About Sights – Gonio Fortress

Gonio fortress (Georgian: გონიოს ციხე) is a well preserved Roman fortification in Ajara, on the Black sea coast. Located on the left bank of the River Chorokhi the fortress is 12 km south of Batumi and just 4 km from the border with Turkey. The site is believed to hold the tomb of the Apostle Mathew – one of Christ’s disciples – but has yet to be fully excavated.

Photo courtesy of the Cultural Heritage Preservation Agency of Ajara

Photo courtesy of the Cultural Heritage Preservation Agency of Ajara

The fortress is rectangular (195/245 meters) with a gate on each side but only the western gate is open. There are a total of 18 towers along the walls, including 4 main towers at each corner of the fortress.

Photo courtesy of the Cultural Heritage Preservation Agency of Ajara

Photo courtesy of the Cultural Heritage Preservation Agency of Ajara

Photo courtesy of the Cultural Heritage Preservation Agency of Ajara

Photo courtesy of the Cultural Heritage Preservation Agency of Ajara

Archaeological excavations began in the 1960’s and have revealed remains of a Roman bathhouse, a 1st c AD water supply system, roads and pavements, and also amphorae, red gloss ceramics and coins.

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The site is closely connected to the myth of the Argonauts. According to legend, this is the place where king Ayet, the owner of the Golden Fleece, buried his son Apsaros, whose body was dismembered and thrown into the sea by Jason.

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There is a museum within the grounds of the fortress.

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Interior of Museum at Gonio Fortress

How to get there? The fortress is located in Gonio village, Khelvachauri municipality, in Ajara. Distance from Batumi – 12 km; Distance from Tbilisi – 380 km.

Shuttle-bus- Tbilisi-Kobuleti-Tsikhisdziri
Minibus – Tbilisi- Kobuleti- Tsikhisdziri
Train – Tbilisi-Batumi and minibus Batumi- Gonio

When is it open? Open: Six days per week, from 10:00 – 17:00; Closed – Mondays.

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Georgia About recommends a visit to this amazing fortress!

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Comments
12 Responses to “About Sights – Gonio Fortress”
  1. Wow!!! All we can say is wow!!!

  2. You know, with each post you are enticing me to visit Georgia…I almost have hubby convinced too.

  3. Reblogged this on Moon Girl and commented:
    Great <3

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