Batonis Tsikhe: the best-preserved medieval royal palace

Batonis Tsikhe: the best-preserved medieval royal palace

2 minutes to read

Kakheti is the biggest region of Georgia. In this article, I am going to tell you about Batonis Tsiskhe, the best-preserved medieval royal palace in Georgia. This castle is located in the historical town of Telavi, that is a capital city of the Kakheti Region

Batonis Tsikhe castle in Telavi
Batonis Tsikhe castle in Telavi
41°55'05.0"N 45°28'32, Telavi, Georgia

History

Batonis Tsikhe is translated as ‘The Master’s Fortress’, and it was built by King Archil in 1667-1675. It was the main residence of the Kakhetian kings in the 17th-18th centuries. The castle includes two old churches, the ruins of a royal bath and a palace of King Erekle II, that was built in the Persian style. The construction process of the architectural complex of Batonis Tsikhe was divided into two parts. Erekle II’s Palace, the eastern gate and a royal bath were constructed in 1667-1675, while the church of Erekle II, a fence and the western gate were built later, in the second half of the 18th century. According to the historical sources, the complex of Batonis Tsikhe was not only the residence of the Kakhetian Kings, but it also had very important military purposes. In particular, during the reign of King Erekle, a fence was protecting the city and its population from the invasions.

Picture © Credits to georgiaabout.com/Andrzej Wójtowicz
Picture © Credits to georgiaabout.com/Andrzej Wójtowicz

A statue of Erekle II is located outside of the castle, and it proudly looks over the city of Telavi. The complex of Batonis Tsikhe went through several reconstructions. In spite of this, the castle kept its original face with some minor differences. Considering the architecture of the castle, its history and importance, Batonis Tsikhe is a very important monument of Georgia’s cultural heritage. 

Batonis Tsikhe Castle now

Nowadays, the palace of Erekle II is a museum, and it’s a very popular destination among our guests. All visitors can see the king’s living place, bedrooms and also the King’s famous sword and throne.  The entrance fee costs less than a dollar. You can also see both churches, the remains of the bath and the tunnel that served as a secret exit during the invasions. The palace hosts the gallery of different exhibitions made by the famous Georgian, Russian and Italian artists. Moreover, this year, the inauguration of the newly elected president took place in Batonis Tsikhe, and it hosted many Georgians and foreign guests. I had the honor to participate in this process, and I realized the historical importance of this castle. Despite all the invasions, Batonis Tsikhe has survived and proudly continues its existence. 

Picture © Credits to georgiaabout.com/Merab Merabishvili
Picture © Credits to georgiaabout.com/Merab Merabishvili

While being in Georgia, do not miss Batonis Tsikhe that is located in a beautiful city of Telavi. This castle is the best-preserved medieval royal palace in Georgia. You will definitely want to know more about this place and see it with your own eyes.  

Cover Picture © Credits to iStock/Elena Odareeva

Telavi City
Telavi City
Telavi, Georgia

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The author

Anano Chikhradze

Anano Chikhradze

I am Anano. I Iove travelling, history and getting to know people from all over the world. I write about Georgia, my country, and I am sure everybody will fall in love with it.

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