"Promoting tourism at Georgia’s unique Enguri dam"

Georgia is encouraging people to go to the far north-west and visit one of the country’s most unique monuments, the Enguri River dam.

The dome-shaped dam is regarded as the world’s second largest concrete arch dam, measuring 271.5 metres high and 728 metres wide.

This week officials announced plans to build new tourist infrastructure at the site to encourage more local and foreign visitors. This new infrastructure included a visitor centre, museum and high lookout spots that overlooked Enguri River.

The dam located near Georgia’s north-western town of Jvari, was last year added to the list of the country’s most distinguished cultural heritage sights and officially granted the status of National Monument. 

The arch-shaped dam is located on Enguri River, on the administrative boundary between Georgia and breakaway Abkhazia. Photo from Gela Bedianashvili/Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia

Enguri dam is an interesting place in Georgia as it lies on the administrative boundary separating Georgia from its occupied Abkhazia region. The dam is part of the Enguri Hydro-Electric Power Plant.

In a unique division, the dam is located on Georgian-controlled territory while the underground station of the power plant - serving to generate electricity - is on the other side, under Abkhazian control. Because of this it is jointly operated by staff from both sides of the Administrative Boundary Line (ABL).

The plan to develop the monument was created with help from Estonian experts Ott Sarapuu and Andrus Koeresaar and will include efforts to involve the Abkhazian side in preparing a submission to recognise the dam as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.