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The fortress complex of Birtvisi is located in Kvemo Kartli, in the gorge of the river Algeti, north-east from Tetritskaro. Birtvisi fortress is witness to the great history of Georgia. In it’s time, the fortress was considered to be impregnable. It is located naturally inaccessible place. Birtvisi is not a usual fortress which is surrounded by fortress walls and towers. There is a large territory surrounded by high and rocky mountains. The builders chose this natural fortress. After that they did a lot of work to artificially strengthen all exits and suspicious places. All necessary places are covered with a wall and organized for protection. At the entrance to the slope there is a cylindrical observation tower, which is so-called “Stubborn” the walls of which are equipped with an embrasure.
In addition to defensive structures, residential and agricultural buildings and also reservoirs are visible among the ruins of the fortress. In the late feudal period Birtvisi belonged to the feudal family of Baratashvili.
In historical chronicles the fortress of Birtvisi is mentioned from the XI century, when the duke of Kldekari Liparit and duke of Kartli Ivane, the son of Abaz captured the emir of Tbilisi and the fortress of Birtvisi as well. Birtvisi was considered as an impregnable fortress. Its owner politically dominated the Algeti gorge but it should have come much earlier. He did not lose the value of the fortress until the end of the XVIII century and was considered impregnable.
The most important fact occurred in the 15th century. Timur-Lenk invaded Georgia eighth and the last time. He took the lead in taking control of Birtvisi. Timur-Lenk surrounded the fortress and attacked it with hail of stones from catapult. The shooting did not stop for a minute. One night it suddenly became quiet. At this time, the creeping penetrated the fortress and a brutal battle began. However, it was already late and Birtvisi was already taken. Georgians who survived were sentenced to the death penalty by Timur-Lenk.
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