Ertso-Tianeti is a historical and geographical part of Georgia. It is located in eastern Georgia, includes the river Iori (municipality of Tianeti). Historically, these were two separate historical and geographical regions of the Kingdom of Kartli - Ertso, and Tianeti. Due to their joint historical development and close connection, they are mentioned together in ancient sources.

Ertso-Tianeti was administratively part of the Kingdom of Kakheti. According to the modern administrative-territorial division, Ertso-Tianeti is part of the Tianeti Municipality, the Mtskheta-Mtianeti region.

Tianeti is located in the Tianeti cave, on the side of the Iori River, at an altitude of 1100 meters above sea level, 75 kilometers from Tbilisi.

Tianeti has a moderately humid climate. It is characterized by cold winters and long cool summers. Average annual temperature 7.5 ° C, January 4.7 ° C, August 18.5 ° C, abs. Minimum -34 ° C, abs. Maximum 36 ° C. Precipitation is 880 mm per year, maximum in spring, minimum in winter.

Tianeti has a mid-mountainous and high-mountainous relief, it occupies small areas of the plains only in the southern part, namely: the plains of Ertso-Tianeti and Sioni, which are located at an altitude of 1100 meters above sea level.

The territory of Tianeti is moderately alpine. Erosional, ancient glacial and water-accumulating landforms prevail. The highest peak of the ridge is Mount Chicho (3084 m), which is located in the northern part of the ridge. Other important mountains of the Kartli Range are Sasvavetavi (2780 m), Eliasnishi (2265 m), Charglistavi (2767 m), Shashuri (2112 m), Kheoba (1492 m), and others. The most important of the crossings is the Putkaruli Pass (2300 m), which connects the Aragvi and Iori valleys.

Cretaceous deposits are mainly involved in the geological structure of the Kartli Range. There are also deposits of the Jurassic and Paleogene age. There are traces of old glaciation on the ridge, indicating that the ridge was subjected to glaciation in the past. The peaks located in the north of the Kartli ridge exceed an altitude of 3000 m, and the mountains in the southern part drop to 1400 m. The height difference between Chichosmta in the north and Dolosha mountain in the south is 1666 m. The Kartli ridge is more or less divided by gorges. Numerous rivers originate on their slopes. Adzezi, Kusno, Khashrula, Dogiantkhevi, Khinchebiskhevi, Tsirdaliskhevi, Charglula, and others.

The main river Iori originates at an altitude of 2800 meters above sea level in the Borbalo Mountains, its tributaries are Khashrula, Sagami, Kusno, and other rivers. The Iori and its tributaries are fed by snow and rainwater.

Photo credit: Photo by umo

All types of plants growing in Eastern Georgia are widespread in Tianeti. Forests and shrubs cover 50 thousand hectares of the entire territory of the municipality. Buk predominates in the Kakheti, Kartli, and Gombori ridges. Tianeti Cave was previously completely covered with deciduous forest. Currently, the forest has survived only on the slopes. In Ertso Cave, the forest grows only on the slopes. On the ridges of Kartli, Kakheti, and Gombori, subalpine meadows pass over the forest belt of mountains.

Tianeti is rich in fauna. Gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa) lives near the Sioni reservoir, which is listed in the Red Book of Georgia. There are chamois (Rupicapra caucasica) in the high mountains. In the forests, there are Caucasian brown bears, Caucasian deer, badger, wolf, fox, and marten. Lynx and marbled polecat (Vormela peregusna) are rare. Both mammals are predators. Among rodents, the common dormouse, forest voles, forest mouse, less often the otter.

The avifauna is created by the Caucasian snowcock, Caucasian black grouse, Bearded vulture, jackdaw, mountain eagle, woodpeckers, etc.

The Iori River and its tributaries are rich in fish, including trout.

Photo credit: Photo by umo

Zhaleti - Among the historical monuments preserved in Tianeti is the oldest Zhaleti two-aisled basilica of the IV-V centuries, built on the site of the old town of Zhaleti. ,,St. Nino left Mtskheta for Ertso, came to Zhaleti, the village of Edemi, and was baptized by the Ertsotyans. Zhaleti was the center of the Christian religion in Tianeti in the VIII-XIII centuries.

