- near Aspindza Vardzia
Lonely Planet review for Khertvisi Fortress
After the unremarkable town of Aspindza, you reach to the impressive 10th- to 14th-century Khertvisi Fortress, where the road to Akhalkalaki and Turkey diverges from the Varzia road. Inside the impressive walls is a square keep with rounded corners. According to legend, Queen Tamar held a competition to see who could build the best tower. A master stonemason and an apprentice were the contestants.
The apprentice outdid his master, who jumped like a bird from the tower and died impaled on the knife in his belt. From the eastern wall two tunnels lead down to the river: one served the castle's inhabitants for water, the other for communication.