Besides mountains, lush green nature, and natural caves, Georgia boasts with spectacular fortresses scattered all across the country. Some have only ruins left, while others are well-preserved offering great views of the surrounding area. And to help you plan the itinerary for your next trip to Georgia, we came up with the list of those castles and fortresses you’ll definitely want to check out.

Narikala Fortress

Narikala


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It’s most likely that you’ll start your travels throughout the country from the capital, Tbilisi. And once you get to the Old Town, you’ll notice a castle overlooking this part of the town. Narikala, dating back to the 4th century, was built by Persians when they ruled over the city. Original name of that time was Shuris Tsikhe or the Invidious Fort in English. The name has changed again during the Mongol rule as the Narin Qala, meaning Little Fortress.

Sitting on a steep hill between the botanical garden and the sulfur baths, the fort offers picturesque views of Mtkvari River, Rike Park, and Metekhi Church.

Batoni Fortress

batonistsikhe


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The city of Telavi, the major town of Kakheti region is home to Batoni Fortress or Batonis Tsikhe in Georgia. Batoni in English translates as ‘lord’, therefore it was the residence of kings of Kakheti during the 17th-18th centuries. Considered as one of the most significant monuments of late feudal age, the complex includes the King’s Palace, two churches, baths and underground tunnels.

Kolagiri Fort

kolagiri fort


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Also known as Queen’s Stronghold, the Kolagiri was built at the end of the 18th century by Queen Darejan, the wife of Erekle II. It’s one of the last standing, well-preserved fortresses built in Kartl-Kakheti region.

Covering around 2,000 sq. meters, the fortress is cube-shaped built with raw stones, while the bricks you’ll see convey a decorative feature to the towers. Those towers stand at the corners of the building, while the western and western walls have rectangular towers at its center.

Ksani Fortress

ksani


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Built at the beginning of the 16th century, Ksani citadel controlled a very important, strategic crossroads back in the day. Standing on the Sarkineti Mountain, near Tsikhisdziri village, the fortress overlooks the confluence of Mtkvari and Ksani Rivers. Today, it is half-ruined, but still preserves its glory and offers beautiful views of the surrounding area.

Gori Fortress

Gori fortress


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This medieval citadel stands on a rocky hill above the Gori, a small town not that far from Tbilisi. Back in the day, the fort controlled major strategic and economic routes and accommodated in large garrison. Similar to other fortresses of the country, Gori was also attacked and captured by various invaders of the country, including Ottomans and Persians.

What you see today was constructed by Georgian kings of Kartli during the 17th-18th centuries, however, after the Russian annexation of Georgia at the beginning of the 19th century, the citadel was garrisoned by a Russian grenadier battalion leading to the decline of its importance and vanishing the fortifications.

Khertvisi Fortress

khertvisi


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Being one of the oldest fortresses in Georgia, it was built in the 2nd century BC, while the church was constructed in 985. However, the walls you’ll see today were built in the 14th century.

During the 12th century the area becomes a town, but a century later when Mongols invaded the country demolished and lost its power for another two centuries. In the 15th century, the citadel was owned by Jakeli family, the landlords of Meskheti region. However, it was not long until Turks took control of the fortress for the following 300 years.

At the end of the 19th century, Russian and Georgian army managed to regain the lost territories and Khertvisi grew as a military base for troops.

Rabati Complex

rabati


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Located in the city of Akhaltsikhe, the renovated Rabati Fortress complex is a popular destination for many locals and foreigners. The area consists of different buildings built in various periods of medieval times. For centuries it was a residence of Akhaltsikhe rulers and featured three fences and an underground tunnel.

What makes this place so unique is that it encompasses worship places of different religions, such as Orthodox Church, Mosque, synagogue along with a small park, shops, history museum, hotels and civil registry office.

petra

petra


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Another great fortified city of the ancient Colchis Kingdom in the western part of the country is Petra. In the sixth century, during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I, the town became an essential Eastern Roman position in the Caucasus. Furthermore, because of its important location, it became a battlefront for the Lazic War between Rome and Persia from 541 to 563 AD.

Nokalakevi

nokalakevi


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The name Nokalakevi translates into English as “the place a town used to be”. Built by Duke of Egrisi and Svaneti in the 3rd century BC, it is considered to be the whimsical city of Aia, the capital of the Colchis Kingdom, and hometown of the legendary Golden Fleece. Archaeological excavations found various stories of civilization on its territory along with important items such as wine vessels, golden, silver, bronze and glass adornments, ceramic objects and pottery.