Okrostsikhe Fortress

Okrostsikhe Fortress

Amidst Georgia’s centuries-old buildings, you’ll find many legends and stories. While some of these tales have their basis in history, others have a much more fanciful origin. One such place is Okrostsikhe Fortress, which is described in Shota Rustaveli’s epic poem, The Knight in the Panther’s Skin, as being the fortress of a sorcerer. While the efficacy of such legends is debatable, the fortress is very much a real place. Located near Bolajuri Village in Samtskhe-Javakheti Region, Okrostsikhe Fortress has a very interesting history.

The Historical Past of Okrostsikhe Fortress

The exact date of the construction of the fortress is unknown, but, what is known, is that Okrostsikhe Fortress was the greatest protector of the Samtskhe-Javakheti Region and the main base of the Jakeli family, who ruled Samtskhe for a very long time – from the 11th to the 16th centuries.

The fortress, located in a strategically important area, played a significant role during the invasions in the 14th and 15th centuries. From there it was possible to control a large territory, including major roads.

The Structure of Okrostsikhe Fortress

Okrostsikhe Fortress is a complex and multi-layered structure. The upper part of the fortress, constructed from large boulders, stands on the ridge of a cliff. The rough-hewn walls, up to ten metres in height, descend down the side of the cliff and make you feel like they were simply a part of the cliff itself.

The solid, inaccessible structure resisted capture for a long time. Even when the fortress was suffering under siege, the ones fortified inside had ample time and supplies to come up with strategies.

We use third-party cookies in order to personalise your experience.
Cookie Policy