Self-Governing Poti City Poti is one of the ancient towns of the world. It has 54.000 inhabitants and is situated on the east coast of the Black Sea at the mouth of the river Rioni and has an ancient history. Poti was founded as a Greek colony in the 7th centuty BC and named Phasis. A higher rhetorical school existed in Phasis in IV Century A.D. Then Phasis was within the kingdom of Lazika (new Kolkhetian kingdom). A well known myth about Jason and his Argonauts, who arrived in Kolkheti for Golden Fleece, is connected with Poti. The vigorous development of agriculture, various crafts, textile, ceramic other industries turned antique Phasis into economic and trading centre of Colchis. The city was famous for its culture and proud of its school of rhetoric and philosophy -Phasis Academy. The development of trading-economic relation and the region in whole made Poti the main transport city on the eastern coast of the Black sea. Since 1858 Poti has been declared as a port city. In 1871 the first railway line Poti-Shorapani was put into exploitation. Poti particularly grew in size and importance during the mayorship of Niko Nikoladze between 1894 and 1912. Considered to be the founding father of modern Poti, Nikoladze presided over a series of modernizing and construction projects, including a theatre, a large cathedral, two gymnasia, a power station, an oil refinery, etc. By 1990, Poti had become one of the major ports on the Black Sea, exporting most of Georgia's manganese and coal. Outstanding Georgian public figure Niko Nikoladze played significant role in the construction of the railway in Transcaucasia. For participation in the construction Poti-Tbilisi railway, Niko Nikoladze was awarded with the "Gold badge" railway-man. The Black Sea port city Poti is an important comm-unication city of the Eurasian region, the shortest point connecting Europe through Bulgarian and Romanian ports with Asia. The port plays significant role of the Caspian crude oil and gas way to the energy market of Europe. From the beginning of the 19th century leading specialists stressed the necessity of building a major port at the mouth of the river Rioni. Since 1889 a new stage of the port construction starts. The project of the port construction from the Military Department went under Road Department. In September of the same year Colonel Mayer submitted a new design of the port extension and reconstruction and later the design was elaborated by Professor N. Voznesenski, a Senior Engineer of the Commercial Port Arrangement Commission. And this was the project Niko NIkoladze, outstanding public figure started to carry out. With his support the mentioned design was finally adopted in 1899 and construction commenced. Nikoladze initiated and personally participated in building of the port main constructions, which was completed in 1905-1907. Since that time the port reconstruction has been ongoing. Nowadays the port is equipped with modem cargo handling facilities and in line with the European standards. The port has open and closed warehouses, supportive constructions, 8 cargo handling complex located at 15 berths of the "northern port" and "inner basin", passenger station and berths for fishing fleet. Sea Port of Poti has all conditions to satisfy client's different requirements regarding cargo and passenger carriage. At present it is operated by the interglobal shipping company APM Terminals. In January 2007, President of Georgia Mikhail Saakashvili declared Poti's free Industrial Zone and it is one of the most important zones at the Black Sea. The area of the zone is more than 300 ha. Favorable conditions of Poti free Industrial Zone will allow interested companies to conduct their different kinds of economic activity. We are sure that such opportunity such as to start own business, use privileges of a Free Industrial Zone, will attract lots of entrepreneurs and businessmen. Virgin Cathedral of Poti is a Georgian Orthodox church in downtown Poti. The cathedral is an imitation of Hagia Sofia in Constantinople, and it was built in 1906-07 with the great contribution of Niko Nikoladze, the mayor of Poti. Notably, Niko Nikoladze chose the location of the cathedral in the center of the town to make it viewable from every side of Poti. A. Zelenko and M. Marfeld were the architects of this Neo-Byzantine cathedral and the capacity of the church is 20,000 people. Niko Nikoladze Tower is the oldest and the most important building in Poti. The head of Poti Niko Nikoladze, during his work years(1894-1912) lived in this tower. In 1896, Niko Nikoladze, added two floors to the fortress. On the fifth floor, mechanical clock was located, which Niko Nikoladze brought from Paris. Poti lighthouse is located at the estuary of river Rioni and the Black Sea. In the historic district of the city, in the second half of XIX century, with the Poti seaport construction development, the lighthouse creation was required, which was the guarantee to the boats safe navigation in the port. In 1864, English firm "Ekhton Amos and children"-s engineer-mechanics created the lighthouse turret, which was assembled