Sakanape Fortress

Sakanape Fortress

Samtskhe-Javakheti is an ancient historical region of Georgia where visitors can expect to encounter cyclopean fortresses built by ancient civilizations and Christian monuments distinguished for their architecture and frescoes. Sakanape Fortress, which is located near Atskuri Village in Samtskhe-Javakheti, is a fortress that was once of immense import, and whose ruins will prove fascinating to any student of history.

The Historical Past of Atskuri Village

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.

The Historical Importance of Sakanape 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. 

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