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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a seaside health resort in the Abkhazian ASSR, on a cape of the same name. Situated on the Black Sea, in the Caucasus, Pitsunda is 20 km south of Gagra. Summers are hot, with an average August temperature of 23°C, and winters are mild, with an average January temperature of 6°C. Precipitation totals 1,410 mm per year.

The treatments offered by Pitsunda are aerotherapy, heliotherapy, and thalassotherapy (from May to late October). The disorders treated are nontubercular respiratory ailments, functional disorders of the nervous system, and anemias. There is a broad beach of fine sand.

A hotel with a capacity of 3,000 was erected in the 1960’s; it consists of seven high buildings overlooking the Black Sea (1959–67; architects M. V. Posokhin, A. A. Mndoiants, V. A. Svirskii, and lu. V. Popov and engineers S. Ia. Shkol’nikov and V. S. Nikolaev). Pitsunda also has a tourist hostel and a preserve of Pitsunda pine that covers approximately 200 hectares.

The ancient and medieval city and port of Pityusa (Lamp-sacus), founded by the Greeks, was located on Cape Pitsunda. In the late second and early first centuries B.C., the city was part of the Pontic kingdom. In the late first century B.C. it became a Roman fortress, and in the fourth century A.D., one of the centers of Christianity in the Caucasus. From the fourth to eighth centuries, it was a Byzantine stronghold. In the 780’s, Pityusa became part of the Abkhazian Kingdom, and at the end of the tenth century, part of Georgia. A Genoese trading post (Pezonda) was located there in the 14th and 15th centuries. Pitsunda was under Turkish control in the 17th and 18th centuries and became part of Russia in the early 19th century.

Excavations in the 1950’s uncovered the remains of temples, including a basilica of the fourth or fifth century with a mosaic floor, fortifications, dwellings, and baths. To the northeast of the ancient fortified settlement is a three-aisled, cruciform, domed church of the tenth century that is now a museum. There are 16th-century frescoes in the church’s narthex.


Pachulia, V. P. Pitsunda. Tbilisi, 1962.
Inadze, M. P. Prichernomorskie goroda drevnei Kolkhidy. Tbilisi, 1968.
Chikviladze, P. Kurort Pitsunda. Tbilisi, 1971.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Rather, the Achaei, Heniochi and Zygi probably migrated from the morass of different peoples around Lake Maeotis into the coastal strip of the northeastern Euxine and its mountainous interior in the area south of Gorgippia down to the northern edge of Colchis at Pityus. (55) The Achaei and Heniochi had been allies of Mithridates VI Eupator, although the Achaei had also destroyed two-thirds of a Pontic army c.
Eumelus of Bosporus (310/309-304/303 BC) once suppressed their piracy and they destroyed Hellenistic Pityus (not identical with Roman Pityus) at some undetermined date.
(91) Even in the late 2nd and early 3rd centuries, when vexillations of XV Apollinaris or XII Fulminata manned (never simultaneously) Trapezus, a vexillation of XV Apollinaris garrisoned Pityus, another legionary vexillatio of unknown origin was (at least during Hadrian's reign) at Phasis, and auxilia unit(s) inhabited Apsarus, Roman forces in the eastern Euxine probably never numbered 3000.
By the 2nd century its mint produced bronze coinage to pay the garrisons at Pityus and presumably elsewhere in Colchis.
A classis Pontica, based at Trapezus and operating from Amasus in the west to Dioscurias or Pityus in the northeast would essentially be a classis Cappadocica, a typical provincial fleet, the naval extension of an imperial provincial governor's military command.
'From Pityus to Zeugma: the northern sector of the eastern frontier 1983-96.' In N.