Chkheri Fortress

Chkheri Fortress

The Kharagauli Municipality of Imereti Region is renowned as one of its most beautiful parts, whose abundance of cultural monuments make it a must-see for history lovers. Thought to be impregnable centuries ago, one of the region’s most iconic monuments is Chkheri Fortress, which stands atop a cliff overlooking the village that shares its name. The ruins of this once-magnificent fortress were granted the status of Immovable Cultural Heritage in 2018.

Chkheri Fortress’s Historical Past

From the 15th - 17th centuries, Chkheri Fortress was the ancestral property of the noble Abashidze family, but it would later be acquired by Solomon I, the King of Imereti.

Over its long and storied history, the fortress has seen countless battles, including the 1774 battle in which Erekle II, King of the Kartli and Kakheti, and King Solomon I of Imereti defeated the Ottomans in a decisive battle nearby.

During the revolt against Russian rule in 1810, the fortress’ defenders were so staunch in their resistance that the Russians could not claim the fortress, instead burning the village to the ground.

These stories and so many more are stored within the ancient walls of Chkheri Fortress, just waiting for you to uncover them.

The Structure of Chkheri Fortress

The fortress was built from rock fragments and consists of two sections, an upper fortress and a lower fortress. The upper fortress is home to storerooms, water basins, and qvevris.

To the west stands the rectangular palace, while in the east is an acropolis. While the palace was probably a two-story structure in its heyday, only the ground floor remains today. Two nearby towers may once have been connected to the palace, but they stand solitary vigil today.

The more adventurous may wish to climb Chkheri Fortress, which presents a breathtaking view of the beautiful Chkherimela River Valley.

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