Narikala Fortress is one of the most ancient sites in Tbilisi. It is located on a hill which looks at the city and the river Mtkvari. The fortress was built in the 4th century when the city itself was founded and it aimed to protect the city from attacks. In 1827, some parts of the fortress were destroyed by an earthquake. Nevertheless, the walls and battlements of the fortress remain lending astonishing views of the city.
Narikala is also called the Mother Fortress of Tbilisi and it’s an ancient symbol of Tbilisi’s defence. The previous name of the fortress was Shuris-tsikhe, which means Invidious Fort. While the name Narikala origins from a Persian word that stands for citadel. According to another theory, Narikala means “little fortress” in Mongolian.
The territory of the fortress considerably was expanded in 7-8th centuries by the Arabs. They constructed the Emir’s palace inside its walls. The majority of the current fortifications come from 16-17th centuries. Inside the fortress stands the church of St. Nikolos that was reconstructed in 1996. It dates back to the 12th century. You can admire some of the best and most beautiful panoramas of the city from Narikala Fortress.