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About Mukhrani Fortress
Mukhrani fortress is located in the Mtskheta-Mtianeti region, Mtskheta Municipality, in the village of Mukhrani, in the historical Shiosubani. The monument dates back to the 18th century. In recent periods, it was the seat of the House of Mukhrani. Above the gates of the citadel, there is an inscription, which says that in the 30s of the 18th century the fortress was built by Mamuka Mukhranbatoni with the help of Levan Mukhranbatoni. And in 1756 the damaged fortress was restored by sakhltukhutsesi (lord chancellor in feudal Georgia) Constantine III (Konstantine Mukhranbatoni). According to the inscription, at this time the fortress was ravaged by the enemies. During the invasions, the population of not only the village of Mukhrani but also of nearby villages used the Mukhrani fortress as shelter along with their property. The last owner of the fortress was Ivane Mukhranbatoni, after whose death his successor Konstantine Mukhranbatoni sold the palace. The fortress was used for different purposes in different periods.
Mukhrani fortress consists of a citadel and a fence. A large fence surrounds the citadel from the north and east. The plan of the citadel is resembling the square. The gate is cut into the eastern wall of the building. The semicircular arch of the entrance is supported by pilasters with profiled capitals; the arch is completely inscribed in the high quadrangle. The walls are two-tier from the inside; the lower tier is wide, and the upper tier is narrow, which creates a battle trail. Combat elements are located only on the upper tier. The walls are completed with semicircular battlements. Cylindrical towers are built into all four corners of the citadel. In the north-eastern part of the inner fortress, there is a church of the palace, while the palace itself, located at the southern wall, is completely destroyed. Along the southern wall of the citadel, a wine cellar is located which contains up to fifty Kvevris (vessels for making wine) buried in the ground; the walls and roof of the cellar belong to the late period. Among the towers, the one standing in the northeastern part is the largest, the so-called Mamaburji (fulcrum); it has four floors, the entrance is on the second floor. A marble stone with an inscription was inserted into the wall above the door, which is now kept in the State Museum of Georgia. The first floor of the tower has a cylindrical form and is covered with a dome; a staircase is carved in the wall; there are three windows on this floor; a well was dug in the center of the floor. The second floor is low and has the shape of an octahedral prism, covered with a radial vault. There are four windows on this floor; a fireplace is installed on one of the northern sides; paired loopholes are carved in deep quadrangular niches. The third floor is also multifaceted and is separated with a cornice from the radiant vault. The walls have loopholes and windows. There is a tall fireplace decorated with geometric and foliage carvings. The fourth floor is a battle roof; embrasures, cannon holes and loopholes are cut in the high walls. The tower ends with semicircular battlements. The other three towers have three floors. All four towers have a door with an ogival arch framed in a high rectangle, completed with brick cogs.
The church of the court is located in the northeastern part of the citadel. It is a hall-type building. There are two entrances - from the west and south. The hall is covered with a vault supported by two supporting arches. The facades are decorated with decorative rhombuses and crosses shaped by bricks and end with a cornice of brick as well. In the 19th century, a large brick gate was added to the church from the west. The bell tower-gazebo built on the ridge of the church roof is from the same period.
The fence in the plan is almost a square. In the northeastern and northwestern corners of the building, cylindrical towers were situated. Inside the fence, there are two churches - a cross-domed church of Saint Gregory the Illuminator and a hall church.
The Church of St. Gregory the Illuminator is a central domed building. There are two entrances - from the south and west, both are arched from the inside and architrave from the outside. In front of the apse, a bema is situated. On both sides of the altar, there are auxiliary rooms - the sacristy and the altar. Secret rooms are arranged above the auxiliary rooms. The dome in the east rests on the corners of the altar, and in the west - on the pylons. The transition from the under-dome square to the drum is carried out by means of sails. The facades are decorated with decorative arches. Rhombuses and crosses are depicted on the sides of the central arches. On the architrave of the southern wall, there is an inscription in Georgian and Armenian, which says that the temple was built in 1844 for the Armenian population living in Mukhrani "according to the will of the princes of Mukhranbatoni."
The Hall Church dates back to the 1st half of the 19th century. There are two entrances - from the west and south. In the east, the hall is completed by an apse, which is covered with a lancet conch. Three windows and five arched niches have been cut down in the apse. The hall is covered with a pointed vault, which is supported by three supporting arches. The front-facing of the windows is made of well-hewn stone. The facades are completed by a brick cornice. On the west and south sides of the temple are attached open porches, the columns of which have simple profiled capitals and bases. The arches are made of cut stone. The church was built of bricks.
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