Gonio fortress (previously called Apsaros, or Apsaruntos), is a Roman fortification in Adjara, at the mouth of the Chorokhi river. The oldest reference to the fortress is by Pliny the Elder in the Natural History (1st century AD). There is also a reference to the ancient name of the site in Appian’s Mithridatic Wars (2nd century AD). In the 2nd century AD it was a well-fortified Roman city within Colchis. The town was also known for its theatre and hippodrome. It later came under Byzantine influence. The name 'Gonio' is first attested in Michael Panaretos in the 14th century. In addition, there was a short-lived Genoese trade factory at the site.

In 1547 Gonio was taken by the Ottomans, who held it until 1878, when, via the San-Stefano Treaty, Adjara became part of the Russian empire. In the fall of 1647, according to Evliya Çelebi, Gonio was captured by a Cossack navy of 70 chaikas, but quickly recovered by Ghazi Sidi Ahmed, ruler of the Tortum sanjak, with a force of 1,000 Turks and 3,000 'Mingrelians'.

The grave of Saint Matthias, one of the twelve apostles, is believed to be inside the Gonio fortress. However, this is unverifiable as the Georgian government currently prohibits digging near the supposed gravesite. Other archaeological excavations are however taking place on the grounds of the fortress, focusing on Roman layers.

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2, Adjara, Georgia
See all sites in Adjara

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Founded: 1st century AD
Category: Castles and fortifications in Georgia

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

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4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Valerie V (4 months ago)
It's a very picturesque historical site worth visiting and climbing its stairs
Alex Tbilisi (4 months ago)
1 of the best historical sights in Georgia still standing with a lot of history and not a church
alfista 155 (4 months ago)
Good displacement, easy to reach.
Dave Martin (5 months ago)
I had a fun time climbing around on the walls. Cool place totally enjoyable.
Shing Chan (6 months ago)
Very nice historical place. Would be nicer if they could clean the garbage left by previous visitors.
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