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Abastumani

Abastumani is a small town and climatic spa in Adigeni Municipality, Samtskhe-Javakheti, Georgia. It is located on the southern slopes of the Meskheti Range, in the small river valley of Otskhe, 25 km northeast of Adigeni and 28 km west of Akhaltsikhe. As of the 2002 census, it had a population of 1,368. The Georgian National Astrophysical Observatory is located at Abastumani.HistoryIn medieval Georgia, the area of modern-day Abastumani was part of the district of Odzrkhe so named after a fortress whose ruins survive near the townlet. In the 16th century, it fell to the Ottoman Empire under whose rule the area was deserted, but its hot springs were appreciated and frequented by locals. Under the Russian rule, a short-lived German colony of Friedenthal emerged there in 1842. In the 1850s, it was recolonized by the Russians under the patronage of Viceroy of the Caucasus Mikhail Vorontsov. The new settlement acquired the name Abbas-Tuman after a nearby located village and became popular for its climate and thermal waters. Its development as a resort is chiefly associated with Grand Duke George Alexandrovich (1871–1899), a member of the Russian imperial family, who had retired there due to his ill-health. Abastumani acquired the status of an urban-type settlement (Georgian: daba) under the Soviet Union in 1926. Tourism infrastructure has been renovated since the mid-2000s.
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