Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Ananuri Fortress and Church

As mentioned in the previous blog entry, the Georgian Military Highway was an ancient trading route, and control of which could bring great riches.

During medieval times a large chunk of it was controlled by the dukes of Avagri and it appears they operated as a sort of reverse Robin Hood, taking from the poor (the travellers) to give to the rich (themselves).

There was naturally resentment (from the peasants) and envy (from other dukes) about this that led to many a battle, until they were over-thrown in the 18th century.

Since then the valley has been turned into a very picturesque reservoir:

The castle of the dukes of Aragvi at Ananuri remains, or at least parts of it, together with two churches both from the 17th century:

It was stunningly beautiful, and so quiet we could hear the cowbells from somewhere out in the valley. My guide thought the bells might be to scare off the wolves, but must admit at this point I said I doubted that a hungry wolf would be that deterred and she agreed, saying it was probably so that the farmer could find his animals.

There was no one there apart from a couple of optimistic old ladies with souvenir stands by the entrance. Indeed the buildings were all locked up until one of them went off to find the key.

It was so beautiful, I wondered to the guide, why was the valley not sprinkled with houses built to soak up the view. Oh, she says, we have so many beautiful places in Georgia.

This is certainly one of them.

4 comments:

my2fish said...

that is amazing to see such a gorgeous area with minimal housing, especially the waterfront! I love your travel updates, great posts and amazing pictures.

my2fish

JP said...

Thanks!

It is a really beautiful country that has had a hard history, so wish them well.

Tammara said...

Hey Captain JP, That's a dream castle for sure! You're lucky to have been there.

JP said...

Thanks, I do feel very privileged!

Georgia is a lovely country, and I hope it remains that way.