with cast-iron sheets. Built by British engineers - one of the oldest lighthouses of the eastern Black Sea. Central Park - one of the most beautiful places in Poti. Verdant trees, beautiful blossoms, green lawns, palm corridors, fountains and sculptures decorate the park. Residents and tourists prefer to spend their leisure time ambling there. Central Park is filled with a broad variety of activities that will keep any visitor content. Alexander Dumas Monument is located in Central Park. In 1859 since January 22 until February 1, French genius Alexander Dumas had been paying a visit to the city of Poti. With surprising affection and amazement remembers the great French a small seaboard colony in his book "Caucasus". "With the decision of Tsar, from January the 1 of 1859, Poti had been recognized as a city, we've seen it already what kind of city was Poti now let's see what kind of Port it will be..." French genius wouldn't be unsatisfied having seen Georgia's ancient harbor's and naval gate's recent status-function and expressiveness. Museum The Museum of Kolkhis Cultures is based in 1933. Museum funds (7689 exhibits!) consist of the unique materials found in a course of archeological excavations in territory of the former Kolkhis. Their chronology covers the period with III millenium BC to VII-VIII centuries AD Among exhibits - a collection of products from nonferrous metals, rare numismatics (Alexanderthe Great gold coins, Justiniana, Queens Elizabeth, kolkhi tetri), ethnographic, unique photographic materials and the archival documents connected with city history of Poti. Gallery Art gallery- one of cultural city centers. The tourist can't pass this place - eventually here it can receive gifts, jewelry and other subjects of national creative potential. Not to mention that in pictures of gallery of local artists are presented. Besides, here personal exhibitions of the Georgian and foreign artists, photo-exhibitions and creative representations are often organized. Theatre Building of a new building of theater isn't finished yet. But after all it not the reason that the troupe stood idle. Especially, such talented. The performances put under plays of classics and modern writers, use at towns-people and city visitors invariable success. Troupe Valerian Gunia State Drama Theatre will be glad to show to tourists-theater-goers the rich creative potential. Folklore Poti folklore ensembles - participants of folklore festivals as in the homeland, and behind its limits. Certainly, any local holiday doesn't do without participation of collectives of national creativity. It is not excluded that your arrival to Poti will coincide with a City Day "Fazisoba" (August) or festival of national creativity. Are assured, you estimate skill Poti singers and dancers. Sport Extensive sports infrastructure - a subject of pride of Poti inhabitants. In a city is operating about15 sports schools, clubs and sections (it is no wonder that many Georgian champions - natives of Poti. Among them the Olympic Prize Winners: Viktor Kratasiuk - gold, Munich, 1972 and Vladimir Chanturia, bronze, Sydney, 2000). Practically every week in Poti pass sports competitions. The Kolkheti National Park is located in the west Georgia (4 km south of the centre of Poti on the Batumi road). It contains the Black sea east border zone and the pond of Paliastomi Lake. The Park created for the protection and preservation of the redundant moisture ecosystem as a high value inheritance in Kolkheti. The park was established in 1999 as part of Georgia's Integrated Coastal Management Project with the financial support of the World Bank (WB) and the Global Environmental Fund (GEF). The National Park includes the Kolkheti State Nature Reserve established in 1947 (500 ha) and the adjacent wetlands, including the Paliastomi Lake. Paliastomi Lake Many thousands of years ago, Lake Paliastomi was a lagoon opening on to the Black Sea. Over hundreds of years, waves moving sand and pebbles along the coast closed off the lagoon from the saltier water of the Sea. The Pichori River carried fresh water down into the lake from the mountains of western Georgia. As a freshwater lake up to 3 meters deep, Paliastomi supported numerous healthy populations of fish which fed on the invertebrates and plankton living in the lake. Fauna The coastal zone of the park together with the adjacent marine area lies along one of the main routes of migration of water- fowls and waders of Africa and Eurasia. Over 194 different bird species are found within the region, including 21 species of migratory birds (the best months to visit are September and October, when large and small raptors can be seen migrating southwards, and January to May, when swans, geese, ducks, other water birds and even rare pelicans, strors and booted eagles gather to winter here)). The National Park together with other areas of the Kolkheti lowlands is considered to be the homeland of the legendary Kolkhuri pheasant. Flora The warm, humid climate and the dense hydrographical network have, to a great extent, contributed to the rich floristical composition and the