Birtvisi Castle

14.08.2013 16:01

Birtvisi Castle is located in Historical Kvemo Kartli, in Algeti gorge (present Tetritskaro municipality), in 6-7 km east from Partskhisi (coordinates: 41.363263 44.321229).

The way going to the castle leads us to the narrow door. Inside, on the artificially leveled rock, small yard is creates. It’s where the castle begins. But Birtvisi is not an ordinary castle, surrounded by the wall and towers. Here, below the level of the entrance to the large territory, enclosed by high mountains, rocky and sharp-peaked mountains are scattered. From here, the foundations of these pointed mountains are so far that they are hardy seen. This natural protection was chosen. Afterwards, a lot of works were done for artificial fortification of all passages and suspicious places. All the required places are blocked with wall and organized for defense. On the elevation near the entrance cylindrical watch-tower, the so-called “obstinate” stands with loop-holes in the walls. This tower, obviously, was constructed at later period, but in other places we meet much earlier layers.

It is first mentioned in sources in the XI c., when Kldekari’s Eristavi Liparit and Kartli’s Eristavi Ivane the son of Abaza arrested Emir of Tbilisi and took Birtvisi away. Birtvisi was considered unassailable fortress, and its owner had political control of the whole Algeti gorge. But it should originate much earlier. It hasn’t lost its function of fortress till the end of the XVIII c. and was considered unassailable.

Among the ruins of the castle, in addition to defensive structures, dwelling and economic buildings and water reservoir are seen. In late feudal period Birtvisi belonged to Baratashvilis’ feudal family.