Coordinates: 41°14′36″N 42°21′50″E / 41.24333°N 42.36389°E / 41.24333; 42.36389Coordinates: 41°14′36″N 42°21′50″E / 41.24333°N 42.36389°E / 41.24333; 42.36389
Country Turkey
Province Artvin
  Mayor Ahmet Sinan Öztürk (AKP)
  Kaymakam Salih Altun
  District 1,376.61 km2 (531.51 sq mi)
Elevation 1,174 m (3,852 ft)
Population (2012)[2]
  Urban 6,753
  District 17,660
  District density 13/km2 (33/sq mi)
Post code 08700
Climate Dfb

Şavşat (Georgian: შავშეთი/Shavsheti) is a town and district of Artvin Province in the Black Sea region, between the cities of Artvin and Kars on the border with Georgia at the far eastern end of Turkey.


Like most districts of Artvin this is a beautiful hilly area surrounded by high mountains on all sides, including the 3,537-metre (11,604 ft) Karçkal mountains to the west, and watered by many mountain streams and pools. There are trout in the largest, Şavşat Karagöl lake and a number of mineral water springs. The area has a cold inland climate, somewhat tempered by being above the Black Sea coast, but at these altitudes winter lasts a long time; it snows from November to April. The mountains are covered with pine forest, with some broadleaf forest at lower elevations.

In this landscape there is little agricultural land, no industry and the only real potential income is from tourism (people on trekking holidays), herding animals on the mountainside and beekeeping. There are some fruit trees (mainly pears and apples) and some potatoes are grown in the Çoruh River valley floor. Of the land area 13% can be planted while 27% is used for grazing, 42% is forest and 17% is high mountain.

The town of Şavşat is small (population 7,325) and has few amenities.


The climate in Şavşat is a mild/cool summer subtype (Köppen: Dfb) of the humid continental climate.

Climate data for Şavşat
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Daily mean °C (°F) −3.6
Average precipitation mm (inches) 45
Source: Climate-Data.org[3]


This area was occupied by the Cimmerians and the Urartu from 900 to 650 BC and later by the Ancient Romans and Sassanids.

It was then one of the Georgian princedoms in the constellation of several polities which is conventionally known as Tao-Klarjeti in Georgian. The princedom of Shavsheti included today's districts of Şavşat, Borçka, and Murgul in Turkey and Lower Machakheli in Adjara (Georgia).

Map showing the historical Georgian region of Shavsheti.

The fortress above the town is primarily of Georgian construction and probably dates from the 9th century A.D., when it was rebuilt by Adarnase I. The site has an impressive circuit wall with strategically placed towers and rooms, including two small chapels. In 1983 the fortress was surveyed and three years later an accurate scaled plan and description were published.[4]

This lasted until it was conquered by the Ottomans in 1547.

Following the Russo-Turkish War (1877-1878) Şavşat was among the territories ceded to Russia, and was returned to the new Republic of Turkey in 1921. It was briefly bounded to Ardahan Province between 27 February 1921 and 7 July 1921.


Akdamla köyü · Arpalı · Aşağı koyunlu · Atalar · Balıklı · Cevizli · Ciritdüzü · Çağlapınar · Çağlıyan · Çamlıca · Çavdarlı · Çayağzı · Çermik · Çiftlik · Çoraklı (Gargilop) · Çukur · Dalkırmaz · Demirci · Demirkapı · Dereiçi (Dasamop) · Dutlu · Düzenli · Elmalı · Erikli · Eskikale · Hanli · Ilıca · Karaağaç · Karaköy · Kayabaşı · Kayadibi · Kirazlı · Kireçli · Kocabey · Köprülü · Köprüyaka · Kurudere · Küplüce · Maden · Meşeli · Meydancık-Diyoban · Obaköy · Otluca · Pınarlı · Savaş köy · Saylıca · Sebzeli · Susuz · Şalcı · Şenköy · Şenocak · Tepeköy · Tepebaşı · Üzümlü · Veliköy · Yağlı Köyü · Yamaçlı köyü · Yaşarköy · Yeşilce · Yoncalı · Yukarı koyunlu · Yavuz köyü · Ziyaret köyü

Places of interest


  1. "Area of regions (including lakes), km²". Regional Statistics Database. Turkish Statistical Institute. 2002. Retrieved 2013-03-05.
  2. "Population of province/district centers and towns/villages by districts - 2012". Address Based Population Registration System (ABPRS) Database. Turkish Statistical Institute. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
  3. "Climate: Șavşat". Climate-Data.org. Retrieved 12 April 2014.
  4. Robert W. Edwards, “The Fortifications of Artvin: A Second Preliminary Report on the Marchlands of Northeast Turkey,” Dumbarton Oaks Papers 40, 1986, pp.174-76, pls.31-43.
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