

On the initiative of Niko Nikoladze, a general plan of the city was prepared in 1901, which is the basis for the structure and architectural form of the historical development of Poti today. In this regard, Poti is the only city in Georgia that was developed according to the urban planning document drawn up in advance and whose urban structure has remained unchanged to this day.

District history

During the Soviet era, the perimeter of Poti increased, and new residential areas appeared. The most valuable architectural heritage of the city is condensed in the center of Poti, which was developed according to the town planning projects drawn up in 1867 and 1901. Locals still refer to this area as the Central District and along with several other old sights, it is the main attraction of the historic city. 

What to see in Poti

Niko Nikoladze tower

In the center of the district, on the left bank of the Rioni, lies a city park where there used to be an Ottoman-built fortress. The tower was built on part of the foundation of this castle in 1870 and was rebuilt several times. It is now called Niko Nikoladze's tower by the population because he carried out the last reconstruction and lived here while working in Poti.

Byzantine style Orthodox church

On the park territory is a Byzantine-style Orthodox church, the Cathedral of the Resurrection was built in 1907 by architects Alexander Zelenko and Robert Marfeld. 

Nikoladze presented the church project to the city council emphasizing the Georgian ecclesiastical-style architecture, but the authorities chose the Byzantine style. The construction was carried out using the reinforced concrete system of French engineer François Hennebique. Poti Church is the first building whose dome was entirely built with reinforced concrete. Shota Rustaveli Encirclement curves around the park and the temple.

European Modernism

Multifunctional buildings represent the architectural heritage of the central district. The architecture is dominated by the European modern style, associated with the Lithuanian engineer and architect Edmund Alphonse Frick (1876-1944). He settled in Poti at the invitation of Niko Nikoladze and worked as a city engineer from 1907-1909.

In 1909, according to Frick's project, a modern-style library located in the park at Shota Rustaveli Encirclement 1 and modern residential houses on 26 May Street 9 and 35 were constructed. The latter used to belong to the merchant Homer Avgerinos, and now the Museum of Colchic Culture is located there.

Frick also fulfilled two hotel projects, the Grandhotel (1907) at Giorgi Chanturia St. 5, and Bristol (1910) at Davit Agmashenebeli St. 6.

Additionally, in the district, two more houses stand out with artistic value in the modern style at Davit Agmashenebeli Avenue 5 and 7 (1908), but the architect is unknown.

Classic style

The architect M. Vasilevich established the classic style in the 1900s constructing the buildings at Akaki Tsereteli St. 44, Akaki Tsereteli St. 28, and Akaki Tsereteli St 7.


There has always been a Jewish community in Poti. The synagogue built in 1903 on Jerusalem Street 11 has survived.

Other buildings of outstanding architectural value

Residential houses include the former one-story house of the Eligulashvili family at Nino Zhvania 12, the house of Dr. Nikoloz Ter-Nikogosov, built in 1894, at St. George Street 23, and the two-story house at Shota Rustaveli St. 16.

Public buildings include the former fishermen's cooperative at St. George Street 11, and the art school at Zviad Gamsakhurdia St.4.

The Architecture of the Soviet era

Valuable samples of the architectural heritage of the Soviet era have also survived in the district including a multi-apartment residential building at Rustaveli Encirclement 20, the Hydromelioration Technical College at St. George Street 24, Central Park entrance and the administrative building at Rustaveli Encirclement 24.

Outstanding architecture of the 21st century

The center district is distinguished by the latest, 21st century buildings. Three noteworthy buildings include the police building (2012), the Poti Drama Theater (architect Lado Khmaladze, 2014), and the House of Justice (2015).

Poti Central is undergoing reconstruction step by step, and as such an important port city of Georgia, it will soon become an advanced center of the tourist industry.

We use third-party cookies in order to personalise your experience.
Cookie Policy