Tsopi fortress (Region of Kvemo Kartli)
Tsopi fortress (Georg. წოფის ციხე) was built on the watershed of the Shulavri (Georg. შულავერი) and Debeda (Georg. დებედა) rivers, in the municipality of Marneuli. People settled in this area in the early Paleolithic period, and in the early Iron Age there was already a fortified settlement here. A fragment of the cyclopean structure of the defensive wall of the fortress belongs to this period. The fortress was built in a strategically important place. Together with other fortresses, he controlled the road to Armenia. Judging by the layout and style of construction, the castle dates back to the VI century. Rich archaeological material of the VI-XIII centuries was discovered on the territory of the castle. Based on archaeological materials of a later period, it was established that the fortress ceased to function in the XIII century.
Built on a rocky mountain, the Tsopi fortress combines the upper citadel and the lower fortress. In the upper part, the ruins of the first floor of the citadel and fragments of the fortress wall, built of rectangular blocks of white limestone, have been preserved. For strength, semicircular towers are built into the walls. During the construction of the lower castle, the defensive capabilities of the area were used and a well-defended lower part was created. The protective wall of the lower castle was built only in easily accessible places, between impregnable rocks and encloses a large area of the southern slope of the ridge. On the terraces of the lower castle are the remains of an old settlement and a small hall church.