Atskuri’s history begins as early as the 11th century, when it is first mentioned in written sources. The fortress itself is ascribed to the 12th century, and begins appearing in written sources from the 16th century.
The historical fortress goes by many names: Sakanape Fortress, Tamar’s Fortress, Tsriokhi Fortress, and Besaltavi Fortress.
While it is true that this once magnificent fortress remains only as ruins today, it is still clear that it was a solidly built, dependable structure which guarded the road from Imereti to Meskheti. The territory around it was completely controlled by the towers built high in this strategic location.
The soldiers in the fortress would have warned the population of Atskuri Village of any approaching danger, who would then shelter themselves within Sakanape Fortress. The complex contained a hall-type Dormition of the Mother of God Church, built from hewn stones. Its walls were decorated with 11th-century paintings, but they have been erased, and the surface of the stones has also been damaged.