17 August 2017
Birtvisi – a fortress in historical Kvemo Kartli, Algety valley (6-7 km to the east of Partskhisi).
In historical sources Birtvisi is first mentioned in the XI century when the Duke of Kldekari Liparit and the Duke of Kartli Ivane son of Abaza seized Emir of Tbilisi and took Birtvisi from him. Birtvisi was considered an impregnable fortress and its owner had political supremacy over the whole Algeti valley. But it must have been built much earlier. It remained a fortress until the end of XVIII century and was still considered impregnable.
Road to the fortress leads us to a narrow door. Inside, on an artificially leveled cliff, there is a small yard. That’s the beginning of the fortress. But Birtvisi isn’t an ordinary fortress surrounded by a fence and towers. Here on a big territory surrounded by high mountains there’re rocky and peaked mountains scattered below the entrance level. Bottoms of these peaked mountains are so deep that you can barely see them from above. Builder chose exactly this natural fortress. After that a lot of work was done to strengthen all the entrances and risky places. All the necessary sections are blocked by walls and arranged for defense. There is a cylindrica watchtower, so-called “”Sheupovari” (stubborn) on a hill near the entrance. Its walls are equipped with loopholes. This tower seems to have been built in a later period but there are earlier layers at other places.