Surami Fortress and Sweet Nazuki

Anano Chikhradze | Live the World

November 23, 2022

Traveling in Georgia is very interesting as each place has its own story behind it. All stories and places are unique and exciting. For example, by mentioning the sweets named Nazuki, Georgians think of a small town called Surami, where this Georgian sweet bread with cinnamon comes from, and a famous fortress that is located in Surami as well.

You have to pass Surami when you travel to the western part of Georgia. The fortress is located on the rocky hill, so it is hard not to notice it. We don’t know exactly who built this castle. However, this place is mentioned in many historical records from different times. According to one source, Surami Castle was built in the first part of the 2nd century BC. On the other hand, modern historians count that the castle was constructed at the beginning of the 11th century. It belonged to a powerful family of Surameli. This fortress was their main residence.

Next important historical source about this place is from 1625. Surami Fortress is described as a small but very strong castle. According to these records, it was one of the oldest fortresses in Georgia. Jean Chardin also mentioned this castle in his records. He wrote that Surami is a tiny town, even smaller than Gori, but there is a well-constructed fortress,** **and its garrison consists of 100 men. The complex of Surami fortress includes a fence, a castle and a church. There is also a palace nearby.

A legend about Surami Castle and Nazuki

A very interesting legend is connected with Surami Castle. During the construction process, they faced a dilemma. Once they built a wall, the next day it was demolished by itself. They tried many times, but they could not build the walls of the castle that would be strong and invincible. One fortune teller said that a blue-eyed man, who also had to be the only child, had to be bricked up alive in order to make the fortress stronger.

The legend has it that this man was Zurab, who sacrificed himself for the cause that he believed in. He was sure that it would save his country and his faith. According to the folks story, sometimes the teardrops come down from the side of the wall, where Zurab was bricked up. A woman in black clothes (Mother of Zurab) goes near the* **castle every night, cries and says the same words every time: “A castle of Surami, how I wished to see you, my Zurab is there, please take good care of him*." The invincibility of Surami Castle is connected with the