1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Black Sea (district)

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BLACK SEA (Russ. Chernomorskaya), a military district of the province of Kuban, formerly an independent province of Transcaucasia, Russia; it includes the narrow strip of land along the N.E. coast of the Black Sea from Novorossiysk to the vicinity of Pitsunda, between the sea and the crest of the main range of the Caucasus. Area, 2836 sq. m. Pop. (1897) 54,228; (1906, estimate) 71,900. It is penetrated by numerous spurs of this range, which strike the sea abruptly at right angles to the coast, and in many cases plunge down into it sheer. Owing to its southern exposure, its sheltered position, and a copious rainfall, vegetation, in part of a sub-tropical character, grows in great profusion. In consequence, however, of the mountainous character of the region, it is divided into a large number of more or less isolated districts, and there is little intercourse with the country north of the Caucasus, the passes over the range being few and difficult (see Caucasus). But since the Russians became masters of this region, its former inhabitants (Circassian tribes) have emigrated in thousands, so that the country is now only thinly inhabited. It is divided into three districts—Novorossiysk, with the town (pop. in 1897, 16,208) of the same name, which acts as the capital of the Black Sea district; Velyaminovsk; and Sochi. Novorossiysk is connected by rail, at the west end of the Caucasus, with the Rostov-Vladikavkaz line, and a mountain road leads from Velyaminovsk (or Tuapse) to Maikop in the province of Kuban.