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Bolnisi
ბოლნისი
Bolnisi 01.jpg
Flag of Bolnisi
Official seal of Bolnisi
Bolnisi is located in Georgia
Bolnisi
Bolnisi
Bolnisi is located in Kvemo Kartli
Bolnisi
Bolnisi
Coordinates: 41°27′N 44°32′E / 41.450°N 44.533°E / 41.450; 44.533Coordinates: 41°27′N 44°32′E / 41.450°N 44.533°E / 41.450; 44.533
Country Georgia
MkhareKvemo Kartli
MunicipalityBolnisi
Elevation
420 m (1,380 ft)
Population
 (2014[1])
 • Total8,967


Bolnisi (Georgian: ბოლნისი), is a city in the country of Georgia, located in the Kvemo Kartli region and capital of the Bolnisi district. It currently has an estimated 13,800 inhabitants.

History

The town hall of Bolnisi
The town hall of Bolnisi

Bolnisi was settled by 95 German colonist families from Swabia in 1818, whilst part of the Georgia Governorate of the Russian Empire. Upon the arrival of the German colonists, the town was renamed Yekaterinenfeld (Russian: Екатериненфельд; German: Katharinenfeld) in honor of the sister of Tsar Alexander I, Ekaterina Pavlovna, who was married to the King of Württemberg. Some eight years later, Yekaterinenfeld was pillaged by what were described as "Tartars", who burned down the German colony and massacred many of its inhabitants.[2][3] In the early 20th century, Yekaterinenfeld had a mainly German and Russian population of 2,332.[4]

Following the Russian Revolution and the Sovietization of Georgia in 1921, Yekaterinenfeld was eponymously renamed to Luxemburg (Russian: Люксембург) for the renown German communist Rosa Luxemburg. In 1941, in accordance with Stalin's callous policy on ethnic groups, all Germans residents of Luxembourg who were not married to ethnic Georgians were deported to Siberia and Kazakhstan. On 3 April 1943, the town was finally renamed to Bolnisi, which remained unchanged after the fall of the Soviet Union.

On 31 December 1967, the settlement of Bolnisi received the status of a city.[5] In 1980, the city water supply network was built.

An airfield near the city was reported to have been bombed by Russia on August 8, 2008, during the Russia-Georgia war.[6]

Economy

The main occupations of the colonist Germans were viticulture, horticulture, fruit growing and cattle breeding. At the same time, irrigation, underground drainage and irrigation canals were constructed in Yekaterinenfeld, as well as wine, cognac and cheese factories, and leather and furniture factories. The town's contemporary economy is mostly agrarian with the notable exceptions of a winery, brewery, and a gold mine in the nearby village of Kazreti.

Religion and Cultural Heritage

Bolnisi Museum
Bolnisi Museum

Bolnisi has long been the seat of a bishop or archbishop, and is the home of the oldest dated Christian structure in Georgia.[7] It is known as Bolnisi Sioni (Sioni being Georgian for Zion and a designation used by many of their churches). This three-nave basilica church dates to the 5th century AD and features some pagan elements in its stonework. The original roof is missing but has been replaced with a modern covering.

A dedication Bolnisi inscriptions from the Bolnisi church, carved in the late 5th century, is one of the oldest dated specimens of Georgian writing. It mentions Bishop David of Bolnisi and two Sassanid kings Peroz I and Kavadh I.[7]

There are still remnants of the German past in Bolnisi. A small graveyard and plaque acknowledges the German influence in the village. A small street called Mill Street has evidence of 19th-century German architecture and a few signs in the German language that date from the early 20th century.

The Bolnisi Museum, opened in 2020, showcases some findings from the nearby Dmanisi archaeological site, which is on the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage sites, for the "richest and most complete collection of indisputable early Homo remains outside of Africa".[8] Starting with these Dmanisi hominins, the exhibit also covers the Sakdrisi goldmine and contains a room on the German settlers, across four halls.[9] The museum building was designed by Gaga Kiknadze.[10] The concept of the exhibition was developed by Lina López.[9] The Bolnisi Museum was nominated for the European Museum of the Year Awards in 2021.[11]

Sport

Whilst a German colony within the Russian Empire, Bolnisi had cycling, gymnast, and football teams in the 19th century.

