Aerial videos of fortresses, churches and landscapes

Discussion in 'Aerial Photography' started by AerialExplorer, Nov 21, 2015.

  1. AerialExplorer

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    Кварельская крепость является одной из главных исторический достопримечательностей солнечного города в Грузии. Вам будет интересно узнать, что она была построена ещё в 18 веке и служила главной защитой для местных жителей. Крепостные стены сделаны из серого камня, а их высота достигает более 3 метров.
    С этим местом связан один интересный факт. Великий аварский вождь Нурсал-Бек, который захватил многие города и сооружения подобного рода, в 1755 году не смог справиться с могущественной Кварельской крепостью. Благодаря чему город и многие жизни населения были сохранены.
    На данный момент здесь находится футбольное поле, где проходят дружественные встречи местных команд, а также многие фестивали, ярмарки, концерты и другие интересные события.


     
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    “Bebris Tsikhe" is an early to mid centuries castle in Kartli. It used to block the north side road of Aragvi ravine, this road went to Mtskheta. Vakhushti Bagrationi called it 'Belta Fortress.' The main part of the fortress was a citadel, which was surrounded by a triangular yard. There used to be three castles at three angles. There is archaeological evidence that there are antique and feudal age layers.

    According to legend, this castle once belonged to a noble man named Simon. Simon had two children. One of his children was the beautiful Makrine and the other the heartless Mamuka. After the death of Simon, Mamuka charged local peasants at a high tax rate. Makrine felt sorry for the peasants, and asked Mamuka to lower their tax rate. Mamuka became furious at the request and locked Makrine in the castle.
    One day, while some very watery and tasteless soup was being made for the peasants, a group of crows fell into the saucepans. Peasants poured all the soup away. Mamuka became very angry at seeing the waste of food. Mamuka began to chase the peasants.
    Suddenly snakes came out of the saucepans and began circling Mamuka.
    Mamuka feared for his life, and called out to God: “Help me and I will build you a church!”
    Makrine witnessed this entire episode and began to pray. God heard this prayer and Mamuka and Makrine began living a religious life. Makrine became a nun and Mamuka became a monk.
    Makrine ended up dying at 70 years of age. On the day of her funeral, a white bearded man visited her body, kissed her forehead, and said: “My sister, we have fulfilled our promise!”
    After saying these words, he fell down and died. This is why this fortress is called “Bebris Tsikhe,” which means “The Elder’s Fortress.”
    That's the legend of Bebris Tsikhe.
     
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    Subsequently, Surami declined but retained its lively trading post as well as the fortress which was reconstructed in the 16th and 17th centuries. By the mid-18th century, according to Prince Vakhushti, Surami had 200 households of Georgians, Armenians and Jews. In the 1740s, Surami was used by Prince Givi Amilakhvari as his base against King Teimuraz II and Persians. After the prince’s surrender in 1745, the fortress was demolished, but later restored and exploited by the Russo-Georgian troops in anti-Ottoman operations during the Russo-Turkish War (1768–1774). After the Russian annexation of Georgia in 1801, Surami housed a military post and was later popularized as a mountain climatic resort. In 1926, it acquired the status of "urban-type settlement"

    The Legend of the Suram Fortress
    An old legend has it that the walls of the Surami Fortress owe their sturdiness to the fact that they have a man buried within them – a mother’s only child by the name of Zurab. According to the legend’s narrative, the original builders had constant trouble putting up the walls of the fortress. No matter how well they built it, the walls kept crumbling for no apparent reason. A fortune-teller told them that the walls would not hold unless a young man, an only child, was bricked up within them. It was very hard for Zurab’s mother to part with her son, but she agreed to it out of love for her homeland (and a probably touch of old-fashioned pagan beliefs). She was present as her son was being buried alive by workers, calling to him until he was no longer able to respond. True to the prophecy, the walls of the fortress held after Zurab’s sacrifice.
     
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    The Zarzma Monastery of Transfiguration (Georgian: ზარზმის მონასტერი, zarzmis p'erists'valebis monasteri) is a medieval Orthodox Christian monastery located at the village of Zarzma in Samtskhe-Javakheti region, southwest Georgia.
    The Zarzma monastery is nested in the forested river valley of Kvabliani in the Adigeni municipality, 30 km west of the city of Akhaltsikhe. It is the complex of a series of buildings dominated by a domed church and a belfry, one of the largest in Georgia.
    The earliest church on the site was probably built in the 8th century, by the monk Serapion whose life is related in the hagiographic novel by Basil of Zarzma. According to his source, the great nobleman Giorgi Chorchaneli made significant donation – including villages and estates – to the monastery. The extant edifice dates from the early years of the 14th century, however. Its construction was sponsored by Beka I, Prince of Samtskhe and Lord High Mandator of Georgia of the Jaqeli family. What has survived from the earlier monastery is the late 10th-century Georgian inscription inserted in the chapel's entrance arch. The inscription reports the military aid rendered by Georgian nobles to the Byzantine emperor Basil II against the rebellious general Bardas Sclerus in 979.In 1544, the new patrons of the monastery – the Khursidze family – refurnished the monastery.
    The façades of the church are richly decorated and the interior is frescoed. Apart from the religious cycles of the murals there are a series of portraits of the 14th-century Jaqeli family as well as of the historical figures of the 16th century. After the Ottoman conquest of the area later in the 16th century, the monastery was abandoned and lay in disrepair until the early 20th century, when it was reconstructed, but some of the unique characteristics of the design were lost in the process.
    Currently, the monastery is functional and houses a community of Georgian monks. It is also the site of pilgrimage and tourism.
    A smaller replica of the Zarzma church, known as Akhali Zarzma ("New Zarzma") is located in the same municipality, near Abastumani. It was commissioned by Grand Duke George Alexandrovich, a member of the Russian imperial family, from the Tbilisi-based architect Otto Jacob Simons who built it between 1899 and 1902, marrying a medieval Georgian design with the contemporaneous architectural forms. Its interior was frescoed by the Russian painter Mikhail Nesterov.
     
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    Khertvisi fortress (Georgian: ხერთვისის ციხე) is one of the oldest fortresses in Georgia and was functional throughout the Georgian feudal period. It is situated in Southern Georgia, in Meskheti region. The fortress was first build in the 2nd century BC. The church was built in 985, and the present walls build in 1354. As the legend says, Khertvisi was destroyed by Alexander the Great.
    In the 10th-11th centuries it was the center of Meskheti region. During the 12th century it became a town. In the 13th century Mongols destroyed it and until the 15th century it lost its power. In the 15th century it was owned by Meskheti landlords from Jakeli family. In the 16th century the southern region of Georgia was invaded by Turks. During next 300 years they have owned Khertvisi too.

    Name Khertvisi comes from the verb designating the confluence of two rivers. In ancient times, during the march to the east, Alexander the Great saw the city-fortress Khertvisi.
    Khertvisi fortress is a well-preserved complex construction. The buildings that is prreserved to this day belong to the X-XIX centuries. The fortress consists of two main parts - the citadel and the wall. The Citadel occupies a narrow ledge that is protected by a high vertical cliff. The towers of the fortress are well protected and standing out is the main tower - a building constructed of well-crafted and stacked stones. Also should be noted is the five-sided turret which protects the east side. The fortress is supplied with drinking water through a tunnel, attached from the northwest.

    Khertvisi was repeatedly rebuilt. In 1356-1356, Zakaria Kamkamishvili, Treasurer of the King, built the tower and wall. In the XVI century the fortress belonged to the feudal family Hertvisari. In 1578 the Turks captured Khertvisi with other fortresses of Samtskhe - Saatabago. In 1828-1829, after the victory of Russia over Turkey, the fortress was returned to Georgia. At that time, Khertvisi, along with other Georgian fortresses, lost its strategic importance.

    Since 2007, the Khertvisi fortress is included in the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage.
     
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    Another spiritual currently known as Zeda (upper) Vardzia that is earlier compared to Vardzia Monastery is located north-westward of the latter, in the middle of a small gorge, upstream the Kura River, its main construction – Mother of God church has survived till nowadays. This monument made of hewn stone blocks has got two naves and a porch with arched openings attached from the south that gives to the whole of the construction some resemblance of a three-nave temple. Besides, the structure is covered with a safe double-pitched roof. This type of roofing is determined by hiding shelters arranged over the arches of lateral wings. Two columns separate high and proportionate southern nave – the main one from the secondary, very narrow and dark northern nave, that almost literally serves as a background for a lovely arcade with decorated capitels ets. The frame of the southern entrance, with unbelievably clean and fine fretwork image of cross set on its top is the most impressive of all other details of decoration. According to the construction inscription curved on the stone slab XI c almighty feudal Liparit Eristavt-Eristavi was the church building donor.

    Wall painting of the church might be of the same period, although due to the very small portion of the survived frescoes that are in a poor condition, their more accurate dating seems difficult. In the course of time the building itself suffered some damages – southern porch had turned in ruins, but in 70-ies of the last century the church was reconstructed to its original condition.
     
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    Ikalto Academy (Georgian: იყალთოს აკადემია) in XI-XIII centuries was a high school and the academy in Ikalto, Georgia. Ikalto monastery was known as one of the most significant cultural-scholastic centers of Georgia, which is asserted by the ruins of some civil building preserved at the site of the monastery.
    The monastic complex of Ikalto is situated 7-8-kilometers west of Telavi on the outskirts the village of Ikalto. The complex was founded by one of the Assyrian monks – Zenon of Ikalto in the late VI century. Only three churches have been preserved from the complex. The transfiguration church–Gvtaeba (Holy Spirit) built in the VIII-IX centuries stands on the site of an earlier church (in which the founder of the monastery, Saint Zenon had been reburied) and had the form of the Greek cross in plan. St. Mary’s single-nave church Kvelatsminda (Absolutely Holy) built at the close of the XII century and at the turn of the XIII century and Sameba (Holy Trinity). In spite of considerable reconstruction, one can still see parts of an older VI century domed church in the little Trinity church. These churches were restored so many times that their original appearance has changed drastically. All three churches, like most of the Kakhetian churches, are white, and against the background of green hills, attracts one’s attention from far away. The remains of the academy and the refectory survive among other ruins of the monastery complex.
    According to verbal sources, during the Georgian Renaissance (IX-XIII centuries) an outstanding historical figure and tutor of David the Builder, scholar and philosopher Arsen of Ikalto initiated the project on establishing a high school and the academy in Ikalto. He was a son of Kakhetian nobleman Ibad Vachnadze. Ikalto monastery was known as one of the most significant cultural-scholastic centers of Georgia. That is proved by the ruins of some presumable civil building found in the garth of the monastery. The oblong building of the academy is built of cobble stone. The ground floor consisted of two rooms, while the single hall of the first floor was meant for scholarly discussions. Scholarly and literary work was in full swing at the academy.
    Many important works were written and translated from Greek, important catalogues were made up. During his scholarly activity at academy, Arsen of Ikalto, the founder and the first rector of the academy, translated such an important work as “The Great Nomocanon”, another important work translated by him was “The Source of knowledge” written by John Damascene. Arsen of Ikalto wrote “The Epitaph of David the Builder”, which was passed on from generation to generation. The academy of Ikalto had functioned for a long time, playing an important role in the history of Georgian enlightenment.
    According to a legend the famous XII century Georgian poet Shota Rustaveli studied here.
    In Georgian academies, the syllabus consisted of Trivium (grammar, rhetoric, dialectics or logic) and Aquarium (music, arithmetic, geometry and astronomy) cycles. Theology, philosophy and chanting were also taught here. Besides the theoretical courses, the students were skilled in pharmacology, pottery making, metal work, viticulture and wine making.
    Archaeological excavations revealed numerous workshops, wine-cellars, a smithy, store rooms and other household rooms grouped around the academy building. The Monastery was roofed with glazed tiles.
    In 1616, the Iranian invaders led by Shah Abbas-II set it on fire and the academy ceased to exist.
    After the annexation of Georgia by Russia, in 1921, the monastery was closed.
    In 1965, a museum was opened in the main church.
    Precious books, icons, the church bell and many important items were lost.
    After the restoration of freedom, in 1991, the monastery became active once again.
     
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    Sapara Monastery (Georgian: საფარის მონასტერი) is a Georgian Orthodox monastery in the Akhaltsikhe District of Samtskhe-Javakheti region, Georgia.
    It has existed from at least the 9th century, and has numbered among its monks many important figures in Georgian ecclesiastical history. At the end of the 13th century Sapara became a possession of the Jakeli family, whose leader, Sargis Jakeli, was adept at staying on good terms with the Mongols, which enabled Samtskhe to enjoy a peace unusual for the time. When he grew old, Sargis took monastic orders and changed his name to Saba. His son Beka built the largest of the 12 churches here, St Saba's Church, named after the saint whose name his father had adopted, one of the most architecturally important churches of its time. The 14th-century frescoes inside are of high quality.

    From the end of the 16th century until the beginning of the 17th century the Sapara Monastery became empty due to the expansion of Turkish policy into Samtskhe and during this process the monastery's icons and other treasures were taken to more protected areas of Georgia.
     
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    Rabati Castle (Georgian: რაბათის ციხე), is a medieval castle complex in Akhaltsikhe, Georgia. Built in the 13th century, initially was called the Lomisa castle until it was conquered by Ottomans.

    According to The Georgian Chronicles the city was established in the 9th century by Guaram Mampal, son of the King of Tao. From the 13th to the end of 14th centuries it was the capital city of Samtskhe-Saatabago, ruled by the Georgian princely (mtavari) family and a ruling dynasty of the Principality of Samtskhe, the House of Jaqeli.

    In 1393 the city was attacked by the armies of Tamerlane. Despite the Turko-Mongol invasions fortress withstood and continued to thrive. After the Treaty of Constantinople in 1590, the whole territory of Samtskhe-Saatabago went under the rule of Ottoman Empire. Turks Mostly used to build defensive edifices. In 1752 first mosque was built in Rabati. In the first half of the 8th century Prince Vakhushti of Kartli writes By the end of the 18th century Metropolitan John writes that "despite the fact that a large part of the population has been Islamized, there's still functioning Orthodox church." After the Treaty of Georgievsk between the Kingdom of Kartli and Russian Empire was signed the question of the fate of Akhaltsikhe arose. The first attempt to take the fortress in 1810 fell. Russians took the city after 18 years in 1828. After the Treaty of Adrianople in 1829, the Ottomans yielded the part of Akhaltiske Region.
     
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    The Cathedral of the Dormition, or the Kutaisi Cathedral, more commonly known as Bagrati Cathedral (Georgian: ბაგრატი; ბაგრატის ტაძარი, or Bagratis tadzari), is an 11th-century cathedral in the city of Kutaisi, the Imereti region of Georgia. A masterpiece of the medieval Georgian architecture, the cathedral suffered heavy damage throughout centuries and was reconstructed to its present state through a gradual process starting in the 1950s, with major conservation works concluding in 2012. A distinct landmark in the scenery of central Kutaisi, the cathedral rests on the Ukimerioni Hill.

    Bagrati Cathedral was built in the early years of the 11th century, during the reign of King Bagrat III, due to which it was called "Bagrati", i.e., Bagrat’s cathedral. An inscription on the north wall reveals that the floor was laid in "chronicon 223", i.e., 1003. In 1692, it was devastated in an explosion by Ottoman troops who had invaded the Kingdom of Imereti. The incident caused the cupola and ceiling to collapse.

    Conservation and restoration works, as well as archaeological studies at the Cathedral began in the 1950s under the leadership of a Georgian architect Vakhtang Tsintsadze. The restoration works headed by Tsintsadze were divided into six stages and continued for several decades through 1994. That same year in 1994 Bagrati Cathedral, together with the Gelati Monastery, was included in UNESCO's World Heritage Site list as a single entity. In 2001, ownership of the cathedral was transferred from the Georgian state to the Georgian Orthodox Church. It is presently of limited use for religious services, but attracts many pilgrims and tourists. It is also frequently used as a symbol of the city of Kutaisi, being one of its main tourist attractions.
     
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    The Tmogvi fortress is first mentioned in sources from the 9th century. It was built as a defensive work controlling the ancient trade route between the Armenian plateau and the lowlands of Iberia (or Kartli, present-day Eastern Georgia), over a gorge formed by the Kura River. It was a crucial military stronghold in the region of Javakheti (Javakhk in Armenian), one of the borderlands between Armenia and Georgia. The feudal lords of the region were at that time the Bagratids, either of the Armenian or the Georgian branch.

    Tmogvi gained importance after the neighboring town and fortress of Tsunda was ruined around 900 AD. By the beginning of the 11th century, the fortress had passed under the direct control of the unified Kingdom of Georgia.

    In 1073, it was given in apanage to the nobleman Niania Kuabulisdze; his descendants kept it in the following centuries, before it passed to other major feudal families such as the Toreli, the Mkhargrzeli, the Shalikashvili or the Jaqeli. In 1088, the castle collapsed in an earthquake. The medieval Georgian writer Sargis Tmogveli was from Tmogvi. The Ottoman Empire gained control of the fortress in 1578. In 1829, the Treaty of Adrianople transferred the fortress, among with the surrounding region, to the Russian Empire.
     

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