Gonio Fortress

Gonio - Apsaros fortress had a unique strategic importance: it guards the entrance to the Chorokhi and Adzharistskali valley, linking the hinterland of southwest Georgia to the Black Sea coast.

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Gonio Fortress

Gonio - Apsaros fortress had a unique strategic importance: it guards the entrance to the Chorokhi and Adzharistskali valley, linking the hinterland of southwest Georgia to the Black Sea coast. Because of this geography Gonio Fortress was  a strongholds on the east Black Sea coast; first for the Roman Empire and then Byzantium.

In this  region originated the Colchic bronze culture and the first Georgian state communities. According to  Roman and Byzantine chronicles, in the same period Apsaros was established as a town. Its history is closely connected with the myth of the Argonauts. According to legend, this is the burial site of King Ayet’s son – Apsaros, who was killed by the escaped Jason and his dismembered corpse threw into the sea. It is known that here is buried one of the 12 apostles of Christ - Matthias.

The earliest information about the fortress comes from the Roman historian Pliny the Second. In the year 134, Greek historian Flavius Arian, who was also a military person of high rank, traveled to inspect forces in Colchis. According to Arian, that time five Roman cohorts occupied Gonio fortress.


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