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Sightseeing in Sukhum

Beach holidays in the resort of Sukhum can be combined with a tour of architectural structures of different historical periods, museum complexes, art galleries. There are ruins of forts, towers and other defensive structures in the city. In the vicinity of Sukhum attractions are picturesque mountains, rivers, bays.

What to see in Sukhum in one day

Makhajirs Fountain
Makhajirs fountain on the waterfront.

Sukhum – a large settlement and the capital of Abkhazia, which has beaches, parks, architectural monuments, landscaped embankments, entertainment facilities, including. for a family vacation. The development of the area began as early as the 6th century BC. Ancient buildings, fortresses, etc., were built here.

The ruins of ancient towers and fortifications have survived to this day. Today Sukhum is a center of culture and trade, a major resort area, etc.

The settlement is located in a picturesque area surrounded by mountains. Tourists can independently in 1 day to see the main architectural sites, historical sites.

The Castle of Bagrat

The medieval castle of Bagrat is located in the Tkhubun district. The first name of the building was Akua. The defensive structure is located on an elevated site 500 meters from the sea. The fortress was erected by Bagrat III, King of the Abkhaz and Kartvelians, to protect the territory from enemy attacks.

After the conflicts ended, the fortification was abandoned and gradually collapsed.

In the 1950s, archaeological research was conducted on the site of the fortress. Pottery, women’s jewelry, metal weapons, ancient coins, stone slabs with engraved inscriptions, and household items were discovered. The artifacts date from the 12th-13th centuries.

Tourists can see the ruins of the fortress. The walls, stone gates, part of the towers, underground passage, etc. remain. The thickness of the fortifications is 1.8 m.

The stone slabs are covered with moss and ivy. The site offers a picturesque view of the bay. You can see the castle on their own or with a tour group.

The Castle of Bagrat
The castle of Bagrat is open to tourists.

Monkey Nursery

Families with children can visit the Monkey Nursery on Ubih Street. The organization was created for the development of science, research under the leadership of the Academy of Sciences of Abkhazia.

The first monkeys were brought to Sukhum for adaptation in 1927. the city’s climate is close to tropical.

The history of the kennel goes back more than 90 years. During this time, employees of the organization have participated in scientific research, medical campaigns, development of new directions in treatment, etc.

Monkey Nursery
Sukhumi monkey nursery welcomes guests.

Today, the nursery is available for tourists to visit. Travelers can observe orangutans, macaques, chimpanzees, etc. Tourists are also offered a story about the history of the scientific center.

Abkhaz State Museum

The state museum was opened in 1917. The expositions are based on historical materials collected by a team of educators, local historians, and breeders.

At the base of the museum:

  • archaeological finds (utensils, remains of stone sculptures, ancient household items);
  • archival publications, documents;
  • antique coins and other objects of numismatics;
  • works of art, etc.

The organization’s collections are regularly added to.

Tourists are offered sightseeing programs dedicated to:

  1. Histories of the Ancient World. Some of the exhibits in the subsection are of world significance. Travelers will see objects of archaeological excavations (weapons, utensils of ancient people, findings from the Paleolithic period, marble items belonging to the ancient Greek culture, etc.).
  2. The development of flora and fauna. The exhibition features the remains of creatures that inhabited the earth millions of years ago. It offers an examination of fossils of fish, mammals, mollusks, etc.
  3. Ethnography. The exhibition is dedicated to the traditions and history of the development of indigenous peoples of the Abkhaz region. The exposition includes samples of folk costumes, decorative art and everyday life of local residents.

The exhibits are available to tourists all year round. A child under 7 years old can visit exhibitions for free. Tickets for children under 14 years old are discounted.

Abkhaz State Museum
The Abkhaz State Museum has many interesting exhibits.

Architectural Sights of Sukhum

When planning an interesting trip to Sukhumi, experts recommend to include a visit to the architectural sites. Modern buildings are located on the site of ancient settlements. Ruins of temples, fortresses, bridges of the Middle Ages, the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Fortress of Dioscuria

The fortress was built as a defensive structure and served as protection for the population for many centuries. The outpost survived until the mid-20th century, when it was blown up in a military conflict. Travelers can see the ruins of an ancient fortress.

