The Official Website of the Holy Metropolis of Abkhazia > News > Results of repair and restoration work in the skete of St. John the Baptist in Ankhua for 2022
28.12.2022

Results of repair and restoration work in the skete of St. John the Baptist in Ankhua for 2022

 

Results of repair and restoration work

in the skete of St. John the Baptist in Ankhua for 2022

 

Ground floor

 

The main entrance to the ground floor – metal double doors (215 × 160 cm) were installed. Sheet metal doors with forged elements were made in the workshop of the New Athos Monastery by craftsman Dmitry Bebiya. On the eastern facade of the ground floor, there is also a single-leaf door (206 × 97 cm), made using a similar technology.

In the basement of the heating room (10.8 × 4.3 m), the following works were carried out:

  • a concrete interfloor ceiling was erected on the site of the ceiling destroyed in Soviet times (with an area of 330 × 440 cm);
  • the crumbling arched brick vault was preserved and strengthened with a concrete cushion;
  • the crumbling arched brick vault was preserved and strengthened with a concrete cushion;
  • it was reinforced with concrete and preserved a heavily destroyed brick column of arched vaults;
  • ground floor leveled and poured with concrete;
  • stepped transitions to the heater from the street and from the neighboring premises were created;
  • the masonry of the eastern, southern and western walls of the room was cleared and strengthened with a special solution;/li>
  • installed hidden electrical wiring for lighting (5 points) and power supply (1 single and 3 double points);

An electric three-phase network (380 V) was connected to the heating room. An electrical panel with an electric meter, a knife switch and a distribution system has been installed, and a grounding system has been installed.

 

Front entrance to the first floor

 

In the main entrance of the first floor, the masonry of the walls was cleaned and strengthened with a special solution. On the ground floor of the fraternal building, repairs were made in three rooms. The first room (5.4 × 3.8 m) was formed by the union of two former monastic cells. The cells were united due to the dismantling of the original partitions during the Soviet era, when the premises were fortified to create classrooms for a secondary school.

The original decision to leave the brickwork of the walls exposed was changed due to the use of clay mortar in the original masonry, as well as the widespread chipping of brickwork in the Soviet and post-war times, which increased the risk of further destruction. Therefore, it was decided to re-plaster the walls.

Similarly, two more rooms were repaired in the eastern part of the fraternal building, the first of which is 5.1 × 3.9 m in size, and the second is 5.2 × 3.9 m in size. Both rooms are connected by an adjacent door.

The doorways to each of the three former cells that form the newly repaired premises are preserved in the form of niches 10 cm deep, accessible from the corridor dividing the fraternal building into the eastern and western parts.

In the first western room of the fraternal building, the original window grilles made of forged steel have been preserved.

The original window grilles made of forged steel have been preserved in the first western room of the fraternal building.

In all renovated rooms, wooden windows recreated according to the original model with semi-arched transoms measuring 176 × 94 cm are installed. The windows are fitted with frosted colored glass forming a checkerboard pattern. In total, 6 window blocks were installed (window sashes, transoms, fittings, frame). Window fittings are matched as close as possible to the original.

Also, three entrance doors and one interior door were installed to the renovated premises with a size of 2.3 × 0.9 m. Doors with an arched transom. The arched transoms of the doors are glazed, which corresponds to the original design of the doors of the skete; the glazing also contributes to the natural lighting of the corridor and rooms. The interior door with a size of 2.3 × 0.9 m is made rectangular, without a transom.

The windows are made of larch, the doors are made of chestnut. Manufacturer – IP “Tsvinaria D. D.”, Sukhum, Republic of Abkhazia.

During the reconstruction of the premises of the skete from a school to a sanatorium, in Soviet times, the original wooden interfloor ceilings were dismantled and replaced with metal channel-truss beams, the dismantling of which was impossible without further destruction of the load-bearing structures of the skete. Therefore, it was decided to create gravity concrete floor slabs, which, if necessary, can be dismantled, on top of existing metal beams. The innovations made to the historical appearance and design of the building will not be subjected to cosmetic camouflage and will remain a visible element of the interior of the skete to emphasize the presence of the changes made.

Hidden electrical wiring for lighting (6 points) and power supply (3 single and 11 double points) was also carried out in the three renovated premises of the fraternal building.

A concrete floor was also installed above the heating room (5.3 × 11.2 m) on the first floor of the fraternal building forming two rooms and part of the corridor.

In the load-bearing brick walls of the fraternal building, there were numerous destroyed structural elements, which were also restored during the repair work.

During a hurricane in August 2022, the old roof of the fraternal building on the western side was torn off by gusts of wind. At present, the consequences of the natural strike have been fully restored.

 

Roadside sign

 

In 2022, on the way to St. John the Baptist in Ankhua, in the area of grottoes in Mount Anykhamtsa, another roadside information board was installed with the following content:

“Grottoes in Mount Anykhamtsa.

↑ Geolocation: N 43°5’37.30″ E 40°47’55.17″ (GPS).

Over the opposite side of the river gorge Msyra (Mysra) rises Mount Anykhamtsa. Translated from the Abkhazian name of the mountain means “shining icon”. The second name of the mountain is “Anykha zku” (Abkh. Аныха зқәу), which means “Temple” in translation.

In the eastern cliff of the mountain, in a sheer rock 15 m. from the top of the cliff, there is grotto Akhupshka (Abkh. Ахәыԥшқа), the vault of which can be seen from this position. The dimensions of the grotto are 3.5 × 4 m. To the north of this grotto there is another unnamed grotto.

In 1965, the Research Institute of Tourism of the Abkhaz ASSR organized a comprehensive expedition to survey monuments in the vicinity of New Athos. During the expedition, the grottoes on Mount Anykhamtsa were examined.

According to the expedition leader V. S. Orelkin (1912–1979), Eneolithic (4th–3rd millennium BC) flint tools were found on the floor of the Akhupshka grotto in a clay substrate: a semicircular knife, a spearhead, a polished chamois insert, flakes and chips. Simple and ornamented kitchen pottery from the early medieval period was also found here.

Bones of a domestic pig, medieval thick-walled ceramics and fragments of an amphora were also found in the northern unnamed grotto.

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The following objects:

  • “Three boilers” (abkh «Х-ӡҭачык») 1,1 км →
  • Monastery Arch Bridge № 1 2,5 km →
  • Monastery Arch Bridge № 2 3,2 km →
  • Monastery Arch Bridge № 3 3,6 km →
  • Monastery Arch Bridge № 4 3,8 km →
  • Green Canyon 3,9 км →
  • Skete of St. John the Baptist 4.8 km →
  • Ruins of the church of St. George 6,2 km →».

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