Ananuri Fortress: A Fascinating Journey to Medieval Georgia

April 4, 20230
Ananuri fortress view from Zhinvali

Explore the Beauty of Ananuri Fortress in Georgia


Ananuri fortress and watchtower

If you are traveling along the Georgian military road, which connects Tbilisi and Kazbegi, you will definitely come across the Ananuri fortress, nestled in the heart of Georgia, the is a majestic landmark that has stood the test of time.

If you’re a fan of history and culture, then you definitely shouldn’t miss visiting the Ananuri fortress in Georgia. This beautiful and captivating site is a true gem of Georgian architecture located in a very beautiful gorge of river Aragvi, that will leave you awestruck.

An Overview of the Ananuri Fortress

Located in the stunning Aragvi River Valley, the Ananuri fortress is a testament to the remarkable craftsmanship of medieval Georgia. This fortress was originally built in the 13th century. The oldest building here is a typical north Caucasian watch tower. The tower is very unique, as it is the only well-preserved northern Caucasian-style watch tower in the south Caucasus. Over the centuries, the fortress was expanded and enhanced to become a masterpiece of architecture. Most structures here are dated to the XVI century.

The Ananuri fortress is a complex of medieval structures that served as a military stronghold for centuries. It is situated in the picturesque district of Dusheti, in the eastern part of Georgia, and is surrounded by the majestic Caucasus Mountains. The fortress is composed of two main structures: the Upper and Lower Ananuri.

The Upper Ananuri consists of two churches, a watchtower, and a palace, while the Lower Ananuri comprises a large square, a wine cellar, and a spring. Both structures are interconnected by a defensive wall that forms a massive fortress complex.

Architecture and Design of the Ananuri Fortress

Ananuri fortress entrance of assumption church

The Ananuri fortress is an excellent example of medieval Georgian architecture.

One of the most unique features of Ananuri is the blend of architectural styles used in its construction. The fortress combines traditional Georgian design elements with elements of Persian and Ottoman architecture, creating a truly distinctive look and feel.

You can spend hours exploring the various buildings and structures at Ananuri, each with its own fascinating history and story to tell. Whether you’re wandering through the castle walls or admiring the intricate details of the churches and chapels, there’s something for everyone here.

One of the most popular attractions at Ananuri is the Church of the Assumption. This magnificent church dates back to the early 17th century and is adorned with breathtaking frescoes and intricate carvings. Its rich history spans centuries, and it’s sure to leave you feeling inspired. But sadly the biggest part of the frescoes was destroyed during Russian rule. The church walls were painted white color to make it look like a typical Russian orthodox church.

Legends and Mysteries of the Ananuri Fortress

The Ananuri fortress has its share of legends and mysteries that have been passed down through generations. One of the most popular tales is that of the fortress’s cursed tower. It is said that the wife of one of the fortress’s former rulers was killed by his brother, who was jealous of his sibling’s power. In revenge, the ruler ordered his brother to be thrown from the tower. It is said that the tower is cursed and that no grass grows where the blood of the fallen brother was spilled.

Another mystery of the Ananuri fortress is the secret tunnel that supposedly runs from the fortress to the nearby Zhinvali reservoir. Like all such medieval tunnels, this tunnel was used to transport goods and weapons during times of war. Currently, the end of the tunnel is inaccessible, as it is ending in the water reservoir.

Visiting the Ananuri Fortress

Don’t forget your camera!

But that’s not all – Ananuri is also the perfect destination for those who love outdoor activities. You can hike, bike, and explore the beautiful countryside that surrounds the fortress. Whether you’re seeking a thrilling adventure or a leisurely stroll through the hills, Ananuri has something for you.

We’re dedicated to providing you with the most comprehensive and informative content possible. That’s why we’ve created a detailed diagram below, using mermaid syntax, that illustrates the layout and design of Ananuri. This will help you get a better understanding of the various buildings which you can explore during your visit.

Don’t miss the opportunity to experience the breathtaking beauty of the Ananuri fortress. With its stunning architecture, rich history, and picturesque natural surroundings, it’s a destination that you simply can’t afford to miss. So make sure to add Ananuri to your travel itinerary and be prepared to be mesmerized!

Ananuri complex

Infrastructure around Ananuri

Ananuri fortress has pretty big parking for transport. Parking is not free. You will find various souvenir shops and snacks beside the parking. Also, there WC. Less than one kilometer north of the fortress, there is a supermarket. There is no nice restaurant nearby.

Bellow the fortress, by the Zhinvali water reservoir is a very nice park. There are some attractions for small kids. Locals also offer tourists horse riding and boat trips is the water reservoir.

Tours which include visiting Ananuri

We always include Ananuri fortress in our one-day trip to Kazbegi and also on the two-day tour to Kazbegi. If you don’t want to visit Kazbegi, or it is a bad season for that, we can include visiting Ananuri on Mtskheta trip.


Is the Ananuri Fortress open to the public?

Yes, the Ananuri fortress is open to the public every day from 10 am to 6 pm.

Can I access all areas of the fortress?

Most areas of the fortress are open to the public, but some areas may be restricted due to restoration work or other reasons. It’s best to check with the local authorities or your guide before planning your visit.

Is there accommodation available near the Ananuri fortress?

Yes, there are several hotels and guesthouses located near the fortress, ranging from budget to luxury accommodations. Some hotels offer stunning views of the fortress and the surrounding mountains.


The Ananuri fortress is a hidden gem that offers visitors a glimpse into Georgia’s rich cultural heritage. Its intricate architecture, fascinating legends, and breathtaking landscapes make it a must-visit destination for travelers and history enthusiasts alike. Whether you’re interested in medieval architecture, religious art, or local legends, the Ananuri fortress has something for everyone. So pack your bags, put on your walking shoes, and get ready for an unforgettable journey into the heart of Georgia’s history and culture.

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