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Georgia: Narikala Fortress

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Narikala Fortress | Georgia | Asia

[Visited: February 2006]

Day and night, Narikala fortress inevitably draws your attention from anywhere in Tbilisi. It commands the city, sitting on a hill above the capital of Georgia. The strategical place was discovered a long time ago, and the fortress existed even before the city itself. The Persians built a citadel on this same spot, lending it the name - Nari-Kala meaning "inaccessible fortress". A visit to the hill and the fortress is within walking distance from the city centre. A steep climb up the hill besides the smelly sulphurous baths takes you to the gate of the fortress. Here, you must admire the high defensive walls of the fortress.

Picture of Narikala Fortress (Georgia): Narikala Fortress and gate: defensive walls and towers

After entering the fortress, which certainly is much easier than in old times when the fortress was heavily, and easily, defended, you can climb the enormous walls. From there, you have splendid views over the city, the Mtkvari river, and the landscape disappearing in the distance. Walking around here you can feel history, even though the fortress has all but disappeared and the walls are not all in a great shape. Just imagining that these grounds have seen Arabs, Persians, Turks, Russians, and Georgians of course, gives extra spice to the walls of this fortress.

Picture of Narikala Fortress (Georgia): Defensive walls of Narikala fortress

After enjoying the view over the narrow streets of the Old Town, you can move on. I ended up walking out of the fortress on the other side, where the Botanical Gardens of Tbilisi are located. I walked into the small valley, and in the end worked my way up the hill. Eventually, I ended up right under the modern-day statue of Kartlis Deda, Mother Georgia. With a wine-cup in one hand, and a sword in the other, representing Georgian hospitality and readiness to fight, respectively, Mother Georgia towers high above the capital and is visible from everywhere. From here, it is a short walk back to Narikala Fortress.

Picture of Narikala Fortress (Georgia): Statue of King Vakhtang Gorgasal with Narikala Fortress behind it
Picture of Narikala Fortress (Georgia): View over Tbilisi and Mtkvari River from Narikala Fortress
Picture of Narikala Fortress (Georgia): Old town of Tbilisi seen from Narikala Fortress
Picture of Narikala Fortress (Georgia): Thick defensive walls of Narikala Fortress
Picture of Narikala Fortress (Georgia): Walls of Narikala Fortress
Picture of Narikala Fortress (Georgia): Tbilisi skyline dominated by Narikala fortress and hill
Picture of Narikala Fortress (Georgia): Walls of Narikala fortress, with bell, and romantic couple enjoying the view over Tbilisi
Picture of Narikala Fortress (Georgia): Kartlis Deda, or Mother Georgia, statue seen from behind
Picture of Narikala Fortress (Georgia): Mother Georgia, or Kartlis Deda, seen from below
Picture of Narikala Fortress (Georgia): Looking out over Tbilisi from Narikala
Picture of Narikala Fortress (Georgia): Looking towards Mother Georgia from Narikala fortress

Around the World in 80 Clicks

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