What to See in Abkhazia, Georgia

Sukhumi

According to deluxesurveillance.com, Sukhumi is the capital of Abkhazia. The city is located on the Black Sea coast. The first people appeared here about 300 thousand years ago.

Now in Sukhumi there are many sights that remind of the historical past of the city. On the Dioscuri embankment, you can see the ruins of the Sukhumi fortress, which was founded at the end of the 1st century AD. In those days, the ancient city of Sebastopolis flourished here, as evidenced by the original Roman brickwork that prevails in most of the fortress buildings. During the Ottoman rule, the fortress of Sukhum-Kale towered in this place. Bagrat Castle is interesting in the southeastern part of Sukhumi. It was erected on a high hill during the reign of the king of united Georgia, Bagrat III, in the 10th-11th centuries. To this day, thick walls have survived, their thickness reaches 1.8 m. Now they are overgrown with ivy and look very picturesque. Also here are the remains of an underground passage leading to the nearest stream.

Impressive Besletsky bridge, which is laid across the river Basla. It was built in the 12th century under Queen Tamara. The total length of the bridge is 35 m, and the width is 4.7 m. Its carrying capacity reaches 8 tons. The arch of the bridge is made of square limestone slabs, which are fastened with lime mortar. On the side face of the bridge, an inscription carved in ancient Georgian letters was found on hewn slabs. During the research, it was proved that the inscription was made in the 11-12 centuries.

5 km from the city center are the ruins of a huge tower of boulders, which is the beginning of the Kelasur (Great Abkhaz wall). The wall stretches from the sea along the gorges and mountains of Abkhazia for 160 km. It was built in the 6th century AD. By order of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian. The wall had a protective function and consisted of almost 2000 towers, the distance between which varied from 50 to 300 m. It ends at the right bank of the Ingur River. You can learn about the past of Sukhumi in the Abkhaz State Museum. It was founded in 1919. The museum presents expositions that tell about the nature, archeology, history, ethnography of this region, and the whole republic as a whole. Here is a unique archaeological find – a marble tomb stele (5th century BC), which was found at the bottom of the bay.

Be sure to go to the Botanical Garden, where more than 5 thousand plant species from all over the planet are collected. The area of the Botanical Garden is 30 hectares, and the demonstration part is 5 hectares. The main attraction of the Botanical Garden is the 250-year-old Caucasian linden, which grew here even before the foundation of the garden. A little to the north is the Research Institute of Experimental Pathology and Therapy of the Academy of Sciences of Abkhazia with the famous monkey nursery.

It is very interesting to walk along the Sukhumi arboretum in the eastern part of the city. Dendropark was founded at the end of the 19th century. 850 species of plants from different regions of the world are collected here, and representatives of the local flora make up only 1% of the total exposure.

From Sukhumi, you can go to the city of Ochamchira, which is located 50 km southeast of the capital. There is something to see here – the ruins of the ancient city of Gyuenos and the cave of Abriskila at the foot of the Kodori Range, inside which there are small lakes connected by an underground stream.

If you go even further south, you will find yourself in the city of Gallus .. In its vicinity stands a feudal fortress with walls made of large cobblestones, as well as the Gallic reservoir, in the eastern part of which Mount Satanjo rises with a fortress on top.

