Saro-Nijgori Trail

About

Route Length: 2.2 km.
Route Duration: 55 min.
Min./Max. Height: 1113/1446m.
Total Ascent/Descent: 25/356 m.
Route Type: Connecting
Difficulty level: Moderate

The route starts near the Archangel Church of Saro, on a mountain outcrop surrounded by the impressive remnants of the cyclopean fortress Saro. The complex, distinguished by the absolute symmetry of the stone set, represents one of the most important monuments of megalithic culture. The tombs, ancient dwellings or cult shrines which can be found in its vicinity testify that life has been flourishing in Samtskhe-Javakheti since the Bronze Age.

Just 50 meters away from the church there is the historic village of Saro, which still boasts traditional Meskhetian semi-underground dwellings. This type of dwelling is called ‘Darbazuli Sakhli’, or the Hall House. For the traditional Hall House it was a necessity to have a main room or ‘hall’, which was designed to fold in its walls for ritual-like gatherings for the whole multigenerational family. The phenomenon of the hall ceiling is remarkable, it was built without a single nail, by placing the wood directly on another piece of wood. This method of joining which eventually formed a pyramid was a century-lasting roof structure.

Archeologists call this kind of ceiling the crown, but the locals call it a swallow’s ceiling, as flying swallows frequently used to make nests in the corners of the roof. At the very top of the ceiling there is an opening called an ‘Erdo’, which is the only source of light. The evenly distributed dim light came from above, piercing through the symmetrical cuts of dark wood, and the swallows huddled in the corners.


Location

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