The heart of Sukhum is its waterfront. Before the Revolution it was...
Pearl of Abkhazia
The lake Ritsa is the most known and popular among tourists place of rest and one of the nature's miracles of Abkhazia. It is located at a height of 950 meters above sea level and surrounded from different sides by mountains, covered with a dense forest.The lake Ritsa occupies a part of valley of the Lashipse River. It was formed as a result of tectonic lowering of the Lashipse River valley on a joint of two geological structures: lime stones and porphyries. Lake length is about 2000 m, and maximal depth is 750 m. Five rivers fall into Ritsa Lake besides Lashipse and only one river Jupshara flows from the lake. Water never freezes in the lake; the maximal water temperature is registered in August and makes +17 - +20 degrees. Water of lake has a rich greenish-blue color; its transparence reaches 8-10 m. The only one kind of fish- a trout (Salmo trutta fario) dwells in the lake.
Miracle of mountains
From the southwest above the lake is the mountain Pshegishkha (2222 m above sea level), from the east is the mountain Arihua (2700 m above sea level), from the north is a rocky mountain mass Atsetuk with peaks Agapsta (3261 m above sea level) and Atsetuk (2546 m above sea level).
The discovery and research studies
Local hunters and shepherds knew about the lake existence for a long time, but for the first time it was mapped in 1865. The known Russian botanist, geographer and traveler Nikolay Albov noticed the Ritsa Lake from the top of mountain ridge Atsetuk and described it in 1895. The first research of Ritsa Lake was realized by the members of "Crimean-Caucasian mountain club" scientific expedition, under the leading of Eugenia Morozova-Popova. In 1929 expedition of Narkomzdrav of Abkhazia has got round to the lake, and for the first time it was noticed in 1930 in the guide-book of S.Anisimov «Abkhazian Alps». From this moment the Ritsa Lake becomes a tourist attraction.