Sioni Bolnisi, a football club founded in 1936, play at the Tamaz Stepania Stadium, named after local footballer Tamaz Stepania; they were league champions once in 2006.

Climate

Climate data for Bolnisi (1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 20.2
(68.4)
21.8
(71.2)
27.7
(81.9)
35.0
(95.0)
32.6
(90.7)
36.2
(97.2)
39.0
(102.2)
39.0
(102.2)
36.8
(98.2)
31.0
(87.8)
26.5
(79.7)
22.2
(72.0)
39.0
(102.2)
Average high °C (°F) 6.8
(44.2)
7.7
(45.9)
12.2
(54.0)
17.9
(64.2)
22.2
(72.0)
27.1
(80.8)
30.6
(87.1)
30.3
(86.5)
25.6
(78.1)
18.8
(65.8)
12.3
(54.1)
7.9
(46.2)
18.3
(64.9)
Daily mean °C (°F) 1.8
(35.2)
2.6
(36.7)
6.6
(43.9)
12.2
(54.0)
16.4
(61.5)
21.0
(69.8)
24.5
(76.1)
24.2
(75.6)
19.7
(67.5)
13.7
(56.7)
7.5
(45.5)
3.2
(37.8)
12.8
(55.0)
Average low °C (°F) −2.0
(28.4)
−1.4
(29.5)
2.1
(35.8)
7.2
(45.0)
11.1
(52.0)
15.4
(59.7)
18.8
(65.8)
18.6
(65.5)
14.4
(57.9)
9.2
(48.6)
3.5
(38.3)
−0.5
(31.1)
8.1
(46.6)
Record low °C (°F) −14.8
(5.4)
−13.5
(7.7)
−9.0
(15.8)
−6.3
(20.7)
0.6
(33.1)
6.0
(42.8)
9.6
(49.3)
9.0
(48.2)
4.5
(40.1)
−1.5
(29.3)
−6.0
(21.2)
−14.4
(6.1)
−14.8
(5.4)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 17.1
(0.67)
26.2
(1.03)
42.1
(1.66)
64.3
(2.53)
78.5
(3.09)
66.6
(2.62)
32.3
(1.27)
34.9
(1.37)
38.5
(1.52)
50.5
(1.99)
35.1
(1.38)
20.9
(0.82)
512.3
(20.17)
Source: World Meteorological Organization[12]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Population Census 2014". www.geostat.ge. National Statistics Office of Georgia. November 2014. Retrieved 28 June 2021.
  2. ^ "Донские казаки и армянсков население в обороне русских границ" (PDF).
  3. ^ Allmendinger, Ernst (1989). Katharinenfeld, ein deutsches Dorf im Kaukasus.
  4. ^ Кавказский календарь на 1910 год [Caucasian calendar for 1910] (in Russian) (65th ed.). Tiflis: Tipografiya kantselyarii Ye.I.V. na Kavkaze, kazenny dom. 1910. Archived from the original on 15 March 2022.
  5. ^ "Болниси". БСЭ.
  6. ^ https://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080808/ap_on_re_eu/georgia_south_ossetia_28;_ylt=AmbBKrNHVd8FYkuYULUW5J9bbBAF[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ a b Rapp, Stephen H. (2003), Studies In Medieval Georgian Historiography: Early Texts And Eurasian Contexts, p. 316. Peeters Bvba, ISBN 90-429-1318-5.
  8. ^ "Dmanisi Hominid Archaeological Site". UNESCO. Retrieved 30 May 2022.
  9. ^ a b Gutbrod, Hans (1 August 2022). "Bolnisi Museum — the longest human journey". OC-Media. Retrieved 1 August 2022.
  10. ^ "Brand-new museum in Bolnisi town unveiled for International Museum Day". Agenda.GE. 19 May 2020. Retrieved 31 May 2022.
  11. ^ "Bolnisi Museum receives acclaim at European Museum of the Year Awards after nomination". Agenda.GE. 17 May 2022. Retrieved 29 May 2022.
  12. ^ "World Meteorological Organization Climate Normals for 1981–2010". World Meteorological Organization. Archived from the original on 9 October 2021. Retrieved 9 October 2021.