Shatberdi Monastery (Region of Klarjeti)

Shatberdi Monastery (Georg. შატბერდის მონასტერი, Tur. Şatberdi Manastırı) is located in the historical region of Georgia – Klarjeti (Georg. კლარჯეთი). The remains of the main church of the monastery are located in the village of Boselta (Georg. ბოსელთა), now Okumushlar (Tur. Okumuşlar), in the province of Artvin (Georg. ართვინი), on the territory of modern Turkey. The monastery was called the “Great Lavra” and was founded in the 820-830s under the leadership of Grigol Khandzteli, with the support of the Klarjeti ruler – Bagrat Kurapalati. Monasteries of special historical and spiritual significance were called  lavra. Since the 10th century, the monastery has become a major ecclesiastical and cultural center of the Georgian state, chronicles were kept in it, and its own icon-painting school was formed.

The monastery consisted of a church, a refectory and other structures. The main function of the Shatberdi Castle (Georg. შატბერდის ციხე) located next to the monastery was to protect the monastery. The main temple of the monastery, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, was a domed structure. Only ruins remain of this church. From the ruins, it can be determined that the dimensions of the church from the outside were approximately 27 x 18 meters. Judging by the nature of the building, the church was built in the first half of the 9th century. On the walls freed from sheathing and plaster, traces of numerous alterations are visible. Today, the Shatberdi temple is in a very difficult condition. Rain enters the building from the dilapidated dome. The lower part of the altar is destroyed. Most of the facing stones were crumbled and used by local residents as building material for residential buildings.

Fortress of Sikhchek (Region of Tao-Klarjeti)

Fortress of Sikhchek (Georg. სიხჩეკის ციხე). Georgian historical  region – Tao-Klarjeti (Georg. ტაო-კლარჯეთი), near modern turkish village of Sikhchek, Province of Erzurum  (Georg. კარნუ-ქალაქი), Turkey. It is built in a narrow river valley. On the right bank of the river SikhchekisTskali (Georg. სიხჩეკის წყალი), there is a high rocky mountain resembling a truncated cone. Since its original georgian name is unknown, the fortification is referred to as Sikhchek castle, after the name of the nearest village.

One side of the mountain is an impregnable vertical rock, the other side is relatively steep. The fortification was built on the terraces of this steep slope. On one of these terraces, not far from the top, a small square stone church was built. Next to the church, on the second terrace, stands a medium-sized round tower. At the very top, on a small platform, there is another tower. A wonderful panorama of the valley of Oltisi, opens from here.

Sukhbechi Church (Region of Tao)

Sukhbechi Church (Georg. სუხბეჩის ეკლესია) – The monument of Georgian architecture of the 5th-6th centuries, in the historical region of Georgia – Tao (Georg. ტაო), on the territory of modern Turkey.

The cross-domed church of the tetraconch type is one of the oldest Georgian churches of this type. It can be seen from the remains that the walls of the temple were plastered from the inside. There are no signs of painting. At the beginning of the 20th century, the monument was already badly damaged. Today, only the lower layers of the walls have survived.

Church of Sveti (Region of  Klarjeti)

Church of Sveti (Georg. სვეტის ეკლესია, Tur.Kapise Kilise ). The Georgian historical region – Klarjeti (Georg. კლარჯეთი)in  near the village of Sveti (georg. სვეტი), now Vazırköy, Turkey. The remains of the ancient pillared temple building are heavily damaged and destroyed.

This remnant is similar to the western wall of the hall temple and probably dates from the middle of the 10th century. The Church of Saints was a completely unique structure – a tetraconch without a dome. To the north of the church rose a rectangular tower several stories high. Currently, the tower and the church are completely destroyed.

Speri Fortress (Region of Speri)

Speri Fortress (Geor. სპერის ციხე, Tur. İspir kalesi) – fortification in historical southern Georgia – Speri, on the territory of modern Turkey, in the city of Ispir (Georg. სპერი, Tour. İspir), in the province of Erzurum(Georg. კარნუ-ქალაქი). The current Turkish name of the oldest Georgian castle-İspir Kalesi. The castle is built on several terraces. In the central part of the castle, fragments of a large Orthodox basilica have been preserved. The castle has been significantly restored and rebuilt. In the 1800s, at the top of the castle, Jame was built.

In the V century BC. Herodotus mentions Speri as an integral part of the Georgian ethnic, state and cultural circle. In the II century BC. Speri was captured by Armenia. Later the Georgians took him back. In the VII century, he was conquered by Byzantium. In 1123, David Agmashenebeli took it back. Until the end of the XVI century, most of the Speri district and the old town of Speri were always part of the borders of the Kingdom of Georgia. Since 1578, this territory was captured by the Ottoman Empire.

