Okros Castle

Okros Castle lies on a mountain west of the village of Shoka, in the Adigeni municipality in the Samtskhe–Javakheti region in Georgia.

The castle is also known as Okrostsikhe or Golden Fortress, which is the literal translation, because it supposedly emits a golden glow when the setting autum sun shines upon it. Another name for the castle is Altunkala, which is Ottoman in origin.

Exactly when and by whom it was built is unknown. Presumably it was built at the end of the 13th or early 14th century. Between the 15th and 18th century it played an important role in the defense of the Meskheti area.

In 1578, Okros castle became the headquarters of Dedisimedi, the widow of Kaikhosro II Jaqeli; the Atabeg of Samtskhe, during her resistance against the invading Ottoman army. After the Jaqeli had to accept Ottoman suzerainty, the Ottoman general Lala Mustafa Pasha visited her in the castle, politely ordering that her sons should become Muslims.

The castle was built on a cliff-like rocky ridge, rising 500 meters above the Adigeni valley. Seemingly following the outline of the ridge, it has an irregular ground plan. It is one of the largest castles in Georgia.

At present Okros Castle can freely be visited. I tried to get to it but was washed off the mountain by a heavy thunder storm. Hopefully I will be able to return one day. It looks great from a distance. You will need to make a hike of about an hour to get to it from Shoka village.


Gallery

Okros Castle

Okros Castle lies on a mountain west of the village of Shoka, in the Adigeni municipality in the Samtskhe–Javakheti region in Georgia.

The castle is also known as Okrostsikhe or Golden Fortress, which is the literal translation, because it supposedly emits a golden glow when the setting autum sun shines upon it. Another name for the castle is Altunkala, which is Ottoman in origin.

Exactly when and by whom it was built is unknown. Presumably it was built at the end of the 13th or early 14th century. Between the 15th and 18th century it played an important role in the defense of the Meskheti area.

In 1578, Okros castle became the headquarters of Dedisimedi, the widow of Kaikhosro II Jaqeli; the Atabeg of Samtskhe, during her resistance against the invading Ottoman army. After the Jaqeli had to accept Ottoman suzerainty, the Ottoman general Lala Mustafa Pasha visited her in the castle, politely ordering that her sons should become Muslims.

The castle was built on a cliff-like rocky ridge, rising 500 meters above the Adigeni valley. Seemingly following the outline of the ridge, it has an irregular ground plan. It is one of the largest castles in Georgia.

At present Okros Castle can freely be visited. I tried to get to it but was washed off the mountain by a heavy thunder storm. Hopefully I will be able to return one day. It looks great from a distance. You will need to make a hike of about an hour to get to it from Shoka village.


Gallery