As I have already told you, Kakheti is the richest wine-making region of the country. It is also the biggest region in Georgia. That is why you will need at least several days to see all the attractive places there. In this article, I am going to tell you about Telavi that is the heart of the Kakheti Region. This city is around 158 km away from Tbilisi. The journey is so beautiful that it will definitely inspire you, especially if you choose to go through the Gombori Mountain.
Telavi is an administrative center of the Kakheti Region from 1672, and it was officially announced a city as from 1801. As the historians say, the name of the city should be related to the plant “Tela.” The first settlement here was found in the Bronze Age and the city type of settlement in the Late Antique period. Telavi was one of the most important cities of the 12th century.
A special place in the history of Telavi belongs to King Erekle II. It was his hometown from where he ruled the country and fought for its revival. Telavi is built on the four hills that include an old church from the 5-6th century, a palace, a fence and a fortress that was built in 1745.
Batonis Castle was the main residence of the Kings of Kakheti. Erekle II constructed a big fence around the palace in the second half of the 18th century, and it was 5 meters high. According to some sources, Erekle II finished the construction of the fence in 1753.
In addition to the main entrance, a castle had several more spare entrances, one on the southern side and the second one in the northern part. King Erekle's Royal Door Church was built in 1758. This church was especially important during the invasions, as it became a shelter for many people so that they could defend themselves from there. Under its roof, there was a special place for the guns, as they were always ready for the invasion.
It is worth to visit Telavi even just to see a 900-year old Platanus (Chadari) that has survived everything and still stands proudly in the center of the city. Under this Platanus, many famous Georgians, including poets and writers, were having dinners in the past, which was organized by the local people. During the King Erekle II rule, the theatre of Telavi was created. Many interesting theatrical performances were held there and attending was obligatory at least twice a week.
While visiting the attractive places in the capital of the Kakheti Region, do not miss Nadikvari, the most famous park in Telavi. Nadikvari is a cultural and recreational park that is located on the hill in the eastern part of the city. You will love the breathtaking views of the Alazani Valley and the Caucasus mountains, that can be seen from the northern part of the park. Thanks to these views, you will definitely feel that you are in the heart of the Kakheti Region.
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