If you turn right from 98km of Kakheti highway you will see a silhouette of the beautiful city. As you go up to the hill the silhouette gets clearer and clearer and you'll get a chance to be a viewer of an amazing picture.
That is Sighnaghi - one of Georgia's prettiest cities. The streets are decorated with carriage-way. Attracting balconied houses, wooden fences of balconies, fortress-fence and a stunning view of Alazani valley and Caucasus Mountains make Sighnaghi one of the most attractive places in Georgia.
Sighnaghi as a settlement is first recorded in the second half of 18th century. In 1762, King Erekle II of Georgia sponsored the construction of the town and erected a 5km long fortress-fence. It occupies 40 hectares. All the residents of the town and its surroundings hid in the fortress during enemy attacks. The word "sighnaghi" literally means a "shelter" in Turkish. The fortress was composed of 23 towers and 8 gates. Most of the towers were named after the villages located near Sighnaghi. The fortress-fence is built with cobble-stone and brick; signs of merlons can be seen at some places.
The fence appears to have been one of the largest Georgian historical memorials. The fortress-fence has been restored and today looks almost the way it did centuries ago. Visitors can climb on two-circled walls and see Alazani valley trough embrasures. Sighnaghi fence includes the church of St. Stephen (1762) inside the largest tower named as "The King or Kiziki Pier". St. Stephen church is built with "Georgian brick" (flat brick) and a small amount of cobble-stone. The church was quite damaged and the bell tower on top of the gate was destroyed during the Soviet period.
Sighnaghi Tourism Informational Centre
Address: Sighnaghi, 10 Kostava str.
Phone: (99) 55 43 71; (99) 98 11 07; (99) 13 35 41
Museums In Sighnaghi:
Sighnaghi Historical and Ethnographical Museum
Address: 4100, Sighnaghi, 1 Tamar Mepe str.
Phone: (+995 255) 3 24 48, 3 28 62
Working hours: everyday except Monday, 10:00 - 18:00
Ticket price: Adults - 0.50 GEL, Children and students - 0.30 GEL, Guided tours - 2.50 GEL
The museum houses: collection of archaeology materials (Middle and Late Bronze Age of II millennium AD ceramics, adornments, weapons), V-XIX c.c. numismatic collection (Susanian coins, Kolkhian tetri, Queen Tamar and King Lasha-Giorgi period coins, money samples of different countries), ethnographic objects of the first half of the XIX century, silverware, engraved silver-plated belts, daggers, rifles, pistol, religious objects, icons, collection of the first half of the XX century rugs and carpets, works of the XIX century Georgian painters (Lado Gudiashvili, Elene Akhvlediani, Ketevan Magalashvili and etc.).