The Narikala Fortress is at risk of collapse, the Tbilisi City Hall reported, citing the Advisory Panel of the 7 Most Endangered Programme.
The article published on the Programme’s official website http://7mostendangered.eu lists the Narikala Fortress in Tbilisi among the seven most endangered cultural heritage sites in Europe.
“The Narikala Fortress is one of Tbilisi’s most prominent heritage sites and is one of the oldest historical monuments in Georgia. The fortress forms part of an historical trade route between Europe and Asia (the Silk Road). It is still today the most enduring and iconic feature of the skyline of Georgia’s capital city.
The first mention of the Tbilisi Fortress in Georgian historical records dates from the late 4th century. Later additions were made to the fortress in the 7th and especially in the 11th centuries, the latter representing a large expansion of the site by King David Aghmashenebeli. Throughout the centuries, well-known European travellers and maecenas – among them the famous French writer Alexander Dumas, the French artist Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin, and the British diplomat Sir John Oliver Wardrop – have visited the fortress.
In 1827, an earthquake destroyed the inner part of the fortification, and severely damaged the external walls. Narikala is divided into two sections, a lower and an upper fortification. Ad-hoc restorations to the lower part have seen the towers, walls and several bastions partially rebuilt.
Today, the Narikala Fortress is at risk of collapse, mainly due to lack of maintenance, hydrogeological issues in the area and general decay. In addition, a high-capacity cable car, built in 2012, which operates between the centre of Tbilisi and the Narikala Fortress, has increased visitor access twofold, which in turn has increased the pressure of tourism on the site”, - reads the article.