What to See in Pitsunda and Sukhum (Abkhazia, Georgia)
According to homethodology.com, Pitsunda is the most popular resort in Abkhazia. It is a small village located 90 km north of Sukhumi and 15 km south of Gagra. People began to settle here even before our era. During the Roman Empire, the ancient city of Pitius was located here. Its ruins have survived to this day, in Pitsunda you can find stone walls, temples, towers, water supply and sewage systems left over from those times. In the Middle Ages, Pitsunda was the residence of bishops, as evidenced by the temple of the Mother of God of the 10th century, which is decorated with frescoes. There is a museum on the territory of the temple, which tells about the history of Pitsunda.
All beaches Pitsunda is sandy, and coastal waters are considered the cleanest on the coast of Abkhazia. The popularity of the resort was brought by the Pitsundo-Myussersky Reserve, which is adjacent to the village and stretches for 7 km along the coast. About 27 thousand unique Pitsunda pines grow in the reserve. These trees are relic, as they grew in these places 2 million years ago. Pitsunda pine is found only on the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus and nowhere else in the world. The Pitsunda resort owes its popularity to the reserve, because the pines fill the air with ozone, which has a healing effect on the human body. Next to it is a boxwood grove, which is also popular among tourists as a place for walking and relaxing.
Part of the ancient city of Pitius, which was once located on the territory of the present Pitsunda, today rests on the seabed. Exploring the underwater ruins of Pitius is offered at the resort’s dive centers, which can be found on the coast. LakeInkit is also interesting on Cape Pitsunda. Inkit is a small lake, its area is 0.6 sq. km. It feeds on the waters of the Bzyb River. There is a legend that during the time of the Roman Empire, an ancient temple stood on the site of the lake, but as a result of the lowering of the banks of the Inquita, the temple found itself under water.
Sukhum is the capital of Abkhazia. The city is located on the Black Sea coast. The first people appeared here about 300 thousand years ago.
Now in Sukhum there are many sights that remind of the historical past of the city. On the Dioscuri embankment, you can see the ruins of the Sukhumi fortress, which was founded at the end of the 1st century AD. In those days, the ancient city of Sebastopolis flourished here, as evidenced by the original Roman brickwork that prevails in most of the fortress buildings. During the Ottoman rule, the fortress of Sukhum-Kale towered in this place.
In the southeastern part of Sukhum, the Bagrat Castle is interesting. It was erected on a high hill during the reign of the king of united Georgia Bagrat III in the 10-11th centuries. To this day, thick walls have survived, their thickness reaches 1.8 m. Now they are overgrown with ivy and look very picturesque. Also here are the remains of an underground passage leading to the nearest stream.
Impressive Besletsky bridge, which is laid across the river Basla. It was built in the 12th century under Queen Tamara. The total length of the bridge is 35 m, and the width is 4.7 m. Its carrying capacity reaches 8 tons. The arch of the bridge is made of square limestone slabs, which are fastened with lime mortar. On the side face of the bridge, an inscription carved in ancient Georgian letters was found on hewn slabs. During the research, it was proved that the inscription was made in the 11-12 centuries.
5 km from the city center are the ruins of a huge tower of boulders, which is the beginning of the Kelasur (Great Abkhaz wall). The wall stretches from the sea along the gorges and mountains of Abkhazia for 160 km. It was built in the 6th century AD. By order of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian. The wall had a protective function and consisted of almost 2000 towers, the distance between which varied from 50 to 300 m. It ends at the right bank of the Ingur River. You can learn about the past of Sukhum in the Abkhaz State Museum. It was founded in 1919. The museum presents expositions telling about the nature, archeology, history, ethnography of this region, and the whole republic as a whole. Here is a unique archaeological find – a marble tomb stele (5th century BC), which was found at the bottom of the bay.
Be sure to go to the Botanical Garden, where more than 5 thousand plant species from all over the planet are collected. The area of the Botanical Garden is 30 hectares, and the demonstration part is 5 hectares. The main attraction of the Botanical Garden is the 250-year-old Caucasian linden, which grew here even before the foundation of the garden. A little to the north is the Research Institute of Experimental Pathology and Therapy of the Academy of Sciences of Abkhazia with the famous monkey nursery.
It is very interesting to walk along the Sukhumi arboretum in the eastern part of the city. Dendropark was founded at the end of the 19th century. 850 species of plants from different regions of the world are collected here, and representatives of the local flora make up only 1% of the total exposition.
From Sukhum you can go to the city of Ochamchira, which is located 50 km southeast of the capital. There is something to see here – the ruins of the ancient city of Gyuenos and the cave of Abriskila at the foot of the Kodori Range, inside which there are small lakes connected by an underground stream.
If you go even further south, you will find yourself in the city of Gallus .. In its vicinity stands a feudal fortress with walls made of large cobblestones, as well as the Gallic reservoir, in the eastern part of which Mount Satanjo rises with a fortress on top.