Magnificent Khevsureti captured by a Georgian photographer
11 August, 2016
Magnificent Khevsureti captured by a Georgian photographer
Khevsureti, this is one of the most beautiful and remote highlands of Georgia that one should definitely see while being in Georgia. Besides its gorgeous mountains and landscapes, the medieval architecture and fairytale towers will literally blow one’s mind. Georgian photographer Giorgi Nikolava who has recently paid a visit to this small paradise and captured its sights with his camera, shares his impressions and the story of his journey to Eastern Georgia’s historical province.

"I had never been to Khevsureti
before. This year my friend offered me to go with him on a 2-day tour. I had thought Khevsureti was only Shatili tower and also Khevsurian dances and songs, but what I saw exceeded my expectations. During one of the stops - on the place where the two roads meet, one to Khevsureti and another to Tusheti – there was a spectacular view: below one of the mountains somebody carved a monument of an eagle in the rock. But there was a lot more miracles to see. We stopped again at the Bear Cross Pass – the highest point above sea level, 2676 meters), where a beautiful view to Khevsureti opened before our eyes.
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The fields were covered with rare flowers that were the color of lilac. To our surprise,when we were about to  move on, a young dear crossed the road and ran into the forest, it happened so fast that I did not have time shot it. The next touristic site was Lebaiskari. It is a medieval Georgian monument, one of the examples of residential house-fortresses that were widesperad in Khevsureti. Lebaiskari is a five-storey tower, whose floors are connected with each other in the interior of the building, with wooden stairs. The lower floor is for the cattle and it is called Gomuri. Finally we approached Shatili, historic highland village famous for medieval towers, which is inhibited by 15-20 families. We were lucky because in front of the little hotel we stayed in, there was a green field and the towers of Shatili were also very close. Shatili tower is wonderful, miraculous fortress with labyrinths. In older times it was an unconquerable fortress. Next morning, when I woke up, I sat on the balcony for about an hour looking at the towers covered with mist. Later we went to see Mutso and stopped near Anatori, an ancient village that is located 3 kilometers from Shatili, at the confluence of two rivers – Arguni and Mutso’s tskali. It was
depopulated in 18th century as all the inhabitants died in a very short period of time. As the legends say it happened because of some illness that the locals called ‘Zhami’. Everybody was so sick that no one was able to carry the dead people to the cemeteries.

Anatori Cemetery
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That is why, when they felt the death was near, they went to the burial vault by themselves and stayed there. Near Shatili, in the Arguni river gorge, there are natural columns created by some geological phenomenon. It is not big but if you look at it from the distance, it will remind you of Cappadocia. Our final destination was in Musto , one of the former strongholds of the region located on a rocky mountain. At present the village is completely abandoned, yet more than a century ago, it was home to 30 medieval fortified dwelling units arranged on vertical terraces above the Mutso-Ardoti gorge", - Giorgi Nikolava reports.

Lebaiskari

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Shatili
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Shatili
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Mutso
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Heart-shaped garden
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Mutso
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