ანანურის ციხე

( Ananuri )

Ananuri (Georgian: ანანური) is a castle complex on the Aragvi River in Dusheti Municipality Georgia, about 45 miles (72 kilometres) from Tbilisi.

Ananuri was a castle and seat of the eristavis (Dukes) of Aragvi, a feudal dynasty which ruled the area from the 13th century. The castle was the scene of numerous battles.

In 1739, Ananuri was attacked by forces from a rival duchy, commanded by Shanshe of Ksani and was set on fire. The Aragvi clan was massacred. However, four years later, the local peasants revolted against rule by the Shanshe, killing the usurpers and inviting King Teimuraz II to rule directly over them. However, in 1746, King Teimuraz was forced to suppress another peasant uprising, with the help of King Erekle II of Kakheti. The fortress remained in use until the beginning of the 19th century. In 2007, the complex has been on the tentative list for inclusion into the UNESCO World Heritage Site program.[1]

When the castle was under siege, it was not defeated because a secret tunnel led to the water and thus provided a way to get food and water to the people who had taken refuge in the castle. The enemy finally captured a woman named Ana, who was from Nuri, and tortured her to reveal the location of the tunnel. But she chose to die rather than giving the secret away. Hence the castle was called Ananuri, and she became a legend.

^ UNESCO tentative list
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