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Shida Kartli

Historically, Shida Kartli is the most ancient and central part of Georgia. The Iberian tribes migrated here from the south through the Borzhomi gorge and already here the Kartlian state began to be created. In the chronicle of Leonty Mroveli, such a semi-mythological history is cited: “Uplos also … he owned a country from Aragvi and Tbilisi to Taciscari and Fanavari. It was he who built Uplistsikhe, Urbnisi, Kaspi and called the upper country the territory, which is now called Shida Kartli from Aragvi and Armazi to Taciskari ”. There are clear boundaries of Shida Kartli: from Mtskheta to Tashiskari (the village at the beginning of the Borzhomi gorge).

Later, the center moved to Mtskheta and Tbilisi, but the Arabs came, seized the outskirts of Tbilisi, and the Kartlian kingdom was reduced to the city of Gori and its environs for 400 years. So this is the most “Georgian” part of Georgia. From the 12th century, there was here a Kartlian eristavstvo with its capital in Surami.

In the late Middle Ages (in the 16th and 17th centuries), the princes of Shida Kartli formed the right flank of the Georgian army. The first and foremost of the princes was Amilakhvari, who owned the Gori plain and the castle of Kvemo-Chala. The princes of Tsitsishvili settled in the Dzama gorge and around it, and the area was then called Upper Satsitsiano. It was still Lower Satsitsiano in the gorge Nishbis (now in the neighboring area). The Tedzama valley in the late Middle Ages belonged to the princes Saakadze and Tarkhan-Muravi, which originated from them. In the north, in the foothills of the Caucasus and around Tskhinvali, Princes Machabeli settled and this territory was called Samachablo.