Batonistsikhe Castle information
Lonely Planet review
Batonistsikhe was the residence of the Kakhetian kings in the 17th and 18th centuries, built when King Archil II transferred his court back to Telavi from Gremi in 1672. Inside the castle yard is a Persian-style palace that was rebuilt by Erekle II, who was born and died here. Its central throne room holds many historical portraits including one of Erekle himself (above the throne).
The castle precinct contains the remains of the dilapidated Archil Church and a single-naved royal chapel, with holes for firearms in the walls, built by Erekle II in 1758. Included in the admission price are an art museum, with Georgian and western European paintings, and a history museum, in ugly modern buildings behind the palace.