Tusheti and Khevsureti are located north-east of the main ridge of the Great Caucasus and border with Dagestan and Chechnya. Tusheti houses the unique monuments of cultural heritage, remains of ancient villages, folk crafts and everyday life items. The provinces are outstanding with their alpine meadows and well-preserved coniferous forests.
the most beautiful places in Georgia. Medieval fortresses merge with breathtakingnature leaving every person who visits this province at least once with unforgettable impressions. While travelling to the villages of Tusheti you feel as if time has stopped and you travel in the middle ages. To reach Tusheti one should drive over Abano Pass, located almost 3000m above sea level. This car path is included in the 10 most dangerous roads of the world.
Most impressive villages are Shenako, Diklo, Dartlo, Parsma, Jvarboseli, Verkhovani. Due to very severe climate the villages are only full of people in summer. 7-8 months a year the villages are cut off from the rest of the world by snow and that’s why people leave them in autumn. First snow comes in autumn as well and blocks the connecting roads for months. Main village in Tusheti is Omalo, where couple of families stay for winter despite the blocked roads.
Omalo – Located 1800m above sea level and consists of 2 parts – Old Omalo “Keselo” and New Omalo, a little bit modern part of Omalo. Fortress Keselo is situated in the northern part of the village, in Old Omalo and is represented by 7 towers. Towers are built by slate stones and are surrounded by a wall with embrasures and windows. At the moment one of the towers houses a museum.
Dartlo – Dartlo is located 2000m above sea level. The village is famous for beautiful houses with wooden balconies, making it unique in entire Tusheti. Dartlo is one of the outstanding architectural treasures of Georgian architecture. It’s also famous for open air court hall, where the court of inhabitants of Dartlo and nearby villages was held. This is the court of 12 judges. There’re 12 antique stone chairs that belonged to 12 different judges and 2 stone plates in the middle of the circle for convicts to kneel down. In front of the court hall there’s a stone construction of “stone press”. The convict and his defenders had to remove 1 hair of the mustache and place it under the stone press to show that the evidence theywould givewould be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The fact that the main judge was a woman is really amazing.
Shenako Diklo Kvavlo
Wonderful neighboring villages. Houses are built in order to keep the solar light and warmth as long as possible during the daytime because even in August the mornings and the evenings are rather chilly. Diklo has a praying shrine called “Khati” where women aren’t permitted even today. Only men are allowed to perform the religious rituals, the synthesis of Christian and pagan cultures.
Parsma – The village where time has stopped. Despite many damaged houses and towers the main appearance of the village is still well kept. In this village you can feel the warrior spirit of Tushetians. Here we see the protective towers having rectangular shape. The height of the towers varies from 1.5 to 4.9 meters depending on the number of floors inside the tower. Walls are equipped with embrasures and windows. The floors are connected with wooden removable ladder. Mostly the towers are vaulted with slate saddle roofs.
Jvabroseli and Verkhovani Are two villages located close to each other. Jvarboseli features only the remains of the village, while Verkhovani features houses and towers hosting their owners in summer time. The views over the gorge leading to Tsova Tusheti from these villages are magnificent. Here the shepherds stop for overnight. They bring cattle and sheep to the grassland in summer and lead the nomadic life.
One of the most beautiful places in Georgia. It’s famous for its warriors. The architecture of the Khevsuretian villages confirms this– houses and towers are closely built to easily protect the village inhabitants from often attacks. Important villages are – Shatili, Mutso, Ardoti. All 3 of them date back to the middle ages and are emotionally impressive indeed. Like Tusheti, Khevsureti is also inaccessible for 7-8 months due to severe climate and in summer only Shatili is really full of people.
Shatili – The hamlet of Shatili is located in Upper Khevsureti, 15 km from the town of Dusheti, 1000 m above the sea level. Peppered on the rock, Khevsureti towers were fortified living quarters which defended from enimy invasions not only a hamlet but played the role of northern barrier for the whole of Georgia and defended the nation from intrusions of nomadic tribes. Fortified houses are attached to each other and thus they create a unified defence wall. Buildings are arranged as terraces. They have flat roofing. Between houses, across the whole village is paved a stone stairway. The hamlet of Shatili consists of several neighborhoods (Anatori, Kavchi, Middle Hamlet, Zenubani) which are connected with each other by narrow passages. At the entrance to the hamlet is a stand-alone building called Sapikhvno – a one-story building where male population of the hamlet used to assemble for making decisions on diverse issues and for discussions.
Mutso – Mutso is the oldest fortified village of the Upper Khevsureti in the middle of the gorge of river Ardoti. It ceased to exist in the 20-ies of XIX century after invasion of Shamil’s warriors. Village is located on three terraces and is built of slate. In the middle of the terrace is situated a stable Brolis Kalo. Also there is an icon of St. George and lookout tower. Fortress houses are 4-6-story buildings. A barn is on the first level, a sheepfold on the second, living quarters on the third and fourth floors. Upper levels were used as a stockroom and a closet.
Abudelauri lakes, as local people call, are situated in the north of the eastern part of Caucasus Mountains in Khevsureti. It is at a height of 2500 m in Alpine zone at the foot of the Chaukhi Massif. The lake ensemble located in Abudelauri Gorge contains three beautiful alpine zone lakes. They are formed out of the glaciers and have different colours: green, white and blue. The most distinguished amongst these is the last one. From three sides the lakes are surrounded by the mountains that make the scene even more spectacular.