development of rather diverse vegetation. The vegetation of the Kolkheti lowlands includes rare relics of a tropical and subtropical landscape belt that stretched across the Eurasian continent approximately 10 million years ago. A more recent assortment of plant, adapted to the far north, arrived here after the glacial period less than 10,000 years ago. Maltakva On the south-west of the city is the territory of forest park of Maltakva. The forest park is extended on 93 hectares where mostly are spread endemic species: sea-shore pine-tree, evergreen oak and deciduous trees.. This territory is bordered by the coastal line of the Black See where subtropical and sea climate, the sun and magnetic sand create unique conditions for resting and cure. Beach sand consists of big amount of magnetic particles. These positive factors can be used for a cure as for a children as for adults (diseases of cardiovascular system, nervous system, motional support apparatus, diseases of children contingent, chronic urogenital diseases). Horse Riding Horse riding is one of the favorite kind of productive leisure. At your desire, you will have an opportunity to make a fascinating trip on horses on territory of Kolkheti National Park. And not only that. A wide strip of a sandy beach of Maltakva is an ideal place for riding. Don't refuse this pleasure! Water, pedestrian and horse riding, fishing, bird-watching, water-skiing: - this is just a small list of activities: among other services, what the potential tourist in the city of Pot can count on. Self-Governing Poti City Hall Self-governing Poti City Hall (Self-governing Unit) is an executive body. It incorporates 14 structural units (10 local services and 4 territorial authorities). The budget is unified and is managed by the Self-governing Poti City Hall in agreement with the City CounciL (Sakrebulo). Non-commercial entities and LTDs with 100% share established by the Self-governing unit are under the subjection of the City Hall. The spheres of competence of the City Hall was described as: * ensure the implementation of the decisions of the City Council and Mayor; * elaborate the projects within the programs on development of Budget and Social-economic issues. * ensure the fulfillment of the Budget and Social-economic Programs approved by the City Council. * in agreement with the City Council makes a decisions on the issues concerning land-tenure on the subjected areas. The city government is involved in attracting local and foreign investments for the city infrastructure and economy development. Local self-government of Poti with the purpose of implementation cosio-economic and infrastructural projects in the city actively cooperates with the international organisations such as Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Danish Refugee Council (DRC), an Embassy of Japan in Georgia. The city has several sister cities in different countries. Priority issues for the city government in frames of cooperation with the sister cities are: * development of tourism; * cooperation in health protection sphere; * development of internal and external economic relations; * cooperation in the field of education, training of qualified personnel; * sharing experiences between city utility services; * sharing experiences of participation in international organizations; * information exchange and sharing experiences in the field of environment protection ; * to organize exhibitions, fairs, presentations of firms and enterprises; Nowadays the city government together with several sister cities provides mutual socio and infrastructural projects. This kind of cooperation during last 3 years is especially active with Östhammar Municipality, Sweden. Collaboration between Poti City and Östhammar began in 2007 year in the frames of self-Government, tourism, social care and business development. Since that time the Municipality of Östhammar actively collaborates with self-Governing Poti City together within the scope of SIDA IDA (Swedish Association of Local Authorities International Development Agency). This agency financially supports Swedish and foreign municipalities in this kind of cooperation. The parties discussed the fields of cooperation: * The areas of cooperation have tentatively been identified as environment, social welfare, child care and vocational training; * Other areas of cooperation could be exchange of experience in local self-government systems; * The parties will encourage business contacts at various levels between companies in the two municipalities. Since 2007 Östhammar Municipality together with SIDA has implemented several projects in Poti City. In 2010 two firetrucks and all necessary equipments were donated to Fire&Emergency Department of Poti. In 2009-2010 the social workers of Östhammar Municipality paid a visit to Poti City. The purpose of the visit was to organize the training courses for sharing the experiences in the frames of social issues. In April 2011 delegation from Östhammar together with Mayor and vice-mayors paid a visit to Poti and in frames of planned activities another visit is awaited in April 2012.