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Gonio Fortress, Gonio
(4/5 based on 70+ reviews on the web)
The Gonio-Apsarus fort (length: 222m, width: 195m, total area: 4.75ha) is situated on the left bank of the mouth of the river of Chorokhi (ancient Harpasus®Apsarus®Acampsis), within 12km of Batumi. The height of the walls 5m, while at the corners, where the towers are erected 7m. At present the fort has 18 towers, but originally it had 22.

This is region where the magnificent Colchian culture and first Georgian state entities: Dayaeni and Qulha (13th-8th centuries BC) came into being. Some Roman and Byzantine sources said that, the rise of Apsarus as a settled point belongs to precisely this period. According to the evidence of Stephanus of Byzantine, Artemidorus of Ephesus, Arrian, Procopius, etc. the origin of Apsarus is linked to the expedition of the Argonauts to Aeaea-Colchis, killing of son of King Aeetes, Apsyrtus and burring him here.

The latest data point to the rise of the first settlements here in the 8th-7th centuries BC. Apsarus played an important role in the Classical (5th-4th centuries BC) and Hellenistic (4th-1st centuries BC) periods as well. Namely, built of fortification is linked to Romans. For the first time this castellum was mentioned by Pliny the Elder in his work of AD 77. Apsarus was one of the military, political, economical and cultural centres of Roman world in the Eastern frontier in the 1st-3rd centuries AD. Five auxiliary cohorts (ca. 1200-1500 soldiers) were served and the theatre and hippodrome were functioned here. According some sources (Epiphanius of Cyprus, Dorotheos of Tyre, Sophron, etc.) apostle Matthias is buried in Apsarus. The Byzantines were fortified here from the 40s of the 6th century. This fort is known as Acampsis in the 10th century and as Gonio in the 14th century. Serious Ottoman garrison was stationed here in 1547-1878. Heinrich Schliemann, Niko Marr and Theodor Uspenskiy became interested by the history of Apsarus. Small-scale field-exploratory work became possible by the 1960s on this site. A particularly rich gold hoard dated by the 1st-2nd centuries AD was discovered in 1974 during road construction on a slope near the fort. Since 1994, the Gonio-Apsarus Museum and Preservation standing archaeological expedition has carried on large-scale systematic studies.
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1 day in Gonio BY A USER FROM ISRAEL January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 55 days in Georgia BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 17 days in Georgia BY A USER FROM GEORGIA October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 28 days in Georgia BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES October, teens, popular PREFERENCES: October, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Adjara Region BY A USER FROM BULGARIA October, outdoors, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in Gonio BY A USER FROM EGYPT September, relaxing, romantic, beaches, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: September, relaxing, romantic, beaches, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 33 days in Georgia BY A USER FROM SLOVENIA July, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 18 days in Georgia BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 6 days in Georgia BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES March, kids, popular PREFERENCES: March, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Beautiful fortress, inside there is a museum excavations. It is believed that one of the Apostles is buried here, although this is debatable. Informative and a good place for photos.
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  • This fortress is extremely beautiful, lali our guide was very kind, sweet and highly knowledgeable, spoke english very well (: 
  • To say honestly is a disappointment. Specially selected day what would go here and look at the fortress. Admission is 3 gel. The territory itself is not very big, but there is nothing to watch. Around the perimeter of the stand the ruins and a couple of ruins at the Center and there are and there is a small museum. That's all. Specifically go here makes no sense.
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Google
  • Originally built by Romans in 1 century AD it has always been an important strategic fortress used by Romans, Georgians, Turks, and Russians. As the history goes apostle Matthew is buried somewhere on these grounds. Under the Soviet rule the area was closed for visitors as it's located within proximity to the Turkish border and citrus trees were planted on its territory. Right now the excavations are under way and you can see nice artifacts of various cultural levels found on the territory of the fortress. When you go to visit the fortress take your swimming suits as Kvariati, the cleanest beach in Georgia is just minutes away
  • I like the way Georgian taking care of historic places. I liked this castle and all other places I went to.
  • Interesting to look into the ancient history, this fortress was built 2000 or so years ago, there are some museum also, entry is 3 lari for adults, 2 lari for students
  • This place is beautiful, here is museum with pretty exhibits. At the yard you can have a rest.
  • Must see near Batumi