The Gagra Church, also known as Abaata, is an early medieval Christian church at Gagra in Abkhazia, Georgia. One of the oldest churches in Abkhazia, it is a simple three-nave basilica built in the 6th century and reconstructed in 1902.
The Gagra church stands in the territory of the contemporaneous fortress known as Abaata, now completely in ruins. It is built of blocks of rough ashlar stone. The main entrance is from the westerly located narthex. All three navesare connected with each other via doors. The main nave is lit through three windows in the southern wall and with one window, each on the western wall and in the altar. The church have many common architectural features with similar basilicas in eastern Georgia.
The church was completely reconstructed in 1902 at the behest of Princess Eugenia Maximilianovna of Leuchtenberg, wife of Duke Alexander Petrovich of Oldenburg, a member of the Russian imperial family, who turned Gagra into a spa. On 9 January 1903 it was consecrated as the Church of Saint Hypatius. At the same time, the old fortress of Abaata was demolished to pave way to the construction of a hotel. In the Soviet era, the church building was used as a museum of old weaponry. The church underwent some renovation in 2007 and it was restored to Christian use in 2012.References:
The Beckov castle stands on a steep 50 m tall rock in the village Beckov. The dominance of the rock and impression of invincibility it gaves, challenged our ancestors to make use of these assets. The result is a remarkable harmony between the natural setting and architecture.
The castle first mentioned in 1200 was originally owned by the King and later, at the end of the 13th century it fell in hands of Matúš Èák. Its owners alternated - at the end of the 14th century the family of Stibor of Stiborice bought it.
The next owners, the Bánffys who adapted the Gothic castle to the Renaissance residence, improved its fortifications preventing the Turks from conquering it at the end of the 16th century. When Bánffys died out, the castle was owned by several noble families. It fell in decay after fire in 1729.
The history of the castle is the subject of different legends. One of them narrates the origin of the name of castle derived from that of jester Becko for whom the Duke Stibor had the castle built.
Another legend has it that the lord of the castle had his servant thrown down from the rock because he protected his child from the lords favourite dog. Before his death, the servant pronounced a curse saying that they would meet in a year and days time, and indeed precisely after that time the lord was bitten by a snake and fell down to the same abyss.
The well-conserved ruins of the castle, now the National Cultural Monument, are frequently visited by tourists, above all in July when the castle festival takes place. The former Ambro curia situated below the castle now shelters the exhibition of the local history.