Artvin is a city in north-eastern Turkey on the Çoruh River near the Georgian border.
This article is about the city of Artvin. See Artvin Province for more information about the surrounding area.
The city of Artvin looks impressive, standing high on a rock above the Çoruh River, a 5km climb along a road that winds back and forth up the steep cliff face; a piece of advice; don't buy a second-hand car in Artvin, and drive carefully, you only get to make one mistake in this landscape. If you buy a house here however you can be sure it will have a great view; the surrounding countryside is a Tolkienesque landscape of thick forest, waterfall, lakes, mountains and high plateau like the Kafkasör, where the bull-wrestling takes place. In the words of the popular song: "Not Paris my friend, see Artvin before you die".
The climate is wet, being strongly affected by the nearby Black Sea.
Like most towns in Turkey since the 1970s Artvin has seen uncontrolled building of concrete apartment blocks and ugly government office buildings and has lost some of its attractive historical feel. But on this clifftop Artvin can never be a huge city, it's a quiet provincial town.
Before World War I there were many Hamshenis Turks living in Artvin, today the population of Artvin is highly mixed, consisting of Turks,Hamshenis Turks (Türk Boylarından Hemşinliler),Georgians and Lazes.
See Artvin Province for the history of the region.
Places of interest
Artvin or Livana (Livane) castle, built in 937
There are a number of Ottoman Empire houses and public buildings including:
Salih Bey mosque, built in 1792
The fountain of Çelebi Efendi, built in 1783.
And above all the surrounding countryside offers many places for climbing and trekking.