Tmogvi Castle

Tmogvi Castle lies south of the village of the same name, in the Aspindza municipality in the Samtskhe–Javakheti region in Georgia.

Tmogvi Castle was first mentioned in texts from the 9th century. It was probably built by the Georgian Bagratids, a royal dynasty who were the feudal lords of the region at that time.

Situated on a mountain, towering high above the Kura River (called the Mtkvari in Georgia), the castle controlled an ancient trade route through the canyons between Asia Minor and Georgia. It was a crucial military stronghold in the Javakheti region.

Tmogvi gained importance after the neighboring town and fortress of Tsunda was ruined around 900 AD. In 914 AD the castle was taken by the Arabs under Abdul-Kassim.

By the beginning of the 11th century, the castle had passed under the direct control of the unified Kingdom of Georgia. By that time the castle was the center of a town situated at the feet of the mountain, on both banks of the river.

In 1073, it was given in apanage to a nobleman: Niania Kuabulisdze, whose descendants kept it in the following centuries. The castle was destroyed by earthquakes several times; in 1088, 1283 and 1319, but rebuilt ever time.

From the end of th 12th century it was the residence of the feudal Tmogveli family and the center of their frontier duchy.

In the 16th century it was first held by the Rachulashvili family before it went to the Shalikashvili family. In 1576-1578 they lost it to the Jaqeli family, who were the Atabegs of Samtskhe. The Jaqeli's handed it over to the Ottomans in 1578.

After the Russo-Turkish War of 1828-29, the Ottomans had to give up Tmogvi Castle to the Russian Empire under the Treaty of Adrianople. After that the town and castle lost their importance and fell to ruin.

This is a great castle ruin but off the beaten path. You will need a serious 4WD or make a long hike to reach it. And even then getting into the castle is rather risky because of the steep slopes of the mountain. I succeeded getting into the outer castle but could not find a safe passage to the inner parts.

At present Tmogvi Castle is freely accessible.


Gallery

Tmogvi Castle

Tmogvi Castle lies south of the village of the same name, in the Aspindza municipality in the Samtskhe–Javakheti region in Georgia.

Tmogvi Castle was first mentioned in texts from the 9th century. It was probably built by the Georgian Bagratids, a royal dynasty who were the feudal lords of the region at that time.

Situated on a mountain, towering high above the Kura River (called the Mtkvari in Georgia), the castle controlled an ancient trade route through the canyons between Asia Minor and Georgia. It was a crucial military stronghold in the Javakheti region.

Tmogvi gained importance after the neighboring town and fortress of Tsunda was ruined around 900 AD. In 914 AD the castle was taken by the Arabs under Abdul-Kassim.

By the beginning of the 11th century, the castle had passed under the direct control of the unified Kingdom of Georgia. By that time the castle was the center of a town situated at the feet of the mountain, on both banks of the river.

In 1073, it was given in apanage to a nobleman: Niania Kuabulisdze, whose descendants kept it in the following centuries. The castle was destroyed by earthquakes several times; in 1088, 1283 and 1319, but rebuilt ever time.

From the end of th 12th century it was the residence of the feudal Tmogveli family and the center of their frontier duchy.

In the 16th century it was first held by the Rachulashvili family before it went to the Shalikashvili family. In 1576-1578 they lost it to the Jaqeli family, who were the Atabegs of Samtskhe. The Jaqeli's handed it over to the Ottomans in 1578.

After the Russo-Turkish War of 1828-29, the Ottomans had to give up Tmogvi Castle to the Russian Empire under the Treaty of Adrianople. After that the town and castle lost their importance and fell to ruin.

This is a great castle ruin but off the beaten path. You will need a serious 4WD or make a long hike to reach it. And even then getting into the castle is rather risky because of the steep slopes of the mountain. I succeeded getting into the outer castle but could not find a safe passage to the inner parts.

At present Tmogvi Castle is freely accessible.


Gallery