Vardzia - Tmogvi Fortress


Route Length: 4,95 km
Min./Max. Elevation: 1217/1423 m.
Elevation gain/loss: 221/112 m.
Route Type: One way
Route category of complexity: Easy

Route Description
The route starts in the vicinity of the Vardzia cave monastery. The itinerary takes path to the northeast direction; from asphalt road connects to a dirt road and heads towards the Tmogvi Fortress. It passes underneath rocks and pillars, crosses the village and takes a footpath, which leads to an open meadow. Soon itinerary sidesteps an old ruined settlement, a farm building and goes downhill to the banks of the River Mtkvari. In 200 meters, sharply turns to the left towards a small rise and bypasses the Tmogvi Fortress from the side. As soon as the ascent is over the route joins a dirt road. From there it is possible to climb to the Fortress. Please note, while climbing, all safety precautions should be considered, as the road to the stronghold is difficult to cross! However, if the goal is achieved, impressive remnants of the famed historic fortress-city will be abundantly revealed at the edge of the steep slope.
The wall-towers, fences or secret tunnels leading to the citadel and the Mtkvari River, vividly enliven the lifecycle of the once magnificent castle-town. The name Tmogvi first emerged in the manuscripts of history in the 10th century as a stronghold which controlled the strategic route entering Georgia from the Asia Minor via the Mtkvari valley. Since those days Tmogvi had been one of the most powerful and strategic centers of Georgia, until its final decadence in 18th century.


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