Basilica of Tsirkine (Region of Speri)

Basilica of Tsirkine (Georg. ცირქინეს ბაზილიკა)  – In the historical region of Georgia – Speri (Georg. სპერი), on the territory of modern Turkey, on the left bank of the Chorokhi (Georg. ჭოროხი)  River, on the outskirts of the historical village – Tsirkine, the ruins of a three-aisled basilica of the transitional period have been preserved. The walls are made of roughly hewn gray stones. Shirimi stone is used in structural elements of buildings.

The central nave of the basilica is much wider than the side parts. The columns and arches separating them have been destroyed. The sanctuary is semicircular. The door is located in the western wall. Windows have been preserved on the southern and eastern walls. In the windows of the eastern wall, as well as in the structural elements, Shirimi stone was used for construction. At one time the basilica was painted. Fragments of walls with traces of ancient painting have been preserved in the interior space.

Church of Tskarostavi (Javakheti) (Region of Artaani)

Church of Tskarostavi (Javakhti) (Georg. ჯავახეთის წყაროსთავი).  located in the historical region of Georgia – Artaani (Georg. არტაანი), in the modern region Chyldir (Chrili) (Georg. ჩრდილი Tour. Çıldır) of Turkey, close to Lake Kardzakhi (Georg. კარწახი), near the village of Tskarostavi (Georg. წყაროსთავი (ჯავახეთი)), now Yondzhul (Tur. Öncül). The bishopric diocese of  Tskarostavi was one of the oldest in Georgia and included the territory to the east of the Kura River: from Artaani to Mount Karsi and Khaveti.

The exact date of construction of the temple is unknown. According to historical sources, it can be determined that the church was built in the VI century, no later than 523. In the middle of the X century, the three-aisled basilica was transformed into a domed church. Unfortunately, today it is impossible to find a detailed architectural description of the temple, as the monument is completely destroyed. In the 70s of the XX century, it was completely demolished and a mosque was built in its place. The stones of the ruined church are scattered throughout the village.

Tskarostavi (Klarjeti) monastery  (Region of Klarjeti)

Tskarostavi (Klarjeti) monastery (Georg. კლარჯეთის წყაროსთავი). Monastery complex in the historical region of Georgia – Klarjeti (Georg. კლარჯეთი), in modern Turkey.  It is located on the left bank of the Karchkhali (Georg. კარჩხალი) river valley, on the slope of a high mountain, in the village of Tskarostavi (Georg. წყაროსთავი, Tur. Karostav). The monastery was founded by Hilarion Tskarosstaveli,  in the 9th century. In the XII-XIII centuries, several manuscripts were written in Tskarostavi (Klarjeti), including the famous Gospel of Tskarostavi (1195), with a cover engraved by Beka Opizari.

The monastery complex is distinguished by its scale. Tskarostavi of Klarjeti is one of the most beautiful and ancient monasteries of Klarjeti. It should not be confused with another church of the same name in Western Javakheti, which is currently also located in Turkey. The complex included a large domed temple, several hall churches, two of which were built on a rock, a huge two-tiered refectory and numerous monks’ cells. The main building is a cross-domed church, of which only the northern wall has survived. Built of well-worked gray limestone of large size. The remains of the building are covered with bulk stones and earth, which form hills 2-3 meters high.

Fortress of Uri (Region of Artaani)

Fortress of Uri (Georg. ურის ციხე, Tur. Altaş(Ur) kalesi) – The historical region of Georgia – Artaani (Georg. არტაანი, Tur. Ardahan), the village of Uri (Georg. ური), now Altash, (Tur. Altaş), on a hill located on the left bank of the Mtkvari River. Territory of the castle is quite inaccessible. It is surrounded by stiff inclined slopes on its three sides.  It is built from a dry set of stones, sometimes lime is used.