On the territory of the structure scientists have repeatedly passed archaeological excavations. Traces of ancient settlements (pottery, carved stone sculptures, etc.) were found. The ruins of the fortress of Dioscuria are located near the sea. There are beautiful views from the site. The place is suitable for the organization of photo sessions.

Fortress of Dioscuria
Ruins of the fortress of Dioscuria.

Kelasur Wall

The Kelasur wall is located on the embankment. Mahajirs. The second name of the structure is the Great Wall of Abkhazia. Tourists can walk around the ruins of a defensive structure that stretches from the Kelasur River to the source of the Inguri River.

The wall was erected in the 6th-7th centuries. The original structure was 160 km long and consisted of massive boulders bound with a limestone mortar.

There were guard towers along the wall. Some structures and defensive fortifications have been preserved.

According to scholars, the wall could have been erected by Byzantines, Persians, or Abkhazians. Fragments of buildings and ruins of towers have survived to modern times. The fortifications are up to 5 m high and 2 m thick.

Kelasur Wall
The Kelasur wall is built of large stones.

The Beslet Bridge

The Beslet Bridge is located on Changba Street in the center of Walnut Grove. The building was erected during the Middle Ages to organize the crossing of the Besletka River.

In the 11th-12th centuries the structure was part of a military fortress. This is evidenced by the remains of the observation tower. The masonry has been well preserved. The ancient bridge continues to be used in crossing the reservoir. The second name of the structure is the Queen Tamara Bridge.

The Beslet Bridge
The Beslet bridge is one of the legendary landmarks of Sukhum.

Railroad station building

Railway station in Sukhum was built in the 1940s. During the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict, the building was partially destroyed and did not work until 2004.

The majestic structure was designed by architects in the Neo-Gothic style. The structure has arches, colonnades, decorative cornices, and covered galleries. The facade is clad with granite and marble slabs. The modern station is functioning steadily.

Railroad station building
Neo-Gothic railway station building.

Liberty Square

The square on the territory of Sukhum was designed and landscaped in the 1920s. Later the Government House – a multi-storey building with wings – was built there. The object has been renamed several times. In the 1990s, the area was once again called Pl. Freedom.

Liberty Square
Freedom Square and Government House.

Sukhumi Lighthouse

The lighthouse was designed for Sukhum by a special project in France. In the 1860s, the construction was transported to the capital of Abkhazia. The height of the structure is 37 meters. The lighthouse was placed on a sandy promontory on arranged screw piles. The building functioned until the early 21st century.

After its closure, the site received the status of architectural heritage of Sukhum. It is now intended for tourists to visit, as. On the upper tier is an observation deck. You can climb the spiral staircase to the lighthouse. The object offers a picturesque panorama of Sukhum and the sea bay.

Sukhumi Lighthouse
There is an observation deck at the lighthouse.

Presidential Palace

The Presidential Palace is located on Nab. 32. The building of the residence is made of stone. The project was designed in the style of classicism.

The front entrance of the palace is in the form of an arcade, which consists of several lancet apertures. During the Soviet period, Sukhum used it for meetings of the city party committee.

The Presidential Secretariat is now hosting receptions there. In front of the building are laid out flowerbeds, landscaped lawns, planted with palm trees and flowering shrubs.

Presidential Palace
The presidential palace with an entrance in the form of an arcade.

Abandoned Guma Station

Guma railway station was built in 1940 and was part of the Black Sea road. Then the building was completed with a belvedere in the style of the Stalinist Empire.

The beautiful rectangular pavilion was designed along with a gallery decorated with shaped columns and arched vaults. The Belvedere is located on an elevated site. Wide staircases lead to the building.

In modern times, the Guma station does not function as intended. However, its territory is regularly maintained in order. The place is used for public events, light shows, chamber exhibitions, organization of entertainment for citizens and guests of Sukhum.

Guma Station
Abandoned Guma station built in 1940.

