The City Of Love – Sighnaghi

The vineyards flooded with tender sun, drowning in the greenery Alazani valley and the purest mountain lakes are all Kakheti, Georgia which beauty and richness of nature can compete with Tuscany and Provence.

The edge of winemakers, ancient monasteries, intricate streets, saving great love stories, daily welcomes hundreds of couples in love to unite their lives. One of the most famous and significant cities of Kakheti is Sighnaghi. The city is located on the slope of the mountain and almost everywhere there is a spectacular view on the Alazani Valley.

Sighnaghi is called a city of love and it’s not accidental. In the 19th century, the outstanding Georgian artist Niko Pirosmani lived here. One day a French theater arrived on a tour to Georgia. Pirosmani with all his heart fell in love with beautiful Margarita, the Parisian take. But does a poor artist have a chance to be at least noticed by this fussy beauty? .. Pirosmani, led by blind love, commits an insane act, he sells his house and all the paintings and buys scarlet roses with all this money. Waking up one morning, Margarita in amazement sees in front of her window an area strewn with an endless number of fresh flowers! A declaration of love worthy of a millionaire … But Margarita sees only a poor artist. This gesture flatters the fatal beauty, but does not touch the strings of her heart. Starving for a glory, she returns to Paris and breaks the heart of Niko Pirosmani.  Pirosmani saved the image of his muse for the rest of his life, and Margarita, never having achieved great success in theatrical stages. She became famous not because of her talent and beauty, but because of the true love of the poor artist Pirosmani …

Now the main attraction of Sighnaghi is a 24-hour registry office, where bypassing all the formalities, you can marry for half an hour! The wedding ceremony in this city will be the most romantic and unforgettable beginning of your great love story!

Sighnaghi is not only famous for its beauty. Sighnaghi has always been a strong city ready to fight against all enemy. The city’s name Sighnaghi comes from the Turkish word signak, which means shelter.  In English, Sighnaghi means refuge. The fortress was built around 1770 at the times of Kartli-Kakheti King Erekle (Heraclius) II to protect Signaghi. The city is surrounded by a four-kilometer defensive wall with 23 towers and six gates. It is also called the Great Wall of Georgia. Interestingly, each tower of the fortress was named after the nearest village, in order for the locals of the village to hide in case of danger. Today, the city walls run through the Old Town of Signaghi – you can take a walk, circle it and then extend further beyond the city line, descending and climbing the slopes of the nearby hills.

A pleasant walk on the fine country road of Kakheti will take you to the Bodbe monastery. The little church was originally built, over the saint’s grave, by King Mirian in the 4th century. It has been rebuilt and renovated several times since. It is an important place as the St. George Cathedral, part of the monastery, holds the remains of St. Nino, who brought Christianity to Georgia. What makes the place, lawns and flowers so immaculate is because the place is a nunnery runs by the nuns – it used to be a monastery. The 10-15 nuns living here are growing plants and raising animals, as well as selling knick-knacks and other jewellery items in a small shop.

So, if you have time and you want to experience the hospitality and beauty of Georgia come to Sighnaghi, where you can enjoy the views, try Georgian homemade wine, and who knows maybe even get married…

Tamar Bichiashvili

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