The Khertvisi Fortress was built on a rocky mountain at the junction of the Artaani Mtkvari and Javakheti Mtkvari rivers. The first record of Khertvisi is part of a legend, in which it was one of the first fortresses that Alexander the Great came across in Georgia. An inscription on a damaged stone reads “The King of the Kings” and is dated from 985. A small church located in the central part of the fortress had been ruined but was reconstructed in 2000.
Khertvisi was built by Georgians to protect the country, but in the second half of the 16th century Osmans (a Turkish tribe) started to fortify it into a stronghold, making it easy for them to conquer Georgia. Part of the fortress has remained unharmed and still has a tunnel leading to the river. Another part of the original fortress – a twenty metre high tower – is still in good condition