A huge ethno park "Apsny Park" opened in Abkhazia: its area is 10 hectares.
The ethno park "Apsny Park", located near the village of Mgudzirkhva in the Gudauta region on an area of 10 hectares, was opened in Abkhazia.
The park contains objects of ethnography and samples of national architecture, inscribed in the landscape environment. Folk crafts are also represented here, centers of applied arts have been opened, and all this is combined with museum, exhibition, and entertainment venues.
The author of the idea, Mzauch Piliya, said that one of the main tasks of the project is to show clearly how an Abkhazian person once existed harmoniously surrounded by nature.
"This is a national project that promotes the national language, culture and way of life. We want to show our children, among other things, that Abkhazians have a rich history," he explained.
Piliya said that the first beginnings of such an idea came to him in childhood. According to him, work on the creation of the park has been going on for several years.
"Our history is much richer than what we are able to reflect today. We must jointly tell about it. We want to make a single national project that would unite society, culture, history, science," he said.
The author of the idea noted that the "Apsny Park" project opens up an opportunity for Abkhazia to offer the guests of the country a new type of tourist services - cultural and educational tourism.
"Such a complex currently has no analogues; it differs not only by the uniqueness of the objects presented, but also by the fact that it is located in a picturesque natural environment. In this environment, objects of historical and socio-cultural significance are presented in a single complex," he said.
Speaking about future visitors to the park, Mzauch Piliya noted that free admission to the territory is provided for all citizens of Abkhazia, as well as for Russian military personnel serving in the military contingent in Abkhazia, and their families.
Rash Zantaria, director of "Apsny Park" and part-time architect of this large-scale project, said that the main task in creating the expositions was to preserve the traditional Abkhazian style.
"For this, throughout the entire work on the project, we were in touch with the Abkhazian scholars who helped us. We also relied on historical materials in order to more accurately recreate the traditional life of our ancestors," Zantaria shared the details.
He said that construction work in the "Apsny Park" is not yet completed, and that there are still many ideas that "will definitely be implemented".
The famous Abkhazian scholar Adgur Kakoba provided active assistance in the work on the "Apsny Park" project. He called the park a "grandiose project" that has absorbed many aspects of the history, culture and traditions of the Abkhazian people.
"When Mzauch shared his ideas with us, we believed him, and, as far as we could, stood next to him," he said.
The scholar believes that the project will be of great importance in the process of educating Abkhazian youth.
"Our children can see firsthand what they are taught from the books," he explained.
The famous Abkhazian artist Batal Dzhapua is also among those who worked on the park project. In turn, he praised the "Apsny Park".
Dzhapua recalled that there had been earlier attempts to implement such an idea, but for various reasons, no one had yet been able to implement it. The first president of Abkhazia Vladislav Ardzinba supported a similar idea, according to him.
The artist remembered how one day he himself was immersed in the project.
"Mzauch Piliya came to me and said that he would start work tomorrow. I doubted it, but the next day he sent me a video on which the tractors were working. This is how we started working on the project. Mzauch set such a pace that sometimes we do not even have time. It's all thanks to him," Batal Dzhapua shared.
Another active participant in the project is the famous Abkhazian blacksmith Timur Dzidzariya.
He said that there is a smithy in the "Apsny Park". He also said that the administration of the "Apsny Park" has planned an international festival of blacksmithing, which will be attended by blacksmiths from around the world.
In a welcoming manor house and craft courtyard
A fascinating excursion was conducted for everyone who attended the opening.
The territory of the park is divided into several thematic zones.
Here, for example, is a traditional Abkhazian estate. This is a complex of buildings, which includes: аюныду (a big house in translation from Abkhaz - ed.), амхара (temporary building for newlyweds - ed.), акуаскиа (outbuildings - ed.), аца (storage for corn - ed.), акутыцра (chicken coop - ed.) and апацха (traditional Abkhazian kitchen - ed.).
Particular attention is drawn to the large and well-groomed courtyard, which has always been and remains an integral and characteristic part of the Abkhazian estate.
Indoors, in the акуаскиа residential building, in апацха, in амхара, the interior elements have been recreated taking into account the smallest details. Various pieces of furniture are used in the interior design of the dwelling, such as wooden benches, sun loungers, sofas, tables, benches decorated with hand-made carpets, embroidery, skins and weapons.
The guide said that the whole complex is a museum. Its task is to show the development of objects of material culture through various types of household items, furniture, weapons. The museum is currently at the stage of formation; its collection and exposition are constantly replenished.
An exhibition hall is located on the ground floor of the акуаскиа, which will later open its doors to various thematic exhibitions.
Now the hall is displaying an exhibition of old Abkhazian photographs from the late 18th to the 20th century. It is planned to supplement the exposition with a collection of old maps of Abkhazia from the 17th to the 20th centuries, and an exposition of old engravings.
Апацха is a type of wicker dwelling with a canopy decorated with carvings. Stakes used to be made of oak and hazel, for weaving they used rods from rhododendron, azalea. This is recreated in the exhibition. Inside the апацха there are various pieces of furniture and everyday life; it is planned to create exhibitions representing household tools. In the center of the апацха there is a hearth and a hearth chain.
The entire estate is fenced with a wicker fence, but not an ordinary one: one fence shows 12 types of traditional wickerwork. A special element of the estate is the traditional gate. The gate has a canopy decorated with carvings.
A separate part of the park is made up of historical buildings, called the "craft yard": a smithy and pottery are already functioning here. It is planned to open carpentry workshops and адзыдзлагара (water mill – ed.).
Ancient and medieval architecture
The park designers plan to open a corner with monuments of ancient Abkhazian architecture, such as a dolmen (ancient burial and cult structures - ed.), ацангуара (ancient stone buildings preserved in the mountains, made in the form of cyclic circles, made of stones - ed.), a unique defensive structure - the gateway of the Anakopia fortress.
In the center of the park, there is a stylized medieval abaash tower: the administrative center is located here. The facade of the tower will be painted in the street art style on the mythology and history of Abkhazians, Ubykhs and Circassians.
In addition to office space, the tower will house exhibition areas and premises for conferences and presentations, temporary and permanent exhibitions and sales of decorative and applied products.
Everything for recreation - active, cultural and simply "tasty"
Near the abaash tower, there is a platform for shooting a traditional bow from a distance of 100 meters. Here, under the guidance of an instructor, everyone can try archery. The organizers plan to open a school to teach children and adults archery.
In "Apsny Park" there is also a special area for horseback riding, and one can take a horseback excursion to the nearest dolmen complex in the village of Otkhara with a stop for a picnic and rest. The plans include another school for teaching traditional Abkhazian horseback riding.
On the territory of the park, it will be possible to purchase and taste organic traditional food products: jam, adjika, honey, wine. All products will receive certificates of authenticity and quality after special analyzes and tests.
A three-dimensional map of Abkhazia will be built in the park, which will recreate the relief of the area. It will show the entire territory of Abkhazia and the existing historical monuments and structures.
On the territory of the park, it is also planned to create a theater platform with an amphitheater for 600 - 700 seats, which will fit into the natural landscape of the hill.
Anyone can visit the ethno park. Opening hours of the park: daily, except Monday, from 9:00 to 19:00. There will always be guides on the territory of the park.