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Anakopia fortress and Anakopia temple

Anakopia fortress and Anakopia temple



Anakopia fortress

Anakopia, the ancient capital of the Abkhazian realm, was along the top of the mountain Anakopia. The oldest building of Anakopia is the castle, built in the II-IV centuries AD.  The walls of Anakopia fortress were made of drafted stone blocks; the width of some blocks is 60 centimeters. You could get inside the fortress only through the small gate, built on the south wall of the three huge monoliths of hewn limestone. The most important defensive works of the fortress was four-storey tetragonal Roman tower, from the top floor of which there is a view down the surroundings.

In the ancient burial ground in Anakopia along with human remains, archaeologists have found iron swords, daggers and spears. In the III-IV centuries AD Anakopia artisans produced in addition to weapons, agricultural tools and jewelry (rings, bracelets, glass beads, figurines).

In the VIII century in the fortress settled the Abkhazian owner Leon I. At the time of his reign Anakopia became the capital of Abkhazian realm, and he also led the defense of Anakopia during the Arab invasion and defeated the Arab armies under the command of well-known commander Murvan Crewe (Deaf). After this crushing defeat the Arabs never invaded Abkhazia. Anakopia almost a hundred years has become a political and cultural capital of Abkhazia.

Anakopia temple

At this time (VIII-IX centuries), at the northern wall of the citadel on the edge of the precipice, the temple was built. Anakopia temple was reconstructed more than once. In the XI century it was rebuilt and consecrated by the Greeks in honor of St. Martyr Theodore of Tyrone. The initial shapes retained only its chancel in the form of a broad semicircular apse. From the ancient buildings were also left inscriptions in Greek and limestone slab depicting fish, cypresses, crosses and other early Christian symbols. Now these pieces, taken together, are in the altar area.

For many centuries in Anakopia temple was kept the Image of Anakopia Virgin, She was appeared during the siege of Anakopia by the Arabs, under the command of Murvan Crewe. "Nobody could fight the Deaf - said the chronicler, - because his soldiers were more than [number] trees in Egriss forests. . . ». But thanks to the intercession of the Virgin, whose not made by hands, heaven-sent icon, according to a chronicler, was in the fortress, and in the face of this icon kneeled all night praying kings and warriors who lived in the fortress, the Lord sent to the Arabs "the heat of the south and they were taken ill with Cholera."  "When it dawned, - continues the chronicler, - from their (Arab) camps were heard voices of weeping and crying. And then they went (forces stationed in the fort), trusting in God to do battle with them, and fought, and the Lord God gave the victory to the small-numbered Christian army; thirty-five thousands died of cholera, and by the sword - three thousand. "The Arabs then retreated from Anakopia.

  Life-giving water of Anakopia

In the rock next to the church for several centuries there is a cistern, hewn out of the stone, which is always filled with pure water. At the bottom of the cistern, researchers found depression with a diameter of about a meter and a depth of 25 cm, through which seeps into the cistern water, appears to be of karst origin.

In 2008, Anakopia fortress was reconstructed, a watchtower, which is arranged a viewing platform, was restored too. The slopes of Anakopia Mountain and the road leading to the summit were listed in order.



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