White house near Borjomi
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Tmogvi fortress is located in Samtske-Javakhet, in Aspindza municipality near the village Tmogvi at the left bank of the river Mtkvari.
Tmogvi Fortress first time is mentioned in historic origins in X century, it was controlling a road from Asia to Georgia through Mtkvari valley. Arabs tried to sack it in X century but failed. At the end of X century and beginning of XI, Tmogvi fortress was under Monarchy rule. Since 1073, nobleman Niania Kuabulisdze and his heirs owned it, in the future centuries, it was under different feudal family’s rule – Torels, Mkhargrdzelis, Shalikashvilis and Jakels. Ottomans conquered Tmogvi fortress in 1578, later the fortress and its territories were under Ottoman political-administrative unit jurisdiction – Akhalkalaki Liva. After Russian-Ottoman war in 1828-1829, according to treaty of Adrianople (1829) Ottomans, together with other territories forfeited Tmogvi fortress.
Tmogvi fortress is built on a tall, rocky mountain. Due to landscape difference, its walls stand on different heights. The western side of the fortress is better preserved, here on an incline there are three steps of fortifications. Southeastern walls are leaning on a cave, in which there is a secret tunnel connected to Citadel on the upper side and river Mtkvari on the lower side. The small area in the middle of the fortress is fully occupied by buildings. Two distinct building layers are noticeable, the earlier layer is built by smoothed tufa squares aligned in even rows. Roughly processed stone walls belong to the later renovation age. Outside fortress walls, in the western gully we can see St. Ephrem church, carved in a rock, with iconostasis also carved in a rock. In the ruins of the second, domed church XIII century mural painting fragments remain.
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https://youtu.be/uGzdMz9_eiQ - beautiful video of the fortress shot from a drone
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