New Athos

North of Sukhumi along the Black Sea coast is the city of New Athos. It is famous for the fact that the largest religious building of the republic is located here – the Orthodox Simono-Kananitsky Monastery. The monastery was founded in 1875 by Russian monks who preached in Greece at the Panteleimon Monastery. The Simono-Kananitsky Monastery stands at the foot of Mount Athos at an altitude of 75 m above sea level. It was erected near the ancient temple of the Apostle Simon the Zealot. According to legend, this apostle of Jesus Christ preached here. The monastery keeps a miraculous cross with a particle of the Tree of the Life-Giving Cross of the Lord. Not far from the monastery is a cave in which Simon the Zealot prayed and retired. The cave is consecrated, and inside it stands the icon of the holy apostles Andrew and Simon. New Athos is home to one of the largest caves in the world – the New Athos Cave .. This is a vast karst cavity with a volume of about 1 million cubic meters. m. It is located in the Apsar mountain. In 1975, an artificial tunnel was laid to the cave, through which the “Tourist” electric train now runs. In the New Athos cave you can see stalactites, stalagmites and lakes, which are illuminated by special lanterns. In total there are nine large halls. The largest hall is the “Speleologists’ Hall”. Its length is 260 meters, height – up to 50 meters, width – up to 75 meters. The highest hall of the cave is the “Apsar” hall. Its height is up to 70 meters. There are several ancient castles in the vicinity of New Athos. The most interesting of them is located on the site of the ancient city of Anakopia.. The ruins of the Anakopia fortress are the remains of a wall in the form of a small ring, which was built from large, well-worked limestone blocks. The entrance to the fortress is protected by three monoliths with paintings in the form of animals and crosses. Inside the fortress walls there is an inexhaustible well, the phenomenon of which has not yet been unraveled.

Other fortresses in this region include the Mushba fortress and the Abahuatsa fortress. Both of them belong to the monuments of early medieval fortification and are full of secret passages and fragments of pottery.

Gagra

Gagra is one of the most famous resorts in Abkhazia. It is located in the northern part of the Black Sea coast of the republic. City on the site of the current Gagra was founded in the 2nd century BC. Greek merchants. Of the historical sights, the ancient fortification of Zhoekvara, which stands at the mouth of the river of the same name, the Khashup fortress and the fortress temple on the territory of the Seaside Park, have been preserved here. The fortification of Joekvara was built by the Romans in the 4th-5th centuries AD. The fortress walls are well preserved, during the construction of which masonry of large square blocks was used, as well as the fortress gates with an arch.

Seaside park was founded at the beginning of the 20th century. About 1000 species of plants are collected here – there are date and coconut palms, magnolias, Syrian mallow, candy tree, oleanders, Himalayan cedars and oriental plane trees. On the territory there is a fortress temple of the 6th century, which houses the Museum of ancient Abkhaz weapons. Excursions to the mountains depart from Gagra to Lake Ritsa and the Ritsa National Relic Park.

Not far from here, at the northern borders of the republic, is the village of Tsandripsh. One of the oldest Christian churches in Abkhazia is located here, which was built in the 6th-8th centuries. The ruins of the basilica are quite well preserved, they lack only vaults. In Tsandripsh are also interesting Khashup fortress, built of roughly processed stones, and the rock formation White Rocks at the exit from the village.

Pitsunda

Pitsunda is the most popular resort in Abkhazia. The Pitsundo-Myussersky Reserve brought him popularity, in which more than 27 thousand relic Pitsunda pines grow. They fill the air with ozone, which has healing properties on the human body. People began to settle here even before our era. During the Roman Empire, the ancient city of Pitius was located here. Its ruins have survived to this day, in Pitsunda you can find stone walls, temples, towers, water supply and sewage systems left over from those times. In the Middle Ages, Pitsunda was the residence of bishops, as evidenced by the temple of the Mother of God of the 10th century, which is decorated with frescoes. There is a museum on the territory of the temple, which tells about the history of Pitsunda.

Gudauta

The city of Gudauta is located on the Black Sea coast between Pitsunda and Sukhumi. Beaches stretch along the coastline of Gudauta where you can relax, and there are historical sights in the vicinity of the city. The Myusser temple is one of the most significant cult monuments of Abkhazia of the 10th-11th centuries. Its ruins, covered with vegetation, stand in a small clearing. The facade of the temple, which is decorated with three arches, has been well preserved to this day. Also be sure to go to Lykhny Palace. It is known for its murals, the oldest of which date back to the 8th century. The Gudauta Museum of Local Lore is very interesting. The museum has halls dedicated to the victims of the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict, archeology and ethnography.

What to See in Abkhazia, Georgia