Ksani Fortress’ history is, like much of Georgia, one of strife. Many centuries ago, enemies would often attack through these valleys, so it was only natural that the local population paid special attention to fortifying the valleys and building fortresses in strategically important locations.
Built in the 16th century by Prince Bagrati of Mukhrani, this structure controlled an important trade route and, as a result, saw many battles in its time.
In fact, the fortress was so heavily damaged by the 18th-century that it could no longer be used to repel enemies, prompting Bagrati’s descendent, Konstantine Mukhranbatoni, to build a new fortress over the ruins of the old one. Completed in 1746, the fortress was given the name Konstantinbati.
This new fortress is composed of walls and four towers of different shapes and sizes. Like in many Georgian fortifications, these towers served both a military purpose and a domestic one, with the garrison living within the towers.
There were also many storerooms for water and supplies in the fortress. Coupled with the fact the fortress was built on an inaccessible cliff, this made the fortress incredibly resilient when it came to enduring a siege.
At the base of one of the towers there is even a water reservoir and a wine cellar able to hold up to fifteen traditional winemaking vessels, qvevris. Even in times of war, wine was a necessity in Georgia!
These days the fortress is partially ruined, but it is nonetheless impressive. Any person looking at the fortress, might imagine what it must have been like to stand on its walls and watch as an oncoming army marched their way.