Ananuri Architectural Complex is a late medieval monument located in the gorge of river Aragvi, on the Georgian Military Road, in 74 km from Tbilisi, near to the beautiful Zhinvali Reservoir. Nowadays, complex is comprised of the fortress, the bell tower, three churches and beautifully carved curtain walls. In 2007, complex has been put on the tentative list for inclusion into the UNESCO World Heritage Site program.
Ananuri had a special strategic location in the middle ages, guarding the routes connecting the northern and southern parts of the Caucasus region. Fortress was ruled by local Aragvi Eristavis (dukes of Aragvi) and has seen numerous battles throughout history. Fortification was in use until the beginning of the 19th century.
The fortifications of Ananuri can be broken down into two major parts. The upper fortification has a large square tower, often referred as Sheupovari. This part is well preserved and served as the last defense of the Aragvi Eristavis. There is an old water reservoir on the southern wall of the upper fortification as well.
Unlike the upper one, the lower fortification with its round tower is mainly in ruins.
Complex integrates three separate churches as well: Church of the Virgin, Church of the Deity, and Church "Mkurnali" (healer).
The main Church of the Virgin was built in the 1689, according to the beautiful wall inscription. This is a central dome styled church with decorated facades and remains of the frescoes that have been destroyed during the fire in 18th century.
Church of the Virgin dates back to the 16th-17th centuries and has a crossed-dome structure, typical for middle and late-Byzantine architectural style. One of the most interesting highlights here is the baldaquin - a ceremOnial stone, said to be erected by the widow of Edishera, one of the Aragvi dukes from 17th century.
"Mkurnali" is the smallest from all three churches. It dates back to the second half of the 17th century and almost majority of it resides outside of the curtain walls.
Admission to Ananuri Complex is free of charge.
Working hours: 09:00-19:00
Please, check detailed itineraries and book tour below:
Day Trip to Khevi Province - Kazbegi