The Republic of Abkhazia

Abkhazia is situated on the Eastern coast of the Black sea, bordering Russia in the North and North Caucasus along the Caucasus Mountains Range and Georgia in the East. Abkhazia is divided into seven administrative districts: Gagra, Gudauta, Sukhum, Ochamchira, Gulripsh, Tquarchal and Gal. Due to its mountainous nature, Abkhazia has many rivers and lakes, and rich fertile soil. The climate is very mild, averaging around 15 degrees Celsius. Higher elevations experience a more varied climate, with significant snow and even glaciers in some parts. The capital city is Sukhum (Aqw'a in Abkhaz) which lies on the Black Sea coast.

History Early Development

6th Century B.C.: The Greeks established trading posts in Abkhazia, a Caucasian land, then part of the region known as Colchis at the Eastern end of the Black Sea. Their cities, especially Dioscurias (modern day Sukhum) grew to be a prosperous trade center. In 55 AD Saint Andrew and Simon the Zealot came to Abkhazia to preach Christianity where they were both buried. First Century B.C.: The Romans fortified Sukhum. The peoples' longevity was reported. 523 A.D.: Abkhazia became part of the Byzantine Empire. Christianity was adopted. 780 - 978: The Kingdom of Abkhazia flourished and the Abkhazia Dynasty extended its sway over much of what is now Western Georgia. 1300-1500: A portion of Abkhazia was under Mingrelian Rule 1500 - 1680: The Abkhazian Chachba Dynasty drove the Mingrelians out and established the southern boundary that exists to this day. 1578: Abkhazia was invaded by the Ottoman Empire 18th Century: Abkhazia, in alliance with Georgia, made repeated efforts to drive out the Turks.

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