The history of the town of Poti began 26 centuries ago. An antique town, Pazisi, existed on its place, which is first mentioned in a written source of the B.C. IV. Starting from the ancient times, Pazisi was inhabited by Georgian population. It represented one of the main settlements along the Europe-Caucasus-Asia [road]. Various commodities, including gold, iron, timber for construction, flax, flax oil, honey, wine, et cetera were exported through Pazisi.
The word Pazianus, which means pheasant in European languages, was derived from the name of Pazisi. During the Hellenic and Roman ages, the importance of Pazisi as a transit-trading town increased. In 66 B.C. [Roman commander] Pompeius coming from Iberia, and Servilius, chief of Roman naval forces, met at Pazisi. The fleet of Servilius was closing the town from the sea and controlled it. Following the increase of Roman influence in the eastern part of the Black Sea basin, Roman military garrison was deployed in Pazisi.
A higher rhetorical school existed in Pazisi in the IV century A.D. Then Pazisi was within the kingdom of Lazika (new Kolkhetian kingdom). During the 542-562 war between Byzantine empire and Iran, one of the crucial battles took place near Pazisi, where the united army of Byzantine and Lazika defeated Iran.
In the V-VII centuries, a diocese subordinated to Constantinople, [capital of Byzantine empire] existed in Pazisi. A signature by the Phazisian bishop Theodore on a decision at the World Clerical Council of 55 reached us. Kviros, one of the bishops of Pazisi, was promoted to the post of the Patriarch of Alexandria. Later, a residence of the Metropolitan of Lazika, who ruled three dioceses, was located in Pazisi. From the X century, the Metropolitan of Pazisi became subordinated to the Catholicos of Mtksheta, the head of the Georgian autocephalic church.
Since the VIII century, Pazisi has been mentioned as Poti. A trade station of Genoa functioned in Poti in XIV-XV centuries.
In 1578, Poti was conquered by Turks and turned it into an outpost. In 1640, united military companies of the West Georgian noblemen regained the town of Poti. In 1723, Turks took over Poti again. In 1809, Georgians under the command of the noble N. Dadiani regained the town once more. In 1828, Poti passes under Russian authority and becomes subordinated to the Kutaisi gubernator.
In 1872, for the first time in Georgia, a railway was built in Poti.
The port of Poti was being renovated in 1863-1905. In 1894, Niko Nikoladze was elected the mayor of the town.
The elaboration of the town’s planning was carried out under his project. He also built many civil and state buildings, bridges, a monumental church, reconstructed the seaport.
Poti became one the most important transit ports of the Black Sea.