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The Grotto Of Simon The Zealot

The grotto - one of the attractions of Gagra. A small grotto is located 500 m from the resort centre, upstream of the river Psyrtskha. According to legend, for two years lived here Simon the zealot, who was one of the apostles of Christ. He came to the coast of Abkhazia is approximately 53 in order to preach Christianity to the local pagan tribes. Two years later, Simon the zealot was killed near his cell. In the IX-X century at the place of his burial, the temple was built.

The path to a cozy Grotto begins at the ancient apses of the temple. Next, the trail passes near the eight-meter artificial waterfall, a scenic small lake and leads to the old broken steps leading to a cut through for the pilgrims the entrance to a small grotto of St. Simon the zealot. As in ancient times, the current Grotto is a place of worship and reverence of Christians, there are service. It was consecrated in 1884

Travelers who visited this place say that inside the cave there is a feeling of Holiness and light. In the twilight of the cave, lit the lamps and candles, there are a number of icons. On the rock walls you can see carved four-cross and a mosaic by monks-hermits, the faces of the saints of Jesus Christ, the mother of God and of St. Simon the zealot. In the center of the cave is a large rock where, according to legend, the Apostle ate and slept.

On the road to the Grotto, is a huge boulder with the imprint of a human foot. Believers revere the imprint as a trace left by Simon Kananita. Also refers to the Holy source, located near the Grotto. They say that the water of this spring cures many diseases.

Near the Grotto there is a stone staircase. Climbing up on it, you can go to the observation deck offers a panoramic view of the beautiful lake Psyrtskha station is a small reservoir formed by the construction of hydroelectric power plants.