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.



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Gagra, Georgia
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Founded: 6th century AD
Category: Religious sites in Georgia

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