Some sources say that the fortress was built as far back as the 2nd century BCE, while others put its construction much more recently, in the medieval period.
The fortress complex contains its ancient walls, St. George Church, a tower, and a palace. In the past, the fortress also had a tunnel that connected it to a cave on the Suramula River so that fresh water could be brought safely back to its inhabitants during times of war.
Due to its strategic location at the junction of a vital crossroads, the fortress has been the site of many battles over the years. It has acted as both a safe haven for rebellious nobles and a site of conflict between the Ottomans and Persians. A Russian garrison was even posted here during the 19th century. However, for most of its history it has been an important customs point in a trade route.
But what of the ghost? Well, according to ancient legend, the fortress was crumbling apart overnight every time its construction was finished, and a local fortune-teller said that someone should volunteer to be immured in its walls for the fortress to stand. It ended up to be a young boy by the name of Zurab, his mother's only son, who was sealed within the fortification, and to this day, stories say that his mothers tears still drip from the section of wall into which he was entombed. On moonlit nights, it is said that a woman dressed in black wanders the ruins of the Surami Fortress, weeping for her lost son and saying, “Surami Fortress, I watch you with a wish: my Zurab is here, so ward him well!”