Gonio Castle

Adjara, Georgia

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

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User Reviews

Galit Yona (4 months ago)
Beautifully preserved fortress with small archeological museum about the fortresses interesting history. Th different occupiers created stashes to store gold inside the fortress Walls. Sadly there is no gold left ?. Informational pamphlets in English, clean bathrooms. Believed to be Saint Mathew burial site.
Hendry Kok (5 months ago)
Well maintained and clean. The mock-up Roman barrack, tents, cutlery, weapons, armor were amazing. Entrance is only GEL 8 for adult during summer. Toilet is acceptably clean too.
Dr. Mobammed Saleem saleem (5 months ago)
Gonio Fortress is a historic site located near Batumi, Georgia. It dates back to the Roman period and was an important strategic location throughout history. Today, visitors can explore the ruins of the fortress and learn about its rich history. If you're interested in history and archaeology, Gonio Fortress is definitely worth a visit!
Estera (6 months ago)
Gonio Fortress is a fascinating historical landmark that offers a glimpse into the rich past of the region. The ancient walls and structures of the fortress stand as a testament to centuries of history and intrigue. The informative signage and exhibits provided valuable insights into the fortress's significance and its role in various historical periods. The panoramic views from the top of the fortress were simply breathtaking, allowing us to appreciate the stunning surrounding landscapes. Visiting Gonio Fortress was a truly memorable and enlightening journey into the depths of Georgia's cultural heritage.
serdar kuzyaka (6 months ago)
You can just feel the grass and enjoy the fresh air of old castle. It has only walls and small museum in it.
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