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

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en.wikipedia.org

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User Reviews

Robert Martini (5 months ago)
Surpised to find this historycal place well manteined and still in progress to be better and better. To not be missed.
Besarion Chikhladze (8 months ago)
Built in the 1st century AD by Romans, the Gonio-Apsaros Fortress had unique strategic importance: it protected the entrances of the Chorokhi and Adjaristskali valleys, connecting inner regions of southwestern Georgia with the Black Sea coast. Because of its location, Gonio fortress became one of the pillars of the Roman Empire and then for Byzantine and Ottoman too. The Gonio fortress has been a museum-reserve since 2010. There are exhibits dated back from the early years of the nineteenth century to the 80's.
Susanna Burkert (9 months ago)
Gonio is an impressive ancient fortress.
Mariam Turashvili (9 months ago)
Great place to learn the history and see Kiwi trees
Sherilyn Dough (12 months ago)
Nice place. Many tourist come to this place in the summer months. I heard that nearby beaches are considered to be cleaner than others in Batumi.
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