Gremi Fortress is located in the Region of Kakheti, 140 kilometers from Tbilisi. This fortress was a citadel of the medieval city of Gremi.
The first inhabitants of this area lived here in the late bronze age, however the history of Gremi as a city only begins in the XV century. The first King of Kakheti kingdom – Giorgi made it the capital of the region. For 2 centuries, this city was a political, economic, cultural and educational center of Kakheti.
In the XV century, Kakheti grew stronger and the invasions backed away. This served as a fertile ground for future development of the region. Gremi became a huge trading city covering 40 hectares of land. Here you could find stores, Caravanserais, traditional baths, a small zoo, an observatory and an academy. In other words, this was a very progressive city for its times.
Unfortunately, the end of the city came soon. In 1616 Shah Abass of the Safavid Empire invaded Kakheti. His armies turned once a fertile land into a dessert-like state. Gremi fell to the sword and the fire of the Kizilbash armies. Shah Abass took 100 000 slaves from Georgia and left areas almost completely empty. Even though the city remained the capital of Kakheti, it never fully recovered.
Only the citadel has survived the test of time and invasions. It stands strong still watching the surroundings with true Georgian temper. Within the fortress you’ll find:
- Church of the Archangels
- 3 Storied Palace & Bell-Tower
- Small Winery & Forgery
- A Secret tunnel
Outside the fortress, the government of Georgia has reconstructed parts of the city to provide better understanding of the heritage. All the historical artifacts discovered in Gremi are now kept in the local museums within and outside the citadel.
Tours visiting Gremi Fortress
Want to visit this place? Take a look at our tours that cover this wonderful location: