About Samshvilde

Best time to visit: All Season

Samshvilde Complex - one of the oldest historical castle towns in Georgia, near the current village of Samshvilde, in Tetritskaro municipality, Kvemo Kartli.

The town castle is preserved as ruins. For the city was selected the naturally fortified cape at the confluence of the river Chivchavi and Khrami. On both sides are rocky ravine and on the third side is a fortress wall.

There are ruins of many fortifications, cults, and other purpose buildings in Samshvilde. The most important is the monument of Georgian architecture of the VIII century, which is the Great Episcopal Cathedral of Samshvilde Sioni with Central-Dome.

Samshvilde Complex includes the following monuments:

    • St. George’s church
    • Palata church
      • Church of the assumption of the Virgin Mary
        • Three-nave basilica
          • The Church with the protruding apse
            • Church on the Khrami River- Theogenida (XII-XIII cc)
              • Fortress
                • “Palata Church”
                  • Feudal palaces
                    • Residential houses
                      • Tetralith, three large stones arranged on top of each other, which are rely on the fourth large stone, at Teogenida Church
                        • Reservoir pools
                          • Bridge over the river Chivchavi


                            In Kartlis Tskhovreba an Orbi fortress was mentioned by Vakhushti Bagrationi. However, some modern scientists believe that the Orbi Fortress means the Orbeti fortress, which is located in the Algeti Valley.

                            Upon the creation of Kartli, the ancient settlement was the center of the Samshvilde’s Saeristavo. With the results of archaeological research the caves, menhirs, old settlements and the cemetery located around it belong to the second half of the IV millennium and the third millennium. Samshvilde is mentioned during the invasion of Alexander Macedonian in Georgia. In the VIII-IX centuries, Samshvilde was subordinated to the Emirates of Tbilisi and the owners were "Relatives of Pitiakhsh". At the end of the IX century he owned the kingdom of Anisi. At the beginning of the X century, the chief Gurgen attempted to release Samshvilde, but with no result.

                            At the end of the X century, Samshvilde became the capital of the Tashir-Dzoraget kingdom (because of this, the Armenian king David (989-1049) is mentioned as “from Samshvilde“ in Georgian sources).In 1001 Samshvilde was captured by the king of Anisi, Gagik I. In 1064, the Armenian king Kvirike II moved the center of the Tashir-Dzoraget kingdom from Samshvilde to Lore. Samshvilde is also called the area surrounding the city castle- “ Every Samshvilde” in the Georgian and Armenian sources of the XII-XIII centuries. The military-political importance of Samshvilde increased during this period. Many fortresses of Kvemo Kartli recognized its primacy.

                            Economic promotion of Samshvilde was promoted by its location on the magistral connecting the mountain and lowland regions. In the 60s of the XI century Samshvilde was refund by Bagrat IV. In 1110 David the Builder released Samshvilde from Seljuk Turks and reunited it. In the XII century Samshvilde was owned to the feudal family of Orbeli and was the residence of Georgian Amirspasalar.

                            After the suppression of the Orbeli revolt (1178), it was obedience to the king of Georgia. In the XIII century Mongols “first took strong and high Samshvilde fortress and then came to Tbilisi". In 1440, Jahan Shah surrounded Samshvilde. He managed to take it by deception and threats. He erected a minaret in front of the door of Samshvilde from the head of 1664 people. He took 9400 captives, destroyed all the churches and left the destroyed country.

                            In 1747, a great battle took place between Erekle and the son of Abdullah Beg, in Samshvilde, who sought to seize Kartli from Teimuraz and Erekle.

                            Tags: #History #Church #Culture #Monastery #Historical Monument #Fortress #Fortification


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