Shkhepi Fortress

Nestled near Senaki, in the verdant landscapes of Samegrelo, Georgia, the Shkhepi Fortress stands as an indomitable icon of resilience and history. Bearing layers of architectural narratives, the fortress serves as a testament to the enduring legacy of the Kingdom of Egrisi and the strategic stronghold of the Dadiani Dynasty.

Constructed across four different periods, the fortress boasts a rich heritage, with the earliest construction layer tracing back to the early 4th century. Its timeline is interwoven with the founding of the Kingdom of Egrisi, marking its vital role in the defense chain of the kingdom.

The architectural narrative of the Shkhepi Fortress is intriguing and intricate. Exhibiting a long-form layout, the fortress comprises two gates, three towers, a quaint hall church, a reservoir, and a protective fence. With wall thicknesses varying from 180 cm (71 inches) to 150 cm (59 inches) to 120 cm (47 inches), the castle showcases an impressive stronghold design. Its south side faces a precipice, while the remaining sides, which are more accessible, were fortified with a deep, wide trench.

The fortress shelters two towers within its walls. The southeastern tower displays a cylindrical architecture, while the north fence hosts a tower bearing a quadrangular pyramid shape. Access to the castle is through a narrow pathway from the northwest, with the entrance remaining well preserved to this day. The storerooms situated in the northwest section of the castle house a large stone fireplace with its chimney. Within the northeast section lie the remnants of a small church, while the eastern section harbors a large reservoir.

Through the centuries, the Shkhepi Fortress has witnessed significant historical events. Its late Middle Ages marked the rise of the Dadiani Dynasty. Renowned for their rule over Samegrelo from the mid-12th to the 19th century, the Dadianis utilized the fortress as their residence. Intriguing stories of rival captures and royal imprisonments, as recorded by historian Vakhushti Bagrationi, add to the fortress's intrigue. The fortress's depiction by European traveler Frédéric DuBois de Montperreux further cements its place in history.

Today, the Shkhepi Fortress, repeatedly reborn from ruins and enduring from the 4th to the 18th century, invites visitors on a journey into its captivating past. Amidst the panoramic view of Senaki and its surroundings, it stands as a resilient narrative of Samegrelo's illustrious heritage.

Nearest to Shkhepi Fortress

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