Veli fortress

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.


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