Anacopia Fortress in New Athos


Anacopia Fortress
Photo from by Dmitrij Yakovlev [CC BY-SA 2.5]

Anacopia Fortress (Georgian: ანაკოფია) is an ancient Abkhazian military citadel in New Athos (as it is currently known) in the Russian sponsored Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia, located some 22 km (14 miles) by road along the coast from Sukhumi. The site, approximately 450 x 150 meters in extent, is located a mile or so inland, at the top of the Iverian Mountain. It is the most complete surviving building of ancient Anacopia, the former capital of the Kingdom of Abkhazia.


A military structure was constructed here between the second and fourth centuries. At the end of the seventh century walls were constructed around the site of the citadel, with support from the Byzantines who had become alarmed by Islamist expansionism. The walls, up to 60 com (2 feet) thick, are constructed of largely tightly assembled and carefully hewn limestone blocks. There is a single entrance, a small gate on the south side of the enclosure. At the centre is a Roman style tower, four storeys high, with excellent views in all directions across the surrounding landscape and, to the south-west of the fortress, the Black Sea. A small Christian basilica was also constructed in the centre of the fortress during or before the eighth century. The stone altar from it survives (2014), along with some frescoes featuring a cross and some fishes, a religious symbol frequently used by early Christians in and around the Eastern Roman empire. Next to the church is a cistern filled naturally with spring water by means of a 25 meter deep well beneath it.

During the eighth century Anacopia found itself near the moving frontier that separated Byzantine Christendom from the Umayyad Caliphate, and in 736/737 Abū ʿAbd Al-Malik Marwān ibn Muḥammad, the future Marwan II, appeared outside the walls with a force of 60,000 men and laid siege to what was by now the capital of the Abkhazian Kingdom. The Georgian chronicle relates that the citadel was defended by a force of 1,000 Georgians and 2,000 Abkhazians under the leadership of Leon I of Abkhazia. The chronicle recalls that the Arab forces suffered from an epidemic that killed 35,000 of them while a further 3,000 were killed in the fighting. The successful defence of Anacopia is regarded as a pivotal turning point in Georgian history.

A restoration was undertaken in 2008 to improve the safgety of the site and reinstate the tower as a usable lookout point.

Anakopii ancient citadel - the first, a small fortification Abazgs, appeared in the IV-V centuries. Apsarskoy on the mountain. The temple dates back to the citadel of VI-VIII cc. and built on the site of the ancient sanctuary of Abkhazia. The temple was rebuilt in the XI century. and dedicated sv.Fedoru. In VIII. Anakopiya become the capital of the kingdom Abazgskogo.

Photo (50)

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Street view


02.11.2016 Evgeniy Gorshunov
Right after the ticket office, across the road to the fortress stretched chain.At a level slightly above the knee. The visitor is forced to step over. The daughter of ten years raised his foot high enough and fell onto hip. I asked the cashier, do I need to tighten the chain ? In response I hear swearing, and that I should follow the child himself. Using the word Mat. And the chain to the jeep did not go needed. Apparently, to dig the posts is too difficult. That's a good start. The fortress went up, the view is really good. There is a blatant remake instead of restoration. A lot of garbage under his feet. For which a charge is not entirely clear. If not for the rudeness of the guards, put the C grade. Clearly warned the guards that describe the situation in the review in the Internet. Said they didn't care. Did not even apologize.
06.10.2016 Kseniya Ustyugova
It is always interesting to visit places that have a castle on the hill is a lookout, and the opportunity to learn local history. To the first defensive belt (of three) can be reached by car, and then have to climb the serpentine road. The fortress itself is small, has preserved some buildings and a monastery, where until now the monks live. The tower can rise anyone with spectacular and expansive views of the sea from one side and the village on the other. Poprosila locals, you can learn the historical significance of this place, myths and facts, is always more interesting than reading articles on the Internet. Entrance fee of 150 rubles., a ticket issued by the official, feeling that "profit" was not, as in usual visiting of state institutions of history and culture. In the complex with a visit to caves, temple and rest on the beach - creating a great impression of a visit to New Athos.
22.09.2016 kirillovaov kirillovaov
Super! Raised with a child of 6 years. The rise of easy, convenient. The beauty of the views from the fortress are just not transmitted!
18.09.2016 Rugz
Don't give up! But you will be rewarded for your work and beauty! Locals say that the water from the well is better not to drink, the silver filters long ago withdrew from there.
04.09.2016 Evgeniy
Very cool to walk around and look at old castles, from which truth is a little bit left. Great views from a height.
27.08.2016 Svetlana
Beautiful views and a sense of pride in myself that still got:)
26.08.2016 Aleksey
Amazing view, award after lifting of refreshing water from the well :)
14.08.2016 Oleg Panda
A long climb, but very nimble and can climb straight, saves time, but not strength. At the top is an endless well to drink from it dangerous, but it is possible to pour yourself a bucket of water and cool off. The view is gorgeous. At the bottom, after the descent, a little snack and something to drink. Input with 150r, Parking $ 100.
13.08.2016 Ivan Hmelevskiy
My opinion is that only due to what kept the Abkhaz is the fact that this nature and this all by themselves is not appreciated! The entrance to this Zapovednik in 2016 cost 150 rubles per person Cheap, but money. Everywhere some garbage lying around bottles, wipes etc hence no one cleans. Go up to the top near the tower is also crap. Himself Wake up just a gesture, no handrails, no at least tether that can be grasped. In General, take the money and do not do anything that would keep everything in the proper form. But to go there is at least because of this incredible view, which takes place at the new Athos, the sea and the mountains.
22.07.2016 Dariy
If you came to New Athos do not take effort and money and visit the fortress. Beautiful views of the coast, the mountains and the sea line. It's worth it!
06.05.2016 Vitaliy
The ascent is easy, even in the rain. Better to 10 am. Less congestion of people. Min.40 from the Park. The chapel, candles, well. if you arrive just in time, you can enjoy staying under a mountain train in the direction of Sukhumi.
08.03.2016 Oleg P
The old fortres on the top of the hill. The main tower is illuminated during the night, so it is hard to miss. Breathtaki mg views, especially during cloudy days, when you see the clouds are passing through the top of the hill.
13.09.2015 Andrey
Good location with beautiful view. The steep climb uphill is worth it to enjoy a gorgeous view on New Athos. The only negative - a lot of people who here and there. Don't miss the well!
15.07.2015 Mar
The ascent is not very simple: a lot of sharp rocks and a nice incline. But overcome the way is worth it! The summit offers a gorgeous view on New Athos!
03.03.2014 Tatyana
Dedicate 1.5 conquest of Anakopia fortress - you will never regret! Isn't this incredible, breathtaking view of the New Athos and the mountains of Abkhazia and inexpressible atmosphere of tranquility!


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