Culture
Rehabilitation works of Atskuri fortress are about to finish soon
23 June, 2018
Atskuri fortress is one of the oldest fortresses in Georgia. Because of its geographic location, it was considered to be unapproachable and unconquerable one. It is located 30 kilometers from Borjomi. The fortress is built in 10th century and was one of the strongholds to protect southern borders of Georgia.

Atskuri fortress, as well as other parts of southern Georgia, was invaded by Turks in second half of 16th century. When Russian empire conquered Georgia and Russo-Turkish wars began, fight to
take back southern Georgian territories began as well. In 1829 unified army of Georgian and Russians took the fortress back (Even though in the beginning of 19th century Russian empire invaded Georgia, it was in Georgia’s interests to fight for its territorial unity with Russians and to take back lands lost years ago).
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Atskuri fortress is built on a right bank of river Mtkvari. Photo courtesy: about.ge

Because of wars and ill treatment some parts of the fortress were damaged. Fortunately, restoration works has already begun.

Third phase rehabilitation works for Atskuri fortress continue, scientist study remnants of a church found inside the fortress. It is planned to finish works by the end of the year. Walls and other parts of fortress will be fully restored.
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Some parts of the fortress are still under restoration works. Photo courtesy: wikimedia

First two phases of rehabilitation works were finished in 2016-2017. The territory was cleared from rocks with the help of special cable car. Archelogical excavations were under way simultaneously and as a result, remnants of a church were found.
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Atskuri fortress is built on rock, that makes it unapproachable and difiicult to get in. Photo courtesy: about.ge

It is not clear when the church was built or after whose name is still under question, but specialists will find out everything.

Next year will start fourth phase of works that envisions restoration of a fortress tunnel. Atskuri fortress is due to be fully rehabilitated either next year or by the spring of 2020. It is planned to arrange infrastructure nearby the fortress, but project is not ready yet, nor the amount of money is allocated.
Rehabilitation works are sponsored by Cartu Foundation. A representative says that the foundations has already spent GEL 626 thousand for restoration, but does not specify how much money is envisioned for future works.
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Remnants of a church in village Atskuri. Photo courtesy: travelingeorgia.ge

As a result of archaeological works site of former city was found. In residential buildings ceramics of Greek and Achaemenid , as well as local origin were excavated. The site of former city dates back to 5th century B.C. and 1st century A.D.

There were found tombs, that date back to even older period – 7th century B.C. Jewelry and statues made of bronze were found in those tombs.

There is another church in the village named after the Holy Virgin. Today it is destroyed, but dates back to 10-11th and 13-14th centuries.
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According to Google maps, it takes approximately 2 hours and 40 minutes to get to Atskuri from Tbilisi

First photo courtesy: about.ge

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