Pitsunda ( _ab. ПиUnicode|ҵунда, Georgian: ბიჭვინთა - "Bichvinta" _ru. Пицунда, ) is a
resorttown in Gagra districtof the Republic of Abkhazia. It is situated on the shore of the Black Sea25 km south from Gagra.
The town was founded by the Greeks in the
5th century BCas a trade colonyPityus or Pitiunt (Πιτυος). [CathEncy|wstitle=Pityus] Excavations guided by Andria Apakidzeunearthed remains of three 4th-century churches and a bath with superb mosaicfloors. The former "Great Pityus" harbour is now a mere lake within the town. Saint John Chrysostomwas exiled there and died near the shore in 407. [CathEncy|wstitle=Pityus] In the 6th century, the town was one of the major political and religious centres of the kingdom of Egrisi(Lazica). An archbishopric of Pitiunt was instituted in 541. In medieval Georgia, the town's name was spelled as "Bichvinta". At the end of the 10th century, King Bagrat III of Georgiabuilt there the magnificent Pitsunda Cathedralwhich 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 Abkhaziauntil the late 16th century when Abkhazia came under the Ottoman hegemony. It is still a titular seeof the Roman Catholic Church. [CathEncy|wstitle=Pityus] In the late 13th century, the area housed a short-lived Genoese trade colony called "Pezonda". There are many hotels for Russian tourists, who frequent the area in summertime.
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