Narikala – Shuris tsikhe (Invidious Fort) is the oldest landmark of Tbilisi. No one leaves Tbilisi without walking around this amazing fortress. Feel the history here! Even though the walls are not in a great shape, they display layer by layer of reconstruction for sixteen centuries – from 4th up to now.
Narikala historical fortress expanded in the 7th century by adding the highest tower for observation - the first observatory in Georgia built by Arabs. Narikala was fully reconstructed by King David the Builder (1089–1125), turning into Royal residence.
Additional buildings were constructed here – a palace, Royal Family church of St. Nicolas and Ortachala royal gardens. Now the garden serves as the National Botanical garden. The fortress was conquered by Mongols and renamed Narin Qala (Narin means small, Qala -fortress). In the 19th c, Russia occupied the city and the garrison was moved here. In 1827 Narikala was destroyed by lightning, which striked Russian gun-powder-store building. A big explosion happened, the effect was huge, like an earthquake, the citadel was destroyed, the palace and church were ruined. The fort has not been used since this time anymore.
The church was re-constructed in 1997, but 13th c St. Nicolas decorations and other elements still can be seen here. The Interior is beautifully painted by a contemporary artist.
Narikala consists of two walled sections between Sulphur baths and Botanical Garden. There are well organized and marked several walking passes to reach the fort. The aerial cable car takes visitors from Rike Park to the fortress and to the monument Kartlis Deda - Mother of Georgia. The pass to the upper fort is not organized, the steps are demolishing and it is not recommended to climb there.
Admission is free of charge.
Working hours: every day 09:00-19:00
Dress code applies:
To book a private tour, please, check the itineraries below or contact us here.
Half Day Tbilisi Tour
Tbilisi Grand Tour
Tbilisi Wine Tour
Turtle Lake & Tbilisi city tour
Tbilisi and Mtskheta Full-Day Tour
Full day of Old Tbilisi & Mtatsminda Amusement Park
Tbilisi Walking Tour from Metro Avlabari To Freedom Square
Tbilisi walking tour from Marjanishvili Metro