Atskuri fortress (Region of Samtskhe-Javakheti)
Atskuri fortress (Georg. აწყურის ციხე) belongs to the oldest period of Georgian history. On the South slope of the rock where the fortress was built are the remains of ancient dwellings. In historical sources the fortress is first mentioned in the XI century as one of the most important strategic buildings of historical Meskheti. The extant remains of the fortress belong to the middle Ages. Builders of fortress mastered the most difficult relief of the rocks and created a complex-structured facility.
Entrance to the fortress passes through a narrow cut in a rock tunnel. The internal structure was so inaccessible that it was difficult for an invading enemy to conquer it even after passing the tunnel. In XVI century, the fortress was captured by the Ottomans amd Atskuri fortress became a springboard from which the Turks attacked eastern and western Georgia. At present, the unity of the fortress buildings is destroyed. Here one may see building layers of different times.