Khornabuji is an ancient castle in the eastern part of Georgia. It was probably constructed, originally, at the end of the 1st millennium BC, at which time it was the only fortification controlling the valleys of the Iori and Alazani rivers.
Archeology conducted during the 1970s in the area uncovered extensive evidence of the settlement that flourished in the flat land beneath the castle during and before the medieval period. The first surviving written records of it date back to the reign of Vakhtang the Wolf Head during the fifth century. At that time Khornabuji was one of the largest settlements in the Kakheti region. According to the chronicle it was one of several places to which Vakhtang appointed a bishop after he had built the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral at Mtskheta.
Late in the fifth or early during the sixth century Khornabuji was conquered by the Sasanians. It appears the surrounding town was destroyed, though something of the castle survived and over the following centuries the town again appeared on the area of flat ground to the south of the castle rock. During the thirteenth century, according to some sources, the castle was rebuilt on the instructions of Queen Tamara, although others suggest that references to Queen Tamara building a castle may have referred to a castle built at another site. According to one interpretation of the sources the Khornabuji township was destroyed by Mongul invadersunder Berke Khan around 1264, and survivors relocated to Sighnaghi, after which there was no further significant settlement outside the castle walls. An alternative view is that it was during the seventeenth century the settlement fell into ruin following the invasion undertaken from Iran by Shāh Abbās. The castle was later rebuilt under Heraclius II of Kartli-Kakheti, but the surrounding township was not rebuilt.References:
From its origin as a small stronghold built by the ancient Illyrian tribe Dalmatae, becoming a royal castle that was the seat of many Croatian kings, to its final development as a large fortress during the Ottoman wars in Europe, Klis Fortress has guarded the frontier, being lost and re-conquered several times. Due to its location on a pass that separates the mountains Mosor and Kozjak, the fortress served as a major source of defense in Dalmatia, especially against the Ottoman advance, and has been a key crossroad between the Mediterranean belt and the Balkan rear.
Since Duke Mislav of the Duchy of Croatia made Klis Fortress the seat of his throne in the middle of the 9th century, the fortress served as the seat of many Croatia"s rulers. The reign of his successor, Duke Trpimir I, the founder of the Croatian royal House of Trpimirović, is significant for spreading Christianity in the Duchy of Croatia. He largely expanded the Klis Fortress, and in Rižinice, in the valley under the fortress, he built a church and the first Benedictine monastery in Croatia. During the reign of the first Croatian king, Tomislav, Klis and Biograd na Moru were his chief residences.
In March 1242 at Klis Fortress, Tatars who were a constituent segment of the Mongol army under the leadership of Kadan suffered a major defeat while in pursuit of the Hungarian army led by King Béla IV. After their defeat by Croatian forces, the Mongols retreated, and Béla IV rewarded many Croatian towns and nobles with 'substantial riches'. During the Late Middle Ages, the fortress was governed by Croatian nobility, amongst whom Paul I Šubić of Bribir was the most significant. During his reign, the House of Šubić controlled most of modern-day Croatia and Bosnia. Excluding the brief possession by the forces of Bosnian King, Tvrtko I, the fortress remained in Hungaro-Croatian hands for the next several hundred years, until the 16th century.
Klis Fortress is probably best known for its defense against the Ottoman invasion of Europe in the early 16th century. Croatian captain Petar Kružić led the defense of the fortress against a Turkish invasion and siege that lasted for more than two and a half decades. During this defense, as Kružić and his soldiers fought without allies against the Turks, the military faction of Uskoks was formed, which later became famous as an elite Croatian militant sect. Ultimately, the defenders were defeated and the fortress was occupied by the Ottomans in 1537. After more than a century under Ottoman rule, in 1669, Klis Fortress was besieged and seized by the Republic of Venice, thus moving the border between Christian and Muslim Europe further east and helping to contribute to the decline of the Ottoman Empire. The Venetians restored and enlarged the fortress, but it was taken by the Austrians after Napoleon extinguished the republic itself in 1797. Today, Klis Fortress contains a museum where visitors to this historic military structure can see an array of arms, armor, and traditional uniforms.