Medieval church of the 10th century.

Today the story will be about the medieval Christian church of the 10th century from the time of the Abkhazian kingdom. It is located in the village of Bzypta, on the banks of the Bzyp River in Abkhazia. If you turn in the village from the side of Lake Ritsa, you will see the fortress walls on the left. In fact, several walls remained from the church, which are more reminiscent of ruins than a temple.

The church was built of stone, large blocks apparently mined nearby. The stone is hewn, traces of processing are visible. Apparently due to the fact that the stones are strong and at least some walls have survived to this day. The church used to be domed, the dome has not been preserved.

The stone from which the walls of the fortress are made The stone from which the walls of the fortress are made Hewn stone from which the church is built Hewn stone from which the church is built

There are ornaments on some walls, not everywhere they are well preserved, but it’s great that at least in some details you can appreciate the skill of medieval architects.

Window with surviving ornament Window with surviving ornament

The Abkhazian kingdom in the 10th century occupied rather large territories, including all of Western Georgia, all of Abkhazia and some part of Eastern Georgia. They spoke Georgian in it. In terms of religion, the Abkhazian kingdom separated from Byzantium, they professed Christianity, but with minor changes, because even Christianity in Abkhazia in the 9th-10th centuries was called the Abkhazian Catholicosate.

View of the Bzyp river valley from the fortress View of the Bzyp river valley from the fortress

The Christian temple is part of the Bzyp fortress, and the fortress was located on a hill. From the fortress you can see the entire Bzypskaya valley, so it was a strategically important place both in terms of protecting the territory and, I think, from an economic point of view. To get to the fortress you need to climb a rather high staircase from the road.

Judging by the remains of the old walls of the fortress, its size was quite impressive. According to various sources, I found that its size was about 8 thousand square meters. m. and earlier one of the main pass routes to the North Caucasus went through the fortress.

A lot of valuable things were found in the fortress, which are now exhibits of the Abkhazian Museum. Now there is a goal to visit the museum and learn more about this place and this fertile land.

The church has its own «keeper», a simple man from the locals, who is very worried about this place and chases negligent tourists who, in his opinion, desecrate the temple, climb the walls and go to the place where the altar used to be.

At a later time, at the beginning of the 20th century, it was planned to build a bridge across the Bzyp River. The construction was started and the stones of the fortress were used for it. At some point, construction was stopped, but two stone pillars for the bridge remained, which are still standing.

Here is such an echo of history from time immemorial.

Abkhazia, Gagra district, Bzypta village

⏱43.240862, 40.396094

Many more interesting things in our Zen:

Vorontsovskaya cave. A large and very beautiful cave in the Sochi region

Cave town Tepe-Kermen. Touch the walls of the 6th century AD

Gorges «Wolf» and «Bear Gates». Interesting one day itinerary

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