In the outskirts of Mtskheta are the ruins of Armaztsikhe fortress (3rd century BC). Armaztsikhe was the residence of the Kings of Iberia. This is one of the oldest cities of the Antique Era, which is not fully explored yet. It is also called like Georgian Acropolis. The Greek historian Dio Cassius mentioned this place in his book “The history of Rome”. He wrote that in 65 years BC, Roman Senator Gnaeus Pompeius invaded Iberia and reached this Acropolis too.

Archaeological investigations began in 1943 and three main cultures were identified: the oldest finds were dated to the 1st century BC to 2nd century AD, the central findings on the 3rd-5th centuries, and the latest to the 6th century. Consequently Armaztsikhe was destroyed by the Arabs in the 8th century. There are a royal sarcophagus, vestiges of the ramparts, a fortified tower and supporting pillars, foundation walls of the palace, a bath house, a wine cellar, a pre-Christian temple and a canal system.

Comments

Your name

Website (optional)



Details

Founded: 300 BCE
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Georgia

More Information

www.itinari.com

Rating

4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Mirjana Prekovic (18 months ago)
Beautiful place
Giorgi Kiknavelidze (19 months ago)
The name of the city and its dominant acropolis, Armaz-Tsikhe (literally, "citadel of Armazi"; არმაზციხე), is usually taken to derive from Armazi, the chief deity of the pagan Iberian pantheon. The name first appears in the early medieval Georgian annals though it is clearly much older and reflected in the Classical name Armastica or Harmozica of Strabo, Pliny, Ptolemy and Dio Cassius. According to a collection of medieval Georgian chronicles, Armaztsikhe was founded, in the 3rd century BC, by king Pharnavaz I of Iberia at the place hitherto known as Kartli. This fortress stood on the modern-day Mount Bagineti, on the right bank of the Mtkvari River (Kura), at its confluence with the Aragvi. The other citadel, Tsitsamuri (წიწამური) or Sevsamora of the Classical authors, stood just opposite, on the left bank of the Aragvi and controlled the road towards Mount Kazbek.
Gio Rekh (2 years ago)
It is on plain sight but not everyone knows whats there. Site is well organised, roadmarks everywhere but u will need an SUV to get there. road is pretty bumpy and steep at the beginning.
Tengiz Cholokashvili (2 years ago)
Beautiful views of nature and Unesko Heritage town Mtskheta, ancient ruin's: castle, Romanian bathing place, wine sellar
Africia Zyxer (4 years ago)
You will need to use imagination and better to get there prepared, read and make some research maybe, cause there is still no special guide or detailed information on site, only pointers and brief explanation. But what you will discover then from historical point of view about country and whole area will amaze you, with no doubts! You will find ancient historic sandwiches there, starting from IV-III BC till early Christian periods, also many things to be still revealed and rediscovered even by the same archaeological researches maybe. The place is for ancient seekers and for those who love chasing history. It starts here.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Derbent Fortress

Derbent is the southernmost city in Russia, occupying the narrow gateway between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus Mountains connecting the Eurasian steppes to the north and the Iranian Plateau to the south. Derbent claims to be the oldest city in Russia with historical documentation dating to the 8th century BCE. Due to its strategic location, over the course of history, the city changed ownership many times, particularly among the Persian, Arab, Mongol, Timurid, Shirvan and Iranian kingdoms.

Derbent has archaeological structures over 5,000 years old. As a result of this geographic peculiarity, the city developed between two walls, stretching from the mountains to the sea. These fortifications were continuously employed for a millennium and a half, longer than any other extant fortress in the world.

A traditionally and historically Iranian city, the first intensive settlement in the Derbent area dates from the 8th century BC. The site was intermittently controlled by the Persian monarchs, starting from the 6th century BC. Until the 4th century AD, it was part of Caucasian Albania which was a satrap of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. In the 5th century Derbent functioned as a border fortress and the seat of Sassanid Persians. Because of its strategic position on the northern branch of the Silk Route, the fortress was contested by the Khazars in the course of the Khazar-Arab Wars. In 654, Derbent was captured by the Arabs.

The Sassanid fortress does not exist any more, as the famous Derbent fortress as it stands today was built from the 12th century onward. Derbent became a strong military outpost and harbour of the Sassanid empire. During the 5th and 6th centuries, Derbent also became an important center for spreading the Christian faith in the Caucasus.

The site continued to be of great strategic importance until the 19th century. Today the fortifications consist of two parallel defence walls and Naryn-Kala Citadel. The walls are 3.6km long, stretching from the sea up to the mountains. They were built from stone and had 73 defence towers. 9 out of the 14 original gates remain.

In Naryn-Kala Citadel most of the old buildings, including a palace and a church, are now in ruins. It also holds baths and one of the oldest mosques in the former USSR.

In 2003, UNESCO included the old part of Derbent with traditional buildings in the World Heritage List.