Fortress of  Tandzoti (Region of Speri)

Fortress of  Tandzoti (Georg. ტანძოთის ციხე) – located in the Georgian historical region Speri (Georg. სპერი), northeast of the village of Tandzoti (Georg. ტანძოთი), on a hard-to-reach rock, on the territory of modern Turkey. The fortress is almost completely destroyed and only small fragments of it have survived. A completely unknown castle was recently explored by an expedition of Georgian students

The fortress is surrounded by a double wall. The walls are up to 1 meter high, built of well-worked stones, using masonry mortar. A rectangular hole cut in the rock was found on the territory of the castle, which, most likely, was a reservoir for water. On the inner territory there is also a once quite large church, destroyed to the level of the foundation. Scattered nearby are polished Shirimi stones and parts of pilasters used in the construction of the church.



Tbeti Monastery (Region of Shavsheti)

Tbeti Monastery (Georg.  ტბეთის მონასტერი, Tur. Tbeti manastiri) – Georgian Orthodox monastery of the Nativity of the Mother of God, located on the territory of Georgian historical region – Shavsheti (Georg. შავშეთი), in the village of Tbeti (Georg.  ტბეთი), modern Jevizli,   Turkey, Ancient layers, revealed in the ruins of the temple of Tbeti, belong to the second half of the 10th century.

The monastery was an important cultural and religious center of medieval Georgia. and included several monastic buildings, of which only the ruins of the main temple have survived. The temple was blown up in 1961. Before the destruction, frescoes were visible in the Tbeti temple. They were deliberately damaged in the 19th century. when the locals began to use the temple of Tbeti as a mosque and set fire to the painting, so as not to be tempted. To do this, they piled hay and set it on fire. Later, the villagers built a new jame, the facades of which are almost entirely made of stones from the destroyed temple of Tbeti.

Fortress of Tetrtsikhe (Region of  Artaani)

Fortress of Tetrtsikhe (Georg. თეთრციხე, Tur. Akçakale). Ancient monument of Georgian architecture, built on the island of Lake Chrdili (Georg. ჩრდილი), now Childir, in the historical region of Georgia – Artaani (Georg. არტაანი), Turkey. The term “Tetrtsikhe” is the old, authentic, Georgian name of the island and the fortress located on it. It translates as – “White Castle”. The Turks translated this name into their own language, and today it is officially called Akcakale.

The island on which the castle was built was connected to the shore by a stone bridge, and the entrance from the village to the island was fortified with walls and towers, which were covered with snow-white hewn stones. That is why it was called the White Castle. The fortress complex consists of a church and a round tower. In the middle part there are various building remains, which are destroyed almost to the level of the foundation. At the base of the castle. There are megalithic layers.

Tortomi fortress (Region of Tao)

Tortomi fortress (Geor. თორთომის ციხე, Tur. Tortumkale) is located in the historical region of Georgia – Tao (Geor. ტაო), near the historical village – Tortomi (Geor. თორთომი), modern Tortum (Tur. Tortum), Erzerum (Geor. კარნუ-ქალაქი) province, on the left bank of the Tortomistskali River (Geor. თორთომისწყალი). The fortress of Tortomi was the administrative center of one of the communities of Tao region – Tortomi. It belonged to various feudal families and ecclesiastically submitted to Bishop Ishkhani. Inside the fortress wall, along with various fortifications, there were residential buildings and a church, the ruins of which have survived to this day. In the lower outskirts of the castle, there were various  buildings, surrounded by gardens and vineyards.

The fortress performed border functions and was thoroughly fortified due to the proximity of important cultural sites – the monasteries of Oshki (Geor. ოშკი) and Khakhuli (Geor. ხახული). and those who tried to invade foreign lands. Due to its location, the fortress was always one of the first to repel the constant attacks of superior enemy forces. The defenders of the fortress often had to resist the nomadic tribes of the Turks, coming from the south. At the beginning of the XV century, the fortress fell under the onslaught of Timur’s troops. A century and a half later, the Ottoman Empire captured Tao-Klarjeti. The Turks did not need the Tortomi fortress, and since then it has been abandoned. All that remains is one massive tower, several badly damaged bastions, and a segment of the wall. The territory is covered with stones from collapsed buildings and walls.

Fortress of Tsephta (Region of Shavsheti)

Fortress of  Tsephta (Georg. წეფთის ციხე, Tur. Eskikale Kalesi, Şavşat), is located in the historical Georgian region –  Shavsheti (Georg. შავშეთი), in the historical village – Ustamishi (Georg. უსტამიში), now Eskikale, contemporary province of Artvin, Turkey. In historical records, mentions of the fortress are associated with the events of the 10th-11th centuries, but its construction must be dated earlier. Presumably, fortress was constructed during the ancient period, but after the Arab invasions this fortification as well as the other fortresses of  historical Georgian regions Shavsheti and Klarjeti (Georg. კლარჯეთი),  were ruined.

Fortress of  Tsephta  is constructed on rocky ridges, over Shavshetistskali(Georg. შავშეთისწყალი) river. The fortress  is quite damaged and the remnants of the construction are seen only on foundation level.  The walls of the fortress is destroyed and it is hard to imagine the scale of the construction, but in the highest preserved point the height of the wall reaches 9 meters. Thickness of the wall varies from 1 meter to 2.1 meters. Western part of the wall, which looks over the road that leads us to the fortress, seems to be the most massive.