Akhaltsikhe Castle will take you through its history and diverse culture. In one space you will discover many different areas built in different periods of history with different purposes. A Medrasa, Synagogue, IX century Orthodox Church, Catholic Church, a Citadel, a XVII century Mosque built by Ahmed Pasha, amphitheater and other areas will revive the whole periods of history in front of you. Moreover, you can also visit the Ivane Javakhishvili Samtskhe-Javakheti History Museum on the territory of the Castle. The Castle was fully reconstructed in 2011-2012. Today, except the historical buildings and places, you can also enjoy beautiful and modern parks and the atmosphere which takes you back in history but also reconnects you with the present.
Price: Adults – 7 Gel (approx. $2.30), kids under 6 – free, schoolchildren – 1 Gel ($0.31)
Hours of Operation: 10 AM- 6PM Every day
Address: E 691, Akhaltsikhe, Georgia.
Come experience the medieval fortress known as Atskuri. Atskuri is a Georgian feudal fortress on the right bank of the Mtkvari (Kura) River, approximately 29 km from Borjomi. The fortress is a remote yet noteworthy landmark. The fortress was of great military significance because it protected the Bojormi Gorge. If Atskuri fell into the hands of the enemy, all of southern Georgia would be vulnerable to invaders during the Georgian-Ottoman conflict in the 16th century.
Historians suspect the fortress was built in the 10th century. The site was originally constructed on high and hard to reach terrain which could only be entered through a narrow tunnel carved into the rock. Today, the site can be reached through steep climbing and is considered an off-the beaten path attraction in Georgia.
Dating back to the 14th century, the Gogia Fortress transports visitors back to the Middle Ages, when the fortress’ strategic location was used to protect against further entry into Georgia by way of the Kura River Gorge. It is one of many in a series of fortifications and bonfires historically used to signal the advance of enemies.
This fortress, which offers a panoramic view of the city of Borjomi, is named after one of the lords who owned the castle. It along with nearby Petre Castle, was owned by the feudal Avalishvilis. As recently as the 19th century, Gogia castle was used as a watch post by Georgian police and Russian troops.
The Khertvisi Fortress is one of the best preserved of Georgia’s fortification structures. Khertvisi was restored and reinforced several times. Originally built on a rocky mountain at the confluence of the Mtkvari and Paravnistskali Rivers, it is the last point of the historical Javakheti region and the beginning of Meskheti. This monument represents a large ensemble of different structures and exceeds 100 m in length. According to the well-preserved inscription, the fortress wall was built in the XIV century and an inner fortress with thick walls and watch-towers were built within the outside wall. With its little church dating back to 985, the remains of dwellings, auxiliary premises and bridges, as well as a tunnel going down to the river, Khertvisi is the best illustration of the historical misfortunes of the region.
Okros Castle rests on a mountaintop west of Shoka village. As one of the largest castles in the country of Georgia, it is locally known as Okrostsikhe or “Golden Fortress” in English. This is due to the legendary golden glow that it emits when the setting autumn sun shines upon it. Another name for the castle is Altunkala, which is Ottoman in origin. The castle is believed to have been built in the 13th or early 14th century, and it played an important role in the defense of the Meskheti area during the 18th century.
There is a newly marked Okros Tsikhe route chain. For detailed information please visit What to do section.
Petre Fortress is located on a rocky mountain on the Kura Gorge across from the Gogia Fortress. The fortress, formerly owned by the lords of Avalishvili, protected the road connecting Likani to the historic villages of Papa and Nua. Following a series of invasions, the fort became the center of Ottoman administration in Georgia after it’s conquest in the 16th century. The fortress is a classic example of feudal architecture from the 10th to 14th centuries. Its irregular ground plan follows the shape of the rock upon which it was built.
Explore the castle of Queen Tamara, home to the confident female ruler of the Georgian golden age. Queen Tamara was a ruler of Georgia who lived in the country between the 12th and 13th century. As part of royal tradition she ruled the kingdom with her father King George the 3rd.
In the golden age, the period of Tamar’s reign has often been referred to as the Zenith, when the country of Georgia was at its peak. The castle itself features atmospheric ruins that lie on top of a hill in Chazhash. It was once made up of four defensive towers and a church, whose ruins can be seen today!
Romanov Palace dates back to the XIX century and still adorns Likani today. The palace represents Mauritanian architectural style and was built by order of the Russian emperor for the great ruler Mikhail’s son Nikoloz on the Mtkvari River from 1892-1895. The project was developed by the well-known architect Leon Benoit and the construction was led by German architect Leopold Bilferd.
The Palace is amazingly unique with beautiful architecture. Each of the sides of the palace has a different form and shape. The palace also houses a table that was presented to the Romanovs by Napoleon, a chair presented by the Iranian Shah, and a table assembled from nut tree roots personally for Russia’s Emperor Piotr the First. In the billiard room there is still the billiard table of Romanov’s time and private office of the Grand Duke, which was later occupied by Joseph Stalin.
This historic fortress was first mentioned in the ancient texts of the 10th century. From the 10th century the fortress was under Georgian monarchy rule, until the 16th century at which point it was taken over by the Ottoman Empire’s rule. At the end of the 18th century, the fortress was re-forfeited and today remains a main attraction where one can explore Georgia’s past.
Tmogvi fortress is located in Aspindza municipality, near Tmogvi village and near Vardzia Cave Monastery. The fortress is built on top of a rocky mountain and stands out at different angles due to the dynamic landscape. The walls of the fortress are made up of different architectural features such as caves with hidden tunnels, tufts squares, and a mural of a 10th century church painting. There are a lot of legends connected with this fortress.
This attraction can be explored in all seasons, and the view from the top of the fortress is unforgettable! Some local businesses can offer horse riding tours to the fortress with a special lunch on the top of the fortress.
If you are interested in local services please contact us directly and we will provide you with the information.
Photo: Link on Shutterstock
Location-Aspindza municipality, near the Tmogvi Village.
Located in near village Atskuri (Akhaltsikhe Municipality) Tsriokhi Fortress is known as Sakanape Fortress too. The stronghold was built on such a lucrative spot that it allowed full control of the ravines and roads entering or departing the region. It’s said that, Tsriokhi Fortress had another crucial mission: to send first alarm signal to the contiguous Atskuri fortress during invasions. It also blocked the gorge from Imereti to Meskheti. Today the fortress is preserved as ruins.
Near the fortress there is a small village Tsinubani located almost in the forest and offering bathhouses to the travelers.
There is a newly marked trail starting either from village Atskuri or Tsinubani and going to Tsriokhi Fortress. For more information about the trail please visit What to do section.
Located in the Adigeni municipality, near Zanavi village, this site of historical significance was erected in the middle ages upon a steep rock. The fortress showcases distinguishable features such as towers with multiple floors and the remains of a church inside the second tower. Once upon the fortress, tourists can take a 360 degree view of the land below. This attraction can be enjoyed anytime of year!