The city of თბილისი was one protected by the fortress Nariqala – which translates to ‘impregnable fortress’. It was created in the 4th century CE by the Persian Sassanids and was altered by Vakhtang I of Iberia as well as by Arabs, Mongols, Turkish and Persian forces. Today entering the fortress through its main gate might be a bit disappointing as the walls look pretty new and a modern style church is built within. Really impressive is the upper part of the fortress that is a citadel standing at three sides directly at the abyss.

The location of the fortress is a strategic one, it is not only hard to conquer, it has been also built at the most narrow part of the Mtkwari river to protect the city and control the streets connecting Europe to India. The current state can be explained by the fact that in 1827 during Russian reign the powder magazine of the fortress exploded. As Nariqala wasn’t strategically important anymore during that time it wasn’t rebuilt.

You can hike up the hill to the entrance of the fortress from Metechi bridge following the streets Vakhtang Gorgassali square, Samghebro street and Orbiri street. I would rather recommend to take the cable car from Rike park; it saves you a lot of inclination and you can see the upper part of the fortress better which is in my opinion the most beautiful section.

Nariqala fortress
თბილისი / Tbilisi

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