4th Century Fortress
Narikala Fortress was built in the 4th century. It is located on a hill, overlooking Tbilisi and the Mtkvari River. The fortress has two walled sections that are between sulphur baths and the botanical gardens.
The fortress has been expanded and reoccupied over the centuries. Parts have been destroyed by either fire or earthquake.
Dachi, my tour guide and I started our tour of Narikala Fortress along a short walkway located on the top, highest part of the fortress, before the first turret.
We walked to find the pathway located below the highest turret, that then runs alongside the base of the fortress (facing Tbilisi). This pathway brings you to the end turret and the entrance to the interior of the fortress.
Photo Credit – Wikipedia
View of Botanical Gardens
Below the other side of the fortress is the botanical gardens.
This part of the fortress, overlooking the botanical gardens, was destroyed by an earthquake in 1827.
The pathway along the base of the fortress, facing Tbilisi, that takes you to the bottom entrance of the fortress.
Entering through the main entrance of the fortress.
I’m wearing a crown of fresh flowers Dachi bought for me!
Now inside, walking along the base of a wall, looking up at the bell tower.
Next was a walk up these old, narrow stone steps. I was very nervous walking up these stairs, as I tend to get vertigo rather easily.
At the top, in one of the guard stations – you see a narrow hole where a soldier could aim his gun through at approaching enemies.
The hole is located in the floor of the turret.
Walking the Narrow Wall
Next was walking along this narrow walkway.
Saint Nicolas Church
View of St. Nicholas church from the walkway. It’s newly restored. What is left of the old church is the dark brown stones along the base.
Bathhouse Next to the Church
Looking down at one of the walls that has been restored.
Next we walk up this steep pathway.
And find these rock cairns made by those who have visited the fortress.
I added that wee stone on the top of this rock cairn.
Dachi added two stones on this one.
Walking Out of the Fortress
On our way out, Dachi pointed to the top of the turret and told me how, in his youth, he and his friends would come here to sit and drink beer – look out over the city – and have big dreams for their future!
As we leave through the main entrance, Dachi knows this woman asking for money. She helps poor children in the area. She is the only person asking for money that Dachi recommended helping because he knows of her charity work with local children.
Along with a small picture of Mary and Baby Jesus she framed and two fridge magnets for my 30GEL I gave her – she handed me two small sweet breads that she told Dachi were made in the monastery. I didn’t eat them as she handed them to me with her bare, really dirty hands. I left them out for the birds to eat.
Next stop, the waterfall located below the fortress, at the bottom of the hill.