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.
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.