About Sights – Ujarma Fortress
Established by King Vakhtang Gorgasali in the 5th century, Ujarma Fortress (Georgian: უჯარმა ციხე) was the second capital of Georgia until the 8th century. King Vakhtang Gorgasali is believed to have died there after he was wounded in battle against the Persians.
The fortress consisted of two parts: the Upper Fortress (the Citadel) located on the plateau of the rocky hill and the Lower City on the slope. A royal palace, consisting of a two-storey building, was located in the eastern part of the Citadel. The Upper Fortress was destroyed in the 10th century by the Arabian conqueror Abul Kassim but was restored in the 12th century by King George III who used it as a treasury.
The fortress was originally surrounded by powerful protective walls with nine towers. Parts of the walls remain, together with several ruined towers that originally had tiled roofs.
In the middle part of the citadel is the two-storey Jvari Patiosani Church (Church of the Fair Cross) and reservoirs that once held water.
Because of its ruined state the Fortress might be overlooked when planning a visit itinerary but its historical importance and its beautiful views over the Iori valley make a visit worthwhile, especially as it is on the way to Telavi.
How to get there? The Fortress is located about 45km from Tbilisi, on a hill by the Tbilisi-Telavi highway about 4 km north of the village of Ujarma.
How much does it cost? Entrance is free. Be prepared for a 600-700 meter uphill walk to reach the fortress.
Remember to include Ujarma Fortress in your visit itinerary!
- About Sights – Gori Fortress (georgiaabout.com)