The city of Telavi is here seen from the tower. It is densely populated (25 000 inhabitants) but the pert seen here looks more like a large village than a true town. Other parts of the town (see next tip) are more “city looking”
In the background, there should have been a landscape on the Alazani river valley and the majestic Dagestan mountains. Unfortunately, everything was hidden by clouds, rain and mist. I have seen photos taken by clear weather and it was gorgious
This half tower is one of the best kept remains of the Dzveli Galavani (ancient city walls) when Telavi was the stronghold of the first kings of Kakheti in the Ixth and Xth century. There are other remains of this first enclosure but we did not see them.
The museum is displayed in a soviet style building and the museum itself is of the same style : no caption for most of the items on display. Nevertheless, it is worth a fast visit.
When we visited, there was a girl with a with a broom and a floor cloth at the entrance. She followed us closely, mopped behind us, then locked each door as soon as we were in the next room. Welcome out !
In another room is the office of Irakli II.
Photo 1 shows the desk with in the foreground his sword presented under a glass show box
Photo 2 gives a close-up on the sword
Photo 3 shows the fire place : as Telavi is at an elevation of 500 m, winters are cold !
Irakli II was both born in this bed room and this is where he died too.
Photo 1 and 2: the bed is surmounted by a red carpet and several guns are hanged.
Photo 2 and 3 : on a small round table a tin plate and a tin ewer are all what was available to have a wash.
Room of the throne is not very large but impressive with its soberness. It is an almost square room with an arm chair standing on a two steps stage covered with a red carpet now surmounted by a full portrait of Irakli II. On the walls are hanging various engravings.
The palace is a low building that was built in 1672 in Persian style by Artchil II, king of Kakheti when he moved his capital from Gremi to Telavi..
Photo 5 is a statue standing in front of Erakli’s palace that I have been unable to identify
I have found a news agency information from October 7th 2009, reporting that due to heavy rains five vitrages from the palace were damaged and should be replaced immediately. According to Guram Urchukhishvili, director of the museum, as the vitrages had been made in Oriental style, they had to be ordered in Azerbaidjan. As this was 3 years before my visit, I suppose that they have been replaced. Moreover, all looked in perfect condition.
Inside the complex are mentioned two churches : the Irakli Chapel (previous tip) and the small church built by King Archil II when he transferred his residence from Gremi to Telavi in 1672; This small church is said “in poor condition”. I am not convinced that this is the building shown on the first photo but I have seen no other one matching better and there were no signs. Anybody knows ?
The second photo shows an ancient house along the defense wall but I have not found any information on it.
Irakli II chapel was built in1758. It is all made of bricks and leaning along one of the towers of the defense wall. The church itself has three tall narrow windows on each side and on the eastern side a side entrance. The main entrance is through a smaller building that seems to have been built later.
The inside (last photo) is bare (photo 4)
Georgia is considered as the cradle of vine growing and therefore of wine making. I had never seen such an old vine stock. It be several centuries old. This was in April and therefore, it had not yet any leaves but though it has been already strengthened by concrete, it is obviously still living !
The Eastern entrance is the entrance opened for visitors (photos 1 and 2). It has an outstanding iron grid.
The western entrance, which was the main entrance at the Irakli period is not open and shows on photo 3.
Batonis Tsihké means “Fortress of the Master (king)” It was built in the XVIIth century. It is a very strong wall that protected efficiently the royal residence and that remains, even nowadays in good condition. This is the only defense wall of Georgia from that period that remains almost unchanged.
Irakli II (Russian transliteration), or Heraclius II (Latinized form) or Erekle II (in Georgian) belongs to the Bagratian dynasty that reigned on Kakheti from 1744 to 1762 and on Karthli and Kakheti from 1762 to 1798. He was born in the family palace on October 7th 1721 and died in the same palace on September 24th 1788.