Gremi Fortress

Gremi Fortress

This remarkable fortress, standing atop a rocky ridge for nearly 700 years, proudly overlooks the surroundings of Gremi Village, located in Kvareli Municipality in Kakheti.

The History and Structure of Gremi Fortress

Being the centerpiece of the large trade city that doesn’t exist anymore, the fortress survived many battles. If you partake in a guided tour, they will likely tell you many stories about the heroism of locals. 

Within the area encircled by a high wall, there is a three-story palace, a church, a bell tower, and other auxiliary buildings. The fortress is connected to the Intsoba River with secret underground tunnels, for use if the city happened to be under siege. 

The domed Archangel Church, built in 1565 by king Levan of Kakheti, stands out the most within the Gremi Complex, as it’s distinguished from other Georgian churches due to its skyward proportions. You will see King Levan’s picture painted on the southwestern wall of the hall of the church. 

The main purpose of the church was to defend the city of Gremi, just below it. People have lived there since ancient times, but Gremi’s importance grew in the 15th century, becoming the capital city of the kingdom of Kakheti for a whole century. Archaeological excavations have shown us that Gremi was a leading, developed city covering 50 hectares. It had a palace, a large market, a caravanserai, and public baths in the city. 

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