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17 February 2012 / leggypeggy

Gonio Fortress—a bonus stop in Georgia

Glass items in the museum

Gonio Fortress was our first stop in Georgia. This Roman fortification, located on the shores of the Black Sea, is only 4 kilometres from the Turkish border. Admission is a bargain so we all piled out of the truck to have a quick look around.

Pliny the Elder first referred to Gonio in the 1st century AD. Within a century it was a well-fortified Roman city, and highly praised for its theatre and hippodrome. In those days it was called various names, including Apsarus, Apsirtus, Akampsis and Apsaruntos.

Over the centuries it passed through many hands—the Byzantines, the Genoese, the Ottomans and, finally, the Russians.

The grave of Saint Matthias, one of the 12 apostles, is believed to be inside the Gonio fortress. To date, this cannot be confimed because the Georgian government does not allow digging near the supposed gravesite. Other archaeological excavations are, however, taking place on the grounds of the fortress, focusing on Roman layers.

The small museum within the fortress is very classy. Exhibits are well displayed and the lighting was most impressive.

From what I read, the Gonio Fortress has become quite popular with Georgian tourists. I think that’s great because I was really glad we made this bonus stop.

Don’t forget to pick a number before 29 February 2012.

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Leave a Comment
  1. Water Damage Gilbert / Feb 23 2012 11:59 am

    Thanks for the post, can you make it so I receive an email sent to me whenever you write a new post?


    • leggypeggy / Feb 23 2012 12:54 pm

      Hi! There should be a button, that says ‘follow’, in the bottom right corner. Just click it and you will get an email when I add a post.


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