Changba Drama Theater

The Drama Theater was founded in the 1980s. At first performances were organized by a small troupe. Later the team expanded. The Drama Theater was given premises built in 1952 at 1 Pushkin Street. The palace is equipped with a hall for 700 spectators. Loggias and balconies are decorated with gilded bas-reliefs, with backlighting.

The repertoire of the Drama Theater includes classical theatrical productions, plays read by modern directors. There are organ music concerts, dance tournaments, entertainment shows, etc.

In front of the Drama Theater is a cascading fountain with sculptures of griffins and landscaped garden with tropical palms, ornamental shrubs and plants.

Drama Theater
The Changba Drama Theater can accommodate 700 spectators.

Monasteries, Churches and Temples of Sukhum

Of great historical value are the religious buildings of the city. Buildings have been erected throughout different periods of history. Cathedrals, monasteries, bell towers, and chamber chapels have preserved masonry, mosaics, sculptures, monuments, etc.

Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The white-stone cathedral was designed in the Neobyzantine style. Until the 1940s, it was called St. Nicholas Church. The building was completed in 1915.

After restoration in the 1980s, the structure was enlarged. The architectural complex was supplemented with new facilities (chapels, dining rooms, bell towers) and received the status of a cathedral. In the capital of Abkhazia, the complex is the main for the services of the Sukhum-Abkhaz diocese.

Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Cathedral white stone cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Assumption Drand Monastery

The cathedral is located in the township of St. Petersburg. Dranda. Historians date the erection of the temple to the 6th-7th centuries. The stone cathedral is notable for its cross-domed architecture in the Byzantine style. Rare stone rocks were used in the decoration of the altar.

The arched vaults and walls were covered with frescoes, but the building was repeatedly rebuilt, rebuilt after destruction.

By the 19th century, many of the decorations had been lost.

The cathedral was originally erected to serve as the bishop’s residence. After restoration work in 1880, the premises were given to the monastery. During the Soviet period, the organization was closed and the buildings were abandoned.

The Dranda Cathedral was revived in 2011 after the buildings were transferred to the balance of the Abkhaz Orthodox Church. Comprehensive restoration work was carried out in the premises. The modern cathedral is a working temple, and services are held there.

Assumption Monastery
Services are held in the Monastery of the Assumption.

Koman Monastery

The monastery is located in the Koman tract. The main building of the complex is a church from the Middle Ages. Historians date the construction to the 11th century.

The attraction is surrounded by a wall made of stone blocks. An ancient staircase leads to the front entrance. Fragments and ruins remained of the original structures. Some buildings have been restored and rebuilt. Since 2001, the men’s monastery is active again.

According to legend, before the construction of the monastery in the surrounding area was buried I. Chrysostom. Therefore, groups of pilgrims come to the monastery to worship the holy places.

On the territory of Koman monastery there is a spring with healing drinking water.

Koman Monastery
The active Koman monastery receives pilgrims.

Natural attractions of Sukhum and its surroundings

In Sukhum and its surroundings are concentrated natural attractions (mountains, beaches, bays, capes, reserves). To explore the picturesque sites can go by car from the guidebook or as part of an organized tour group.

Sukhum Mountain

At the turn of the 1940s, a park was laid out on the slopes of the mountain to protect the area from logging. Ornamental shrubs and different kinds of trees were planted. There are popular excursion routes to Sukhum Mountain, and the paths are asphalted or covered with gravel.

On a hill there is an observation deck with picturesque panoramas of Sukhum. There are monuments and fountains in the foothills. On one slope of the mountain is a pantheon of writers and prominent people of Abkhazia.

Sukhum Mountain
Observation sites on Sukhumi Hill.

Gumista River

The river is mountainous, located in picturesque places among the rocky slopes, boulders. Its flow is turbulent, because. The streams pass through stone embankments, rock outcrops, etc.

There are monuments along the river commemorating soldiers killed in the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict. Here was the front line of the opposing sides. Monuments are designed as black slabs with engraved portraits and names of fallen Abkhazians.

Gumista River
Monuments on the Gumista River.

