Ananuri was a castle and seat of the eristavis (Dukes) of Aragvi, a feudal dynasty which ruled the area from the 13th century. The castle was the scene of numerous battles. The current ensemble dates from the 16th and 17th centuries.

In 1739, Ananuri was attacked by forces from a rival duchy, commanded by Shanshe of Ksani and was set on fire. The Aragvi clan was massacred. However, four years later, the local peasants revolted against rule by the Shamshe, killing the usurpers and inviting King Teimuraz II to rule directly over them. However, in 1746, King Teimuraz was forced to suppress another peasant uprising, with the help of King Erekle II of Kakheti. The fortress remained in use until the beginning of the 19th century. In 2007, the complex has been on the tentative list for inclusion into the UNESCO World Heritage Site program.

Architecture

The fortifications consist of two castles joined by a crenellated curtain wall. The upper fortification with a large square tower, known as Sheupovari, is well preserved and is the location of the last defense of the Aragvi against the Shamshe. The lower fortification, with a round tower, is mostly in ruins.

Within the complex, amongst other buildings, are two churches. The older Church of the Virgin, which abuts a tall square tower, has the graves of some of the Dukes of Aragvi. It dates from the first half of the 17th century, and was built of brick. The interior is no longer decorated, but of interest is a stone baldaquin erected by the widow of the Duke Edishera, who died in 1674.

The larger Church of the Mother of God (Ghvtismshobeli), built in 1689 for the son of Duke Bardzem. It is a central dome style structure with richly decorated façades, including a carved north entrance and a carved grapevine crosson the south façade. It also contains the remains of a number of frescoes, most of which were destroyed by the fire in the 18th century.

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ს3, Ananuri, Georgia
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Details

Founded: 16th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Georgia

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Dal Saki (3 years ago)
Interesting place but also a rest stop for hundreds of tourists. And there is only one urinal.
Vjeko Vranic (3 years ago)
Spectacular edifice ,atmospheric interiors... However,very poor way leads to it,neglected and unsafe path to the fortress,no hand rails to use by people with walking issues...public toilets...an absolute disgrace and health hazard..toilets should be rebuilt to the 21st century standards..not much to ask.
dian kustanti (3 years ago)
Such a magnificent historical building. Salute to preserve this treasure. Was perfect cold weather back then Oct16
Anatoly Lifshits (3 years ago)
Must visit place. Only traders made it a little uncomfortable but fortress worth any minute. Beautiful views. Tower that you can climb to the top. Church. Very saved walls. Unfortunately restore works stopped, you can get really gem of area if state will finish what they started.
Beny Mokhov (3 years ago)
Beautiful old fortress overlooking a lake with a church inside. You can walk along the walls, climb some of the towers and visit the church. Unfortunately it's badly maintained
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