Saint Mountain of Mtatsminda preserves till the time fragments of ancient Narikala fortress in Tbilisi. It is the most famous and ancient monument of Tbilisi antiquity, urban residents calls it “soul and heart of the city”. Construction of Narikala fortress is dated approximately by VI century of A.D. that’s mean the fortress stood from city establishment. In VII-VIII centuries the fortress was expand and completed by Arabs, in XI-XII centuries by Mongols. Citadel up to date is an outstanding example of Arabian fortification.
Besides the first name of the fortress was Shuris-Tsikhe (“Desirable Fortress”). After Mongolian invasion fortress was renamed as “Narin Kala” (from Turkish “narina” – “little” and “kala” – “fortress”).
According to sources Narikala which was located on Great Silk Road, was foremost strengthen and inaccessible in fortification system of Tbilisi. In 1827 fortress was ruined by earthquake and after that citadel had never been restored completely. But stone towers of Narikala preserved up to date remain silent eyewitness of ancient city history.
On fortress site there is a temple of St. Nikolai, dated by XI century. Temple was reconstructed in 1996 according to tradition of surrounded fortress. Inside part of fortress is decorated with fresco, describe as Biblical scenes as well as History of Georgia.