Three semi-circle shaped towers, equally separated from each other, are inserted to the North-East part of the Fence. All of them is quite damaged. Well-excavated huge stones are used for internal and external layers. Rows of the layer are somehow provided. As for fence, huge and middle sized stones are used for internal and external layers. In some spots, it seems that dry formation is used for building walls, but in most part, it can be seen, that space between the layer stones filled with lime.


Church of Urta (Region of Artaani)

Church of Urta (Georg. ურთას ეკლესია, Tur. gölbelen kilisesi) –  Three-nave basilica located in the Georgian historical region – Artaani (Georg. არტაანი, tur. Ardahan), west of Lake Chrdili (Childir) (Georg. ჩრდილი), in the village of Urta (Georg. ურთა),now Gölbelen, Turkey. Built in the 7th century, the temple is rectangular in plan. There is another opinion that the temple was built in the second half of the 10th century. In general, the Church of Urta has not been studied archaeologically.

Hewn stone was used for construction and paving. Six massive columns divide the church into three parts. The middle part is relatively high. Initially, the entrance to the church was from the south, later it was made from the west. The letter “C” is carved into the north wall. In the 16th century, the Turks turned the church into a fortress and used it as a defensive structure. Later it was turned into a mosque. In 1992, a minaret was added to the building.


Fortress of Veli (Region of Artaani)

Fortress of  Veli (Georg. ველის ციხე Tour. Sevimli kalesi) – Georgian historical region of Artaani (Georg. არტაანი, Tur. Ardahan), The village of Veli (Georg. ველი), now Sevimli, Turkey. Several large buildings and fragments of two churches have been preserved from the structure of the fortress. Both churches were painted. They are currently heavily damaged.

In terms of its structure and scale, the Veli fortress is similar to the Tmogvi castle. Such castles created a unified defensive system of the upper reaches of the Kura gorge from Artaani to the Khertvisi castle. The fortress is large and built on a protruding rock several hundred meters long. In this section, a rocky ridge descends into the depths of the Mtkvari (Kura) River (Georg. მტკვარი) and forms a territory similar to a peninsula. The river surrounds it from three sides and together with the rocky relief makes the castle impregnable. Veli Fortress still looks large and impresses the viewer. The historical village of Veli is currently inhabited by Kurds.

Fortress of Zartsikhe (Region of Lazeti(Chaneti, lazistan))

Fortress of Zartsikhe (Georg. ზარციხე, Tur. Zilkale) – Georgian medieval fortress on the territory of modern Turkey, in the province of Rize. The castle is located at an altitude of 750 meters above sea level, in the upper reaches of the Firtina River, where the valley narrows strongly between high ridges.

Little remains of the original structure of the castle. Raw stone was mainly used for construction. The central tower and the heavily damaged bell tower stand out from the old castle complex. During the restoration work, the layers and contours of the fortress walls and the remains of other buildings were greatly changed.

Unfortunately, the story of the Georgian origin of  Zartsikhe is often falsified in Turkish and Armenian sources. The castle was built in the 13th century and its construction is associated with the existence of the Trebizond Empire, created by Georgia and under its control. In 1204, Queen Tamara helped her nephews Alexeios and David Komnenos (their mother was Rusudani, daughter of the Georgian king George III and sister Tamara) in creating the Empire of Trebizond.

Zegani (Zaki) Church (Region of Erusheti)

Zegani (Zaki) Church (georg. ზეგანის (ზაქის) ეკლესია, tur. Zeg Manastir – Dirsekkaya) – Georgian church in historical region – Erusheti (georg. ერუშეთი), province of Artaani (georg. არტაანი, tur. Ardahan), Turkey. The church was one of the largest cross-domed structures on the Erusheti plateau. It was built in the second half of the 10th century and is considered an important monument of Georgian architecture.

Zegani Church was a completely unique and original work. Unfortunately, Zegani church has been preserved as ruins. As a result of the explosion in the 1960s, only separate fragments of the temple building survived, buried under stone debris. Fragments of stone blocks of the exploded dome of the temple and fragments of an ornate belt are scattered around.