Okros Tsikhe Fortress

Perched 170 m above sea level, in the heart of the Samtskhe-Javakheti region, Adigeni municipality, lies a symbol of Georgia’s golden past, Okros Tsikhe, or the Golden Fortress. Nestled near the quaint village of Boladjuri, this fortress graces a massive rocky outcrop, presenting a formidable challenge to any who dare to approach, seemingly inaccessible from several angles. Okros Tsikhe (also called Okrostsikhe) stands as a shining beacon among Georgia's fortresses, a testament to the country's rich heritage.

Delving into the annals of history, Okros Tsikhe was the stronghold of the illustrious Jaqeli family. Built possibly during the late 13th or early 14th century, this fortress was a key component of a system of defensive fortifications in the Atabeg domain. Its exact construction date, however, remains shrouded in mystery, with no early written records providing clarity.

Despite its somewhat obscure origin, Okros Tsikhe took center stage during the Turkish occupation in the 15th and 16th centuries. Due to its strategic location and sheer strength, it could endure long sieges, controlling vast areas and guarding key roads, effectively serving as the bulwark of the Meskhetians. In fact, during the invasion of the Turkish commander Lala-Pasha in 1578, Dedisimedi, the wife of Qaikhosro Atabagi, sought refuge in the Golden Fortress, bravely attempting to shield Samtskhe from the invaders.

Built of massive crudely trimmed blocks of stone, the walls of Okros Tsikhe stand tall at a height of 10 meters (approximately 33 feet). The fortress’s layout mirrors the irregular rocky surface it sits on, with artificial walls fusing seamlessly with the rocky mount. The fortress ramparts, bolstered by large towers, make a precipitous descent down both the southern and northern slopes.

With its strategic location, Okros Tsikhe Fortress continued to function as an important fortification until the end of the 18th century. Today, it stands as a timeless symbol of Georgian resilience, a towering monument that echoes stories of defiance, courage, and survival.

Nearest to Okros Tsikhe Fortress

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