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Anacopia Fortress, New Athos

Must see · Landmark · Tourist Spot
Begun in the 2nd century, Anacopia Fortress has the power to transport visitors back in time. The tourist site, partially restored to its ancient glory, features a Roman-style tower offering sweeping views of the nearby city, the sea, and the slopes of the region's mountains. The small Christian church near the tower features early Christian paintings and symbols. Mind the steep steps and prepare for the climb by wearing a good pair of shoes. Add Anacopia Fortress and other attractions to your New Athos trip itinerary using our New Athos road trip app.
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  • Just have returned from long weekend tour to Abkhazia. Stayed for three night at the town of Novy Afon (New Athos), there a plenty of places of interest located, with Anacopia Fortress on the hill...  more »
  • Anacopia Fortress is an ancient fortress started in the 2nd century and has been through some interesting history. You can hike up to see the ruins which are still in fairly decent shape, it’s a...  more »
  • If you like castles, in ruined state, up on hills with spectacular views, then this is your place. The hill is high up, so don't try and walk from Athos, it will be miserable, rather walk down. A...  more »
  • beautiful and magical place. clean air. the cool of the mountains. the heat of the sun. blue sky. country of soul Abkhazia. clean and cozy. you're going to love it here
  • Magic view
  • Totally worth the hike! From the highway you can only see the tower, but when you hike to the top you see there is so much more! Great vistas, such history! Highly highly recommend!
  • 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 × 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 safety of the site and reinstate the tower as a usable lookout point
  • 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.

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