Bukistsikhe – Tamari Fortress, Guria

Many staggering fortresses in Georgia bear the name of Queen Tamar who ascended to the royal throne of Georgia at the end of the 12th century. During her rule, the borders of Georgia were firmly protected and the Golden Age in the country’s history was enjoyed.

Bukistsikhe - History and Structure

The feudal-era fortress Bukistsikhe, also known as Tamari Fortress, is located in the village of Bukistsikhe, six kilometers from Chokhatauri in Guria Region. The fortress is located high on a hill and the access road to it is relatively steep.

Artifacts discovered during archaeological excavations prove that this area was already inhabited in the Late Bronze Age, and that in ancient times an urban-type settlement was built here.

The oldest construction layer of the fortress dates back to the early feudal period, and the latest is from the Late Middle Ages.

The strategic purpose of Tamari Fortress as a fortification was to monitor and protect the road from Imereti to the Black Sea.

Wars and time have destroyed much of the fortress, although the northeastern section has been preserved. Here, a multi-story fortress built in the 6th-7th centuries attracts attention: on the first floor, there is a large stone tank and the ruins of a stone staircase; on the second floor there was a living space; and on the third floor served military purposes.

A few kilometers from Tamari Fortress, the Suri Valley begins, which is an interesting route for hiking lovers. From here, hiking trails go to the village of Kumuri in Imereti (20 km), to Lake Jaji, located at 2664 meters above sea level (55 km), from where the trails lead to the resort of Sairme, Abastumani, as well as various villages of Imereti, Ajara, and Samtskhe-Javakheti Regions.

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