In the area of the water-covered Sioni, where, according to historical sources, Zhaleti is located, before the construction of the modern hydroelectric complex, the ruins of a palace and two castles were located near the Basilica of Sioni, one of which is now a survivor.


Bodoji Palace - Tskhrakara, an architectural monument 1.5 km north-west of town Tianeti, Tianeti municipality.

The Bodoji Fortress was the administrative and political center of historical Kakheti in the VII-XI centuries. It is also called "Tskhrakari Fortress".


Bochorma Castle dates back to the X century. In Bochorma there is a church of St. George. Bochorma "built-completed" by king Erekle II.

A significant part of the Bochorma fortress is completely destroyed. In the northern corner of the castle, there is an inner castle on an uneven surface. It was surrounded by a high fence with several towers built into it. At present, only the western and northern parts of the fence have survived. In the inner fortress, there is a Dome Church named after St. George. a palace, a church, a cylindrical tower, and several buildings of the late Middle Ages (the era of Erekle II).


Monastery of St. King Archil - a monument of the VIII century, built by King Archil II of Kartli. The monastery complex consists of two basilica-type churches, a tower, a cellar, a monk's residence and a fence. Monastic life continues today in Archili Monastery. The remains of King Archil II are buried in this monastery. In a temple built nearby, presumably, the wife of St. Archil is buried.


The Arkhali fortress is located on the left side of the Iori River. Near the village of Duluzaurebi, according to legend, it was the king's palace. Proof of this is the fence, the palace, the entrance church with a two-aisled basilica, two towers and one watchtower.


Molamuri complex is located in the municipality of Tianeti, in a forest valley, near the village of Kvernaula. It occupies a fairly large area. The complex includes a church, a tower, a palace, a refectory, a fence, and the remains of many different buildings. It seems that in the Middle Ages there was a strong settlement here. It dates back to the VIII century.


Zhebota Ascension Church is a church in the village of Zhebota, Tianeti municipality. It is located on the outskirts of the village, north of the cemetery. Belongs to the late Middle Ages.


House-Museum of Mirza Gelovani - located in the municipality of Tianeti, town Tianeti, Vazha-Pshavela str. 11.

The museum contains memorial items related to the life and work of the famous Georgian poet Mirza Gelovani (1917-1944), ethnographic materials of the XIX - early XX centuries, publications of the poet's collections of different periods, photographs, documentaries, etc.


Museum of local lore of Tianeti named after Alexandre Namoradzeis located in the Tianeti municipality, town Tianeti, Rustaveli str. 25.

The museum contains materials obtained as a result of archaeological expeditions and accidental discoveries in the Tianeti region and its environs from the early Bronze Age to the late Middle Ages, materials reflecting ethnographic life, church objects, Handwritten Gospel and Printed Editions of Georgians, Samples of fabrics (rugs of the XIX century from the mountains of Eastern Georgia, folk Khevsurian clothing and accessories), medieval ceramics and much more.

Here are some of the exhibits preserved in the Museum of Local Lore: "Lesula" and "khveula" are Khevsurian weapons, lesula is a ring with valiant blades, and khveula is a brass ring wrapped in three layers. The aforementioned tool fits over the bent thumb, which is also held in place by the bent fingers, which provides rigidity.

Kamea (ring). The kamea was found in a roadside grave near the village of Chabano.


Tianetoba was founded as a public holiday in 2009 and is held annually in the first week of August. The purpose of the public holiday is to restore Georgian folk traditions, develop tourism in Tianeti and attract investors for the development of tourism and resort infrastructure. There are many activities during the event. Exhibition and sale of Georgian folk crafts, sports and entertainment events such as Georgian wrestling and horse racing, as well as a concert of folk songs and dances are held. Festival guests have the opportunity to taste traditional Georgian dishes prepared on-site.



