Couples from different regions of Georgia come to the Sighnaghi House of Rituals to eternalize their commitment to one another, with marriages being registered there round the clock. With Georgian marriage certificates being valid everywhere in the world, why not tie the knot in beautiful Sighnaghi and make this a vacation to remember?
You’ll come to Sighnaghi in love with one another, and leave in love with Georgian hospitality.
While it is today known as a city of love, Sighnaghi itself is a town born from conflict. The name itself is derived from the Turkish word for “shelter”, and it was a place where local population would hide during the invasions. This is evident today from the almost completely intact fortress walls that surround the entire town.
The fortress was constructed in 1762 during the reign of King Erekle II to serve as a bastion of hope for both locals and residents of the surrounding villages. When raiders would threaten the area, people from across the region would retreat behind the city walls to wait out the worst their enemies could throw at them.
In total, the length of the wall reaches four kilometers, with six gates and 23 towers, on which are inscribed the names of neighboring villages. In the largest tower, the King’s Bulwark, there is a small Church of Saint Stephen.
A part of this impressively long wall can be walked on now - there is a special tourist path, from which you can marvel the view of Sighnaghi and Alazani Valley, Georgia’s most famous winemaking region.
Beginning in 2007, extensive restoration efforts began in Sighnaghi, hotels were opened, and the city was dubbed a City of Love.
Wandering Sighnaghi’s narrow, cobblestone streets and peering at the red-tiled homes with their ornately carved balconies is tantamount to time travel.
A quick visit to the nearby Ethnographic Park will allow you to see how this uniquely Georgian bread is baked. You might even get a chance to learn how to make churchkhela, a local snack made of walnuts and condensed grape juice which is a great alternative to energy bars.
Food and wine lovers will enjoy a lunch with a wine tasting in one of the local family-run restaurants and wineries: Okro’s Wine, Pheasant’s Tears, Cradle of Wine, Vakirelebi and others.
For lovers of art and history, there’s also the possibility of a date at the Sighnaghi Museum. Here you’ll be able to see numerous interesting exhibits, including the paintings of the influential Georgian artist, Niko Pirosmanashvili (Pirosmani).
Sighnaghi’s surroundings boast a number of significant cultural monuments, including Saint Nino’s Bodbe Monastery, Vakiri Saint John the Baptist Church, and the Khirsi Monastery Complex.
Sighnaghi is also a paradise for photographers. It is a colorful city with a picturesque fortress, views of the endless Alazani Valley dotted by lean cypresses and the white peaks of the Caucasus mountains on the background.
No visit to Georgia’s wine region would be complete without some time spent wandering the streets of idyllic Sighnaghi. Whether you’re bartering with one of the local vendors for a hand-made souvenir, photographing the verdant Alazani Valley, enjoying a glass of wine and a delicious meal with a view, or simply passing through as part of a wine tour, Sighnaghi will leave a lasting impression on you.