Skhvilo Castle

Skhvilo Castle lies in the mountains northeast of the village of Kvemo Chala, in the Kaspi municipality in the Shida Kartli region in Georgia.

The present Skhvilo Castle was built in the 14th century by the feudal Zemdzinidze-Amilakhvari family. They had inherited the site. Most probably there already had been a fortification at this site since the 10th century. They used the castle as their residence.

During the 16th-17th century the Amilakhvaris gradually moved their residence down the mountain to Kvemo Chala where they built Amilakhvari Castle. Since then they used Skhvilo Castle solely as a fortress in times of trouble.

During Teimuraz I of Kakheti's rule over Kartli, in the 1630's, the castle was in the hands of Iamam Amilakhvari. After Teimuraz was deposed by Shah Safi of Persia, the shah sent Rostom, a Muslim Georgian prince, to rule over Kartli as a governor. In 1636, Skhvilo Castle was besieged by either Rostom or Teimuraz, which severly damaged it.

During the 18th century the castle played an important role during fights against Leks, a group name for Islamic highlanders from the Northern Caucasus, the Ottomans and the Iranian Qizilbash. In 1742 two battles between the Qizilbash and Ottoman forces, lead by Prince Givi Amilakhvari, were fought here. Both were won by Givi and Skhvilo Castle was restrengthened afterwards.

During the 19th century the castle lost its military importance and fell to ruin. Between 1905 and 1907 the castle ruins were used as a meeting place by revolutionary peasants.

Skhvilo Castle is built on a gentle mountain slope with a great view over the plain below. It has a rectangular ground plan with 2 square towers at opposite ends. Inside are the remains of an inner dividing wall, a church and several buildings.

Skhvilo Castle is freely accessible but you will need a serious 4WD car to get to it. A great castle ruin, recommended!


Gallery

Skhvilo Castle

Skhvilo Castle lies in the mountains northeast of the village of Kvemo Chala, in the Kaspi municipality in the Shida Kartli region in Georgia.

The present Skhvilo Castle was built in the 14th century by the feudal Zemdzinidze-Amilakhvari family. They had inherited the site. Most probably there already had been a fortification at this site since the 10th century. They used the castle as their residence.

During the 16th-17th century the Amilakhvaris gradually moved their residence down the mountain to Kvemo Chala where they built Amilakhvari Castle. Since then they used Skhvilo Castle solely as a fortress in times of trouble.

During Teimuraz I of Kakheti's rule over Kartli, in the 1630's, the castle was in the hands of Iamam Amilakhvari. After Teimuraz was deposed by Shah Safi of Persia, the shah sent Rostom, a Muslim Georgian prince, to rule over Kartli as a governor. In 1636, Skhvilo Castle was besieged by either Rostom or Teimuraz, which severly damaged it.

During the 18th century the castle played an important role during fights against Leks, a group name for Islamic highlanders from the Northern Caucasus, the Ottomans and the Iranian Qizilbash. In 1742 two battles between the Qizilbash and Ottoman forces, lead by Prince Givi Amilakhvari, were fought here. Both were won by Givi and Skhvilo Castle was restrengthened afterwards.

During the 19th century the castle lost its military importance and fell to ruin. Between 1905 and 1907 the castle ruins were used as a meeting place by revolutionary peasants.

Skhvilo Castle is built on a gentle mountain slope with a great view over the plain below. It has a rectangular ground plan with 2 square towers at opposite ends. Inside are the remains of an inner dividing wall, a church and several buildings.

Skhvilo Castle is freely accessible but you will need a serious 4WD car to get to it. A great castle ruin, recommended!


Gallery