Located 7 km to the northwest of Sukhum in the incredibly beautiful gorge of the river Basla is the unique Beslet stone bridge constructed 800 years ago. The ancient stone moss-grown bridge blackened from dampness with graceful vines above stands over noisy mountain stream.
In terms of design the bridge is very simple – a stone arc of 8.5 – 9 meters above the river.
The total length of the bridge with abutments is 35 m, width – 4.7 m, laying thickness - almost 80 cm. The bridge is made from square stone slabs.
The bridge origin is reflected in the local legend about the handful of courageous Abkhazian men fighting the conquerors. To strike a crushing blow they needed a bridge across the gorge but they did not have anything but some stones and sand. So they asked everyone who wanted to live in a free country to bring them an egg. A day later they collected forty thousand eggs. Having made a mortar from sand and eggs, the skilful builder erected the bridge in a night and in three days the freedom fighters struck the enemy in the rear. Abkhazia was set free. But it is just a legend. In fact the arch stones were squared and bound by means of a strong limy mortar. The ancient builders slaked their lime needed for the construction for three-five years, though.
One side of the bridge still bears a partially survived inscription in ancient Georgian language: “ “Exalt Thou Christ the Lord in both lives in every possible way…”. The inscription is presumed to be written in the 11 th —12 th centuries – the time of queen Tamara. By the way, the second widespread name of the bridge is the Bridge of queen Tamara, and in the lower part of the bridge features the cross and the letter “ Т ”.
Perfectly saved Beslet bridge is a remarkable monument of Georgian medieval building art, the unique structure of this kind in Abkhazia. A hundred years later it continues to serve people. Even today the bridge can withstand 7-8 tons of load.