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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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Vitali D (4 months ago)
Nice place to go and see. But without a guide it will not be interesting. there is no possibility to eat inside and nearby too. Only water and cookies are across the road. in rainy weather it is dangerous to climb the walls. Maximum visit time per hour.
Filipp Toropov (4 months ago)
Great historical location with cheap entrance ticket and translated informational stand near each excavation site
Lukasz Schodnicki (12 months ago)
Nice place to visit. Nice plants growing inside of fortress
Natalia Germanek (13 months ago)
Nice place? there are still archeological works so not everything is described yet. Also, look out for Police ? they like to fine tourist there ?
Deniel Deniel (14 months ago)
Nice place to walk around, only 15 min drive from Batumi... Extremely ancient almost 2500 years old
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