Petra Fortress (Region of Adjaria)
Petra Fortress (Georg. პეტრას ციხე). The ruins of the ancient historical city-fortress it dates back to VI c.AD. Historically this territory was the settlement place of one of the Kartvelian tribes – Lazes. The Byzantine Emperor Justinian built a fortress here because of the unique military-strategic and trade-economical location. The fortress was crossed by the essential road connecting Western Georgia, Byzantine provinces, Iran and Armenia. Navigation was also very well-developed. Petra fortress became so inaccessible by the Middle Ages that it was even called “Kajeti Fortress” (the fortress of the kajis). Petra is impressive and thought-provoking. Our ancestors watch us from these proud walls, the ancestors who constantly fought against the enemies and preserved motherland and dignity to the posterity.
Petra kept its importance even later . It was considered as underfeatable fortress. Its acropolis was situated on a clif hill along the shore. Its landside was protected with strong fence as rocky relief (the relief originated its Greek name “Petra”- rock, stone). Archaeological excavations revealed cultural layers dated back to the Late Bronze Age. Early Iron Age. Hellenic and Early Middle centuries. One should pay special attention to a small hall-style church found in the Fortress center. Church is dated back to the 10th -14th centuries. There used to be larger basilica there. The church walls were unprocessed stones, and apse was coated with cut stones. The building is considered to be Petra Cathedral Church and dated back to the 6th century when Petra Town was stretched from Acropolis to the north.