City embankment

Sukhum embankment belongs to the popular places of recreation for adults and children. At the entrance is a snow-white colonnade, erected in 1948. Behind the building are palm groves, flowering shrubs.

On the coast there are exhibition pavilions, attractions for children, cafes, restaurants with European and national cuisine. Cultural events are often held on the waterfront. On the territory there are fountains, sculptures, stone stairs that lead to the sea. Mansions are built along the embankment.

The Sukhum seafront
The sculpture “Nika and the gramophone” on the waterfront of Sukhum.

Botanical Garden

Botanical Garden in Sukhum was opened in 1838 and is considered the oldest in the Caucasus. Dr. V. Bagrinovsky organized the planting of various crops, cultivation of shrubs and trees. According to the scientist’s project the garden was created as an apothecary vegetable garden for the cultivation of medicinal plants.

However, the areas gradually developed, and the directions associated with the park expanded. Fruit trees, tropical plants, vegetables, etc. began to be grown here.

In the modern botanical garden there are more than 5 thousand species of shrubs, flowers and trees. In addition to native crops, lotus, citrus, bamboo, eucalyptus trees, etc., are grown on the grounds. The botanical garden staff takes care of tea bushes, sequoias, magnolias and rare lilies.

Botanical Garden
The botanical garden has more than 5 thousand species of different plantings.

Sukhumi Bay

Sukhumi Bay with its developed tourist infrastructure is considered one of the most picturesque parts of the city. The area is surrounded by pebble and sand banks.

Travelers are offered sightseeing trips by boat, boat, catamaran, yacht. You can arrange a vacation in bungalows, visit the bars in the coastal area.

Sukhumi Bay
Picturesque Sukhumi Bay.

Mocha Beach

Lovers of recreation on the coast can go to the beach Mokko, located on the Kodori highway. The area is landscaped. There are showers, cabins, bridges and paths to enter the water.

Beside the groves of trees are installed sunbeds. On the coast built cafes, restaurants. On the beach are open watercraft rentals (inflatable laps, masks).

Mocha Beach
You can also visit the landscaped beach Mocha.

Interesting sculptures and monuments

Tourists should include historical, artistic monuments and original sculptures in their itineraries.

In a walk around Sukhum you can see the following objects:

  1. “Nika and the gramophone.” The composition is located on the Nab. Mahajirs. The sculpture was designed based on the work of the poet F. Iskander.
  2. “The Philosopher Penguin. The sculpture is located on the city embankment. The unusual composition was installed in 2012. The author of the work is A. Labahua.
  3. “Old Man Tachkum. The composition reproduces the plot of an Arabian fairy tale. The sculpture is made of bronze.
  4. Monument at the grave of the writer, linguist and historian Bagrat Shinkuba. The monument is located on the central embankment and is surrounded by a picturesque park. Б. Shinkuba was also engaged in social activities and was recognized as the national poet of Abkhazia.
Old Man Tachkum
“Old Man Tachkum.” – One of the sculptures in town.

What to do in bad weather

In bad weather (cold, rain) travelers are advised to visit museums, houses of honorary citizens of Sukhum, theatrical performances in the Drama Theater, performances of national dance groups, etc.

The State Art Gallery was opened in Sukhum.

At the heart of the funds is a collection of paintings by local patron of the arts Fishkov. After receiving the status of an object of national importance, the premises of a former female gymnasium were used for the paintings.

The halls exhibit works by Abkhaz artists and creative works by modern authors. The gallery has permanent exhibitions and temporary exhibitions, including. with imported thematic collections. In the archives of the gallery more than 4 thousand works (paintings, sculptures, decorative works).

In the list of places to go in rainy weather, the Drama Theater named after V. V. V. is on the list of places to go in rainy weather. Ф. A. Iskander. The building was renovated in 2014. The auditorium seats over 480 spectators. The repertoire of the Drama Theater includes plays based on the works of contemporary authors and classics.

The Abkhaz State Philharmonic Society, located in a building built in 1947, regularly hosts performances of choral ensembles, folk music concerts, jazz festivals, etc. Soloists and folk artists of Abkhazia perform on the stage.

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