Kolagiri Fortress

Kolagiri Fortress, an impressive late 18th-century structure, stands proudly in the village of Tsurtavi, previously known as Kolagiri, in the Bolnisi Municipality, Kvemo Kartli Region of Georgia. This colossal monument is one of Georgia's largest fortified edifices, reflecting the country's vibrant history and architectural grandeur.

The fortress was erected between 1788 and 1798 under the auspices of Queen Darejan, wife of King Erekle II. Encompassing a staggering 2,000 square meters (approximately 21,528 square feet), this square structure rises majestically to a height of seven meters (almost 23 feet).

The fortress's cornerstones are four large cylindrical towers, each boasting four stories. These towers were not merely defensive features but also served as residential areas for the fortress's defenders. Circling the fortress, a military walkway that is 1.5 meters (nearly 5 feet) wide connects the entire structure on the second floor.

A remarkable feature of the fortress is its entrance, adorned with stone carvings of lions and diamond-shaped brick patterns. Beyond this gateway, visitors are instantly transported into a medieval setting, a testament to Georgia's rich historical past.

Nestled within the fortress's imposing walls is a quaint hall-style church, built by Queen Darejan herself. Today, the church serves as an active convent, contributing to the historical and spiritual aura of the fortress.

Despite the ever-present threat of Ottoman and Persian raids, the fortress served as a protective outpost for Tbilisi and a refuge for the surrounding populace. This fortification was particularly critical given the tumultuous period during its construction when Kvemo Kartli faced significant challenges with a diverse and often oppressed population.

Located a mere 16 kilometers (approximately 10 miles) from the city of Bolnisi and just 500 meters (0.31 miles) from the S6 highway, the fortress is easily accessible. Despite being approachable from all sides, the Kolagiri Fortress adhered to the military-strategic requirements of its era, showcasing Georgian architectural acumen.

Since the early 19th century, the fortress has lost its original defensive function. Nevertheless, it stands today as a testament to Georgia's rich history, an active nunnery named after Ketevan the Martyr (Queen of Georgia), and a beacon of architectural beauty in the Kvemo Kartli region.

Nearest to Kolagiri Fortress

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