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Kelasuri Wall

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Title: Kelasuri Wall  
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Subject: History of Abkhazia, Sukhumi
Collection: Buildings and Structures in Abkhazia, Walls
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Kelasuri Wall

The Kelasuri Wall (

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External links

  1. ^  
  2. ^ a b c d e  
  3. ^ a b c История изучения средневековых памятников Абхазии, Материалы по археологии Абхазии. Тбилиси, 1967, с. 115-128 (Russian)
  4. ^ Voyage autour du Caucase: chez les Tcherkesses et les Abkhases, en Colchide, en Géorgie, en Arménie et en Crimée ; avec un atlas géographique, pittoresque, archéologique, géologique, etc. par Frédéric Dubois de Montpéreux. Paris, Libr. de Gide, 1839-1843. 6 v.
  5. ^ Rapp, Stephen H. (2003). Studies in Medieval Georgian Historiography. Peeters Publishers. p. 231.  
  6. ^ Ю.Н. Воронов (Yury Voronov), "Келасурская стена" (Kelasuri wall). Советская археология 1973, 3. (Russian)


Yury Voronov (ru), a well-known Abkhazian historian and archaeologist, examined the Abkhazian wall in 1966-1971 and proposed a new date of its construction. According to Voronov, Vakhushti and Italian missionary Arcangelo Lamberti who both wrote about the wall built by Megrelian princes for protection from the Abkhaz.[6]

According to Mikhail Ivashchenko, the wall was built by Byzantines in the 4th century to protect their possessions and control mountain passes. He connected the name of the river Kelasuri with Byzantine Greek kleisoura, a Byzantine territorial unit smaller than a theme.[3][5] Several other historians supported this date although they could not agree on the length and orientation of the wall.[3]

Since the wall was first examined scientifically in early 19th century, many hypotheses on who and when built it were published.[3] For example, the Swiss traveller Frédéric Dubois de Montpéreux asserted that the wall was built by Greeks in the last centuries BC to protect their colony of Dioscurias (which he erroneously placed near the Kodori cape[4]

History of construction

Ruins of the first tower of the wall

All the towers are rectangular (7 by 8 or 8 by 9 metres), 4–6 m high and have shallow foundations. Each tower had a door in its southern wall framed by massive stone beams, sometimes a narrow staircase was also added. Embrasures were usually located in the towers' northern and western walls on the second floor.[2]

The wall was not continuous as its builders made use of natural obstacles such as steep slopes and gorges. 279 towers belonging to the wall have been identified, about a hundred of them are extant. The usual distance between towers is 40–120 m, where there was no continuous wall some towers were 300, 500 and 1000 m apart.[2]


Most of the fortifications are located in the western part of the wall between Kelasuri and Mokva rivers. Kelasuri's left bank and mountain passes were most heavily fortified. On the other hand only four towers were found between Tkvarcheli and Inguri.[2]

The wall begins near the mouth of Kelasuri River where the ruins of a large tower remained. It goes to the east crossing Kodori River near Tsebelda, then passes near Tkvarcheli and terminates near the village of Lekukhona on the right bank of Inguri.[2]

The wall begins near the mouth of Kelasuri and ends on the right bank of Inguri



  • Location 1
  • Towers 2
  • History of construction 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

[2] The wall featured about 300 towers, most of them now entirely or largely ruined.[1]. The time of its construction is not known definitely; several dates ranging from antiquity to the seventeenth century were suggested, although more recent works have provisionally favoured construction in the 6th century AD.Abkhazia in Sukhumi) is a stone wall located to the east of აფხაზეთის დიდი კედელი

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