Lasharis Jvari (Lashari Cross) is the main shrine of Pshavi. The cult center was located in the upper part of the Aragvi gorge, not far from the village of Khoshara, "On Mount Lashari". In the chapel, 12 main Pshavian tribes prayed to common deities - the War Deity Lashari and asked for fertility, prosperity, protection from ailments and diseases. Lasharis Jvari was considered one of the richest deities, who owned lots of treasures brought to him as donations (including kings), territories, vineyards in Kakheti. According to the folklore legend, Lasharis Jvari was founded by King Lasha-Giorgi. Although according to its functions, according to the results of linguistic and ethnographic studies, Lashari was the name of a pagan deity, which, as it were, merged with the cult of King George, as the "sword of the Messiah", the liberator, the leader of the army.

Celebrated on July 12 in Tianeti, Khevsureti and Pshavi. The holiday in honor of King Lasha-Giorgi IV Bagrationi lasts a whole week. According to the old tradition, a ritual of sacrifice is carried out. The leader of the clan brings out the holly flag (shrine) and blesses worshipers. After that, there are cultural events, horse races, and entertainment.



Archiloba is celebrated on July 4 in the village of Nadokra, Tianeti Municipality. Here, on a high slope of the forest, in the VIII century monastery built by himself, rests the body of the holy king, Archil. July 4th is considered the day of remembrance of the Holy King Archil.

Lake Sioni, same as reservoir

Lake Sioni, the reservoir – is located in Mtskheta-Mtianeti, in the middle of the Iori river, and between the villages Lelovani and Sioni.

Lake Sioni is mainly fed by the waters of the Iori River and is intended to regulate the flow of the Iori River for many years. Water is also used for irrigation.

The Sioni hydroelectric power station also participates in a cascade of small hydroelectric power plants. The maximum level of the lake occurs in the second half of July, and the minimum - in March.

Sioni Reservoir, the same Lake Sioni is a popular destination for various activities, boating, hiking, picnics, fishing and more.


Sabaduri Forest

Sabaduri Forest is located in the Mtskheta-Mtianeti region and is part of the Tbilisi National Park. Tbilisi National Park is the first national park in Georgia. It was founded in 1973 and is located on the Saguramo-Ialno ridges of the southern slopes of the main Caucasus ridge and on the slopes of their branches at an altitude of 600-1700 meters above sea level.

The Sabaduri forest has a tourist infrastructure, a picnic, a tent and campfire sites. Information boards are also placed.

The Sabaduri forest is very beautiful at any time of the year, but it is especially magical in winter and autumn.


The picturesque nature of the Caucasus Mountains and the Iori River Valley, ecologically clean environment, cool mountain air saturated with oxygen, historical monuments, museums, interesting tourist routes make the Tianeti very attractive for healthy and educational rest.

Tianeti belongs to resort places according to the classification of resorts.


Vazha-Pshavela culture and recreation park in Tianeti

Several years ago the park lost its function, but it has been restored and improved. There are an outdoor concert area, playground rides, and a fountain. It is a cool and pleasant space in summer.

Sacred places

The oldest historical monument is the Basillica of Zhaleti from IV-V centuries, which was built on the place of old town Zhileti. Zhaleti was Christian Religion Center in Tianeti in VIII-XIII centuries.

The monastery of St. Archil belongs to the VII century, which was built by the King of Kartli Archil II. This Monasterial Complex consists of two basillica type churches, temple, cellar, habitation place for monks and ancient fence. Monasterial life still continues in the monastery of Archili. Body of King Archil II is buried here. As it`s known, in the church built next to it is buried his spouse.

Botchorma fortress is dated back to X century. There is St. George church closeby. Botchorma is built and processed by Erekle II.

There are two basilica type churches on the territory of Tianeti: one in the name of Archangel Michael and St. George church of Zaridze.

Molamuri Complex: 2 kilometers far from the village Kvernauli in the gorge covered with the forest. There still remains the relicts of iconic and national buildings. It`s dated back to VII century.

Zheboti complex is a basillica, which was built in midcenturies with the domed bell-tower.

Information will be added soon


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