It is difficult to imagine that the stone ruins of Ujarma Fortress were once the home to Georgian royalty. The crumbling stones housed Georgia’s second capital up until the turn of the 8th century. Built by King Vakhtang Gorgasali in the 5th century, the castle witnessed bloody battles, one of which saw the death of its King Vakhtang Gorgasali when he was injured fighting against the Persians.

Despite its fall into decay, the historical importance of the site is still whispered among the remaining tower and walls. Set amongst the green Iori valley on a hill off the Tbilisi-Telavi highway around 45 km from Tbilisi, it is easy to reach from the capital. Visitors must walk 600 – 700 meters up a hill to reach the fortress from the road. Entrance to the fortress is free of charge. Although often overlooked due to its lack of grandeur compared to other Georgian fortresses, Ujarma Fortress should be on every history-lovers itinerary.

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