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Telavi

History

By the 12th century Telavi was one of the main trade centres in Georgia. In the 13th century Telavi was caught in the onslaught of the Mongol invasion, to revive in the 15th to 16th centuries, and then be twice devastated by the Persia’s Shah Abbas I in the early 17th century. In 1672 the Kakhetian King Archil II moved his court back to Telavi from Gremi. In 1744, as the Turks threatened Persian hegemony in eastern Georgia, Nader Shah of Persia installed the local prince Erekle II in Telavi as ruler of Kakheti. Erekle and his father, King Teimuraz II of Kartli, managed to establish themselves as de facto independent rulers, and in 1762 Erekle united Kakheti and Kartli as a more or less independent state, ruling with a progressive Westernising policy. Erekle still occupies an honoured place in Kakheti annals today.