Beautiful carvings in the church walls

1043 Reviews

Star Travel Rating


Review type

Things to do


Date of travel

June, 2023

Product name


Product country


Product city


Travelled with


Reasons for trip


The town of Ananuri is situated on the Georgian Military Highway, 70km north of the capital Tbilisi. It is on UNESCOs tentative list and has a fortress said to be a classic example of Georgian architecture.

When the castle was under siege, it was undefeated as a secret tunnel led to the river which provided a way to get food and water to those who had taken refuge there. However, the enemy finally captured a woman named Ana, who was from Nuri, and tortured her to reveal the tunnel’s location, but she chose to die rather than giving the secret away. Hence the castle was called Ananuri, and she became a legend.

Within the fortress there were two churches.

Firstly, the larger, the Assumption Church, built in 1689, had wonderful intricate stone carvings in the sandstone of the exterior walls including ancient script, animals including dragons and a large grapevine cross on the south wall.

It was a hot day, and the quiet, cool church was a welcome relief from the heat. Although some of the walls were bare, there were several vivid 17th and 18th century frescoes which had been rediscovered after being whitewashed by the Soviets. This included the large Last Judgment on the south wall, one of the most important in the country. The inside was of Russian design as the iconostasis had three icons on either side and a row above.

The second and older Church of the Virgin, was built of brick and dated back to the first half of the 17th century. The interior was undecorated, and a tall square Chechen tower built so close it obliterated some of the stone carvings on the outside.

The fortress wall and towers could be walked along and overlooked the Zhinvali Reservoir created by a dam at the confluence of Pshavi (black) Aragvi and Mtiuleti (white) Aragvi rivers. Two villages were said to have been lost in the building of the dam.

Helen Jackson

Join the club

Become a member to receive exclusive benefits

Our community is the heart of Silver Travel Advisor, we love nothing more than sharing ideas, inspiration, hints and tips between us.

Come feel the love on a Princess cruise. You’ll enjoy the MedallionClass experience others simply can’t, and it’s exclusively for everyone. Visit incredible destinations and be involved in the best experiences around each one of them.

Experience more with Princess and connect effortlessly with the world around you, spend time away with loved ones, take a moment for yourself, and fall in love with your holiday of a lifetime, every time.

With over 20 years of experience, Wendy Wu Tours has mastered the art of creating exceptional, fully inclusive tours which showcase the very best of each destination.

Each tour is led by a world-class guide, who will highlight the very best of their homeland, and includes authentic cultural experiences so you are not just seeing the sights, but truly immersing yourself in local life.

Say hello to ease at sea. Ambassador’s purpose is simple: they want to inspire every guest to experience authentic cruising, effortlessly and sustainably. Passionate about protecting our oceans and destinations, their ships comply with the highest industry emission standards and there is no single-use plastic on board.

On your voyage, you will receive the warmest of welcomes from the Ambassador community as you sail upon the friendliest ships afloat.

This is a global co-operative co-owned by local partners using real local experts and guides, which supports local communities, environments and wildlife. It offers travellers quirky places to stay, activity holidays and learning experiences. Not In The Guidebooks gets travellers off the beaten track into local culture with day experiences and longer, immersive adventures.

From wild wellness breaks in Wales to painting in Portugal, sustainable adventures in Mauritius to food safaris in Brazil, this is immersive, exciting travel.

Seabourn’s five intimate ships carry guests to the heart of great cities, exclusive yacht harbours and secluded coves around the world, while two new purpose-built expedition ships will combine exhilarating adventures in remote destinations with the sophisticated amenities of the world’s finest resorts at sea.

From the luxury of all suite accommodations to complimentary fine wines and spirits, and a no tipping policy, Seabourn exemplifies the definition of travelling well.