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The Hertvisi Fortress


The Hertvisi Fortress, located in the Samtskhe-Javakheti region in southern Georgia. This is one of the oldest and best preserved castles from Georgian feudal period. The chronicler Leonti Mroveli mentions Khertvisi - which he considers one of the first cities in Georgia - in connection with the campaigns of Alexander Macedonian (IV century BC..). In the early medieval epoch the city was at decline and only in X-XI centuries, the newly rebuilt castle has grown to the extent of the city and became the center of Meskheti region. In 985, the church was built in the fortress. At the place of old walls, destroyed by an earthquake in 1283, the new fortress walls were completed by 1354 y. In X-XI centuries Hertvisi was the center of Samtskhe-Javakheti. In the XII century it became a town. In the XIII century the Mongols destroyed it and up to the XV century the fortress lost its power. In the XV century it belonged to the rulers of Samtskhe-Javakheti region of Jakeli dynasty. In the XVI century the southern Georgia region was conquered by the Turks, and for the next three centuries Hertvisi belongs to them. In 1828, during the Russian-Turkish war, the fort was captured by the Russian and Georgian forces and Treaty of Adrianople Hertvisi passed to the Russian Empire. After all of that Hertvisi together with other castles in the region lost its defensive function and was only fortification monument. The fortress consisted of the upper castle (Citadel), the most part preserved until today, and lower castle, adjoining from the south-east. Most of the existing facilities refers to a X-XIV centuries, there are small outbuildings belonging to XVI-XVIII centuries.


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