Zhinvali (Jinvali) water reservoir, also known as a lake is located on the Georgian Military Highway. Soviets constructed the dam in the 1980s. As Tbilisi was growing rapidly, there was a need of a new water supply. Government decided that the Aragvi Gorge rich with glacier water was the perfect spot.
Local communities protested to the idea for two reasons.
- They would have to move to the “Khrushovka” Apartments provided by the Soviet Union.
- Zhinvali territory was an archaeological sight.
The city of Zhinvali(Jinvali) had been at the crossroads of the great trading routes. Therefore throughout the history, it was a city of Georgian elite. It was rich with fortresses, towers and palaces. Though most of these had tumbled down to ruins throughout the centuries, territory promised a big archaeological treasure.
Unfortunately, the protests didn’t bother the Soviet Government and they proceeded to flood the area burying centuries of history under 75 meters of water. In the winter times, you can still see a small gem of the old Zhinvali. As the water levels drop, a church once located at a hill overlooking the city, surfaces from underneath the water.
Even though, the history of the city is lost, now the lake awes its visitorswith stunning views and beautiful colors year-round.
Tours visiting Zhinvali
Take a look at our tours that cover this wonderful location: