Gremi Fortress information
This picturesque brick citadel stands beside the Telavi–Kvareli road, 19km from Telavi. Kvareli-bound marshrutky will stop here. From 1466 to 1672 Gremi was the capital of Kakheti, but the town down to the west of the citadel was totally devastated by Shah Abbas in 1616. Within the citadel, the Church of the Archangels was built in 1565 by King Levan (who is buried inside) and contains frescoes from 1577. You can climb up inside the adjacent 15th-century tower-palace.
By the road below stands a large portrait of the Kakhetian Queen Ketevan, who was tortured to death by Abbas for refusing to renounce Christianity. A small roadside museum contains explanatory panels on old Gremi, plus artefacts from the site.