The Best Places in Shida Kartli
Georgia is rich in green nature and historical monuments. Each region tells its story, learning of which is like finding a precious treasure for every traveler. The history of populated Shida Kartli dates back to the Bronze Age. A variety of forests, meadows, waterfalls, and valleys - this is a small list of sights that you will find in this area.
In a word, today we will tell you about the best places in Shida Kartli, which you will want to visit after reading the article.
One of the most distinguished places in Eastern Georgia is located in Khashuri Municipality, on the left bank of the Suramuli River. Surami Fortress is well-known for its legend about a boy buried alive in a wall. The fortress has historically had the greatest political and strategic role. Nader Shah (Iranian shah) and the rebellious Georgian princes once tried to take the fortress. They could not reach the goal by negotiating or throwing bombs at the building.
Several objects are situated on the territory of the fortress: fence, the Church of St. George, tower, and palace. Earlier the castle had a tunnel that was about 16 feet deep. Presumably, its main purpose was to supply the prison with drinking water. This assumption is strengthened by the fact that the tunnel was connected to the Suramula River.
Liakhvi National Park
The Liakhvi National Park, which stretches for about 7 hectares, houses many interesting natural monuments. The Liakhvi Nature Reserve serves to protect beech, oak, and hornbeam forests and the biodiversity there typical to the southern slopes of the Central Caucasus.
Along with the stunning greenery, various mammals live here. The main purpose of the park is to preserve and maintain the species. In the Liakhvi reserve, you will also meet a red deer, which is found only here in the Central Caucasus.
Ateni Sioni Church
10 kilometers from Gori, in the valley of Ateni, you will meet the church hidden in the rocks - Ateni Sioni. The place is very peaceful. The temple, famous for its decorations and various images, has two entrances. In the southwestern part, you will meet images of sheep heads. The south entrance, where the gate once stood, is adorned with double volutes and decorative half-columns.
Fragments of old decor made of red paint were discovered in the interior of the temple. The cross depicted in the dome is marked with the same paint. The painting of Ateni Sioni is one of the unique examples of monumental Georgiantal painting.
If you are looking for a sacred place that has a great history and is surrounded by greenery - then you should visit Kintsvisi Monastery. In Kareli municipality, a few kilometers from the village of Kintsvisi, there is a monastery complex with a unique history, which unites St. Nicholas Church, Church of the Assumption, a small church, fence, and tower-bell tower.
The architecture of the building stands out of high professionalism. The construction of the complex dates back to the XII-XIII centuries. It should be noted that on the second floor of St. Nicholas Church there are secret rooms, which can be reached by a ladder leading from the hole to the roof of the lower floor.
Like architecture, Kintsvisi painting is distinguished by special painting. The north wall of the middle storeroom depicts Zaza Panaskerteli, a political figure from the second half of the 15th century. Kintsvisi frescoes are one the outstanding samples of monumental Georgian paintings.
You might have watched movies scenes of nature, and lakes with fantastic beauty, and at least once wished to get to a similar place. Fortunately, in Georgia, we have an area of such beauty in the Dzama gorge. Here "nature is painted" in different colors every season, and in spring you will meet a full spectrum of all colors.
Bateti Lake is the exact stunning place. The water here is not suitable for fishing or swimming. The lake is inhabited by the Central Asian Triton listed in the Red Book. It is a perfect area for a day trip, as well as for a long stay because it is easy to find camping places.
On the way to the lake, which is about 3 kilometers on foot, you can visit dozens of historical monuments (churches, monasteries, castles, towers).
The abundance of sacred buildings distinguishes Georgia. It should be noted that a significant part of them is mainly built in the middle of nature. It creates a tranquil atmosphere and magnificent views. Kvatakhevi Monastery is one of the holy places, which is distinguished by both architectural and natural beauty.
Kvatakhevi monastery complex consists of several buildings: the Church of the Assumption, the fence, the tower, the refectory, the bell tower, and the living rooms. The monastery has endured many difficult periods. Once the natives did not agree to renounce Christianity and because of this the enemy locked them in a church and set it on fire. According to the legend, a part of the Virgin Mary's clothes is embedded in the foundation. The greatest sanctity of the monastery is the holy part of John the Baptist. Kvatakhevi was also one of the centers of ancient Georgian literature. Several manuscripts of the monastery library have survived to this day.
Gori Fortress has been a place of great strategic importance since ancient times. Capturing this place meant domination over the whole Shida Kartli. The ruins and archeological data on the northern slope prove that there was a stronghold here before, and there was a population around it. Rostom of Kartli built the central part of the castle in the 30s of the XVII century.
Hewn stone is used in the old layers of the fortress, and then it is built of cobblestone. The original entrance to the castle is not visible. In the middle of the south wall is a late arched gate. To the southeast of the castle, there are the ruins of a small church.
The Rkoni monastery complex, built on the territory of the abandoned city, was the site of great trade and military-strategic importance. The monastery has endured many difficult periods. In 1905, a workshop lab was functioning, where weapons and explosives were prepared for the armed uprising.
The Rkoni monastery complex includes several buildings: the Church of the Nativity, the chapel, the refectory, the gate, the tower, the bell tower, the Baptist church, and the monks' cells.
In the territory of the complex, you will meet the Tamar Bridge on the river Tedzami. It is a unique sample of the feudal era and is preserved in its initial form to this day.