Pitsunda is a resort
A resort is a place used for relaxation or recreation, attracting visitors for holidays or vacations. Resorts are places, towns or sometimes commercial establishment operated by a single company....

 town in Gagra district
Gagra district
Gagra District is a district of Abkhazia. It corresponds to the Georgian district by the same name. In medieval times, it was known as the southern part of Sadzen. It is located in the western part of Abkhazia, and the river Psou serves as a border with Krasnodar Kray of Russia. Its capital is...

 of Abkhazia
Abkhazia is a disputed political entity on the eastern coast of the Black Sea and the south-western flank of the Caucasus.Abkhazia considers itself an independent state, called the Republic of Abkhazia or Apsny...


The town was founded by the Greeks
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

 in the 5th century BC as a trade colony
In politics and history, a colony is a territory under the immediate political control of a state. For colonies in antiquity, city-states would often found their own colonies. Some colonies were historically countries, while others were territories without definite statehood from their inception....

 Pityus (Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek is the stage of the Greek language in the periods spanning the times c. 9th–6th centuries BC, , c. 5th–4th centuries BC , and the c. 3rd century BC – 6th century AD of ancient Greece and the ancient world; being predated in the 2nd millennium BC by Mycenaean Greek...

: Πιτυοῦς, genitive Πιτυοῦντος) or Pitiunt. Excavations guided by Andria Apakidze
Andria Apakidze
Andria Apakidze , Doctor of History and professor, was a Georgian archaeologist and historian specializing in the studies of ancient Georgia, and the author of widely known works on archaeology....

 unearthed remains of three 4th-century churches and a bath with superb mosaic
Mosaic is the art of creating images with an assemblage of small pieces of colored glass, stone, or other materials. It may be a technique of decorative art, an aspect of interior decoration, or of cultural and spiritual significance as in a cathedral...

 floors. The former "Great Pityus" harbour is now a mere lake within the town. Saint John Chrysostom
John Chrysostom
John Chrysostom , Archbishop of Constantinople, was an important Early Church Father. He is known for his eloquence in preaching and public speaking, his denunciation of abuse of authority by both ecclesiastical and political leaders, the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, and his ascetic...

 was exiled there and died near the shore in 407
Year 407 was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Honorius and Theodosius...

. Dioskurias remained under Roman control within the Diocese of Pontus
Diocese of Pontus
The Diocese of Pontus was a diocese of the later Roman Empire, incorporating the provinces of northern and northeastern Asia Minor up to the border with the Sassanid Empire in Armenia. The diocese was established after the reforms of Diocletian, and its vicarius, headquartered at Amaseia, was...

 until the 7th century. The city passed under Abasgian control and became one of the major political and religious centres of the kingdom of Egrisi
Lazica or Egrisi in Georgian |Georgia]], named after the Laz tribe, which at some time dominated the local ruling élite.The kingdom flourished between the 6th century BC and the 7th century AD. It covered part of the territory of the former kingdom Colchis and subjugated the territory of modern...

 (Lazica). An archbishopric of Pitiunt was instituted in 541
Year 541 was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Basilius without colleague...

. In medieval Georgia, the town's name was spelled as Bichvinta. At the end of the 10th century, King Bagrat III of Georgia
Bagrat III of Georgia
Bagrat III , of the Georgian Bagrationi dynasty, was King of the Abkhazians from 978 on and King of Georgia from 1008 on. He united these two titles by dynastic inheritance and, through conquest and diplomacy, added some more lands to his realm, effectively becoming the first king of what is...

 built there the Pitsunda Cathedral
Pitsunda Cathedral
Pitsunda Cathedral is a Georgian Orthodox Cathedral located in Pitsunda, in the Gagra district of the de facto independent Republic of Abkhazia, internationally recognised to constitute a part of Georgia...

 which survives to this day and contains vestiges of wall-painting from the 13th and the 16th centuries. Bichvinta also served as the seat of the Georgian Orthodox Catholicate of Abkhazia
Catholicate of Abkhazia
The Catholicate of Abkhazia was a subdivision of the Georgian Orthodox Church that existed as an independent entity in western Georgia from the 1470s to 1814. It was headed by the Catholicos of Abkhazia, officially styled as the Catholicos Patriarch of Imereti, Odishi, Ponto-Abkhaz-Guria,...

 until the late 16th century when Abkhazia came under the Ottoman
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 hegemony. It is still a titular see
Titular see
A titular see in various churches is an episcopal see of a former diocese that no longer functions, sometimes called a "dead diocese". The ordinary or hierarch of such a see may be styled a "titular bishop", "titular metropolitan", or "titular archbishop"....

 of the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

. In the late 13th century, the area housed a short-lived Genoese
Republic of Genoa
The Most Serene Republic of Genoa |Ligurian]]: Repúbrica de Zêna) was an independent state from 1005 to 1797 in Liguria on the northwestern Italian coast, as well as Corsica from 1347 to 1768, and numerous other territories throughout the Mediterranean....

 trade colony called Pezonda.

Pitsunda was the favourite resort of Soviet President Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev led the Soviet Union during part of the Cold War. He served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, and as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, from 1958 to 1964...

. In October 1964 he happened to be vacationing in Pitsunda when he was deposed from power. Khrushev once proposed a major dam and hydroelectric power scheme on the Bzyb River
Bzyb River
Soviet President Nikita Khrushchev once proposed a major dam and hydroelectric power generation facility on the Bzyb River, since his favourite resort was located near the mouth of the river at Pitsunda. However, this proposal was ruled out by his experts who opined that a dam built on the Bzyb...

 near Pitsunda, but his experts informed him that a dam built on the Bzyb River would have had catastrophic effects in causing beach erosion at Pitsunda. In the end, the dam was built on the Inguri River instead, where the impact upon the coastline was assessed to be considerably less pronounced.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.