Birtvisi canyons is an amazing natural monument in Georgia. At the same time, they are only half an hour from Tbilisi, so they are very popular with tourists. In the canyons are the ruins of ancient fortifications, which reliably protected these areas during the Mongol invasion of Genghis Khan. In addition, the inhabitants of the fortress helped and natural features of the region: inaccessible rocks and narrow impassable canyons were a serious obstacle to the enemies.
Birtvisi canyons are located in the Tetri-Tskaro area (near the Alget reservoir). The main entrance to the region is from the village of Tbisi, and from the village of Amlevi you can access the canyons through a lesser-known entrance. The entire district is a circle with a 3-kilometer diameter. The highest point in the canyons is 1200 meters.
Birtvisi fortress is located at an altitude of about 1000 meters.
Birtvisi fortress is located in the middle of birtviy canyons above the glade, on a high rock in the gorge of the river Algeti in the territory of Kvemo Kartli. When built this fortress is not precisely known even to professional historians. In the IX-XII centuries, this territory belonged to the liparitid clan, whose residence was the castle of Kldekari. Then the Liparitid spun off and Baratashvili-Orbeliani. The residence of Orbeliani was somewhat North of Birtvisi, and the Baratashvili lived in the village of Tbisi and, in fact, in the fortress of Birtvisi. In 1177 there was a serious war with the Orbeliani clan, but Birtvisi castle is not mentioned in this connection.
In 1403 the fortress was besieged by Timur’s army. The siege is interesting because the hardy boys by some miracle this managed to take the fortress. There were professional climbers who were able to climb into the fortress and bring others with them. How they did it is not very clear. A hundred years later the fortress was besieged by Shah Tamaz and took it by deception. In the XVII century it was besieged by Georgy Saakadze. The fortress had a strong image of an impregnable fortification, and this is justified. It’s not easy to climb here, even light.
If it is true about Saakadze, it means that the fortress existed in the XVII century. Flashes of the old, that it existed a century later. This is strange because it soon disappeared almost completely. To this day, from the ancient fortress survived very little-only a fragment of the wall, the gate, and the ruins of some buildings. But despite its dilapidated state, it is one of the most interesting fortresses in Georgia, and at the same time – one of the most difficult to access. Visit Birtvisi fortress – not walk, but rather a serious physical effort, because not everyone can climb on rocks.
Birtvisi fortress and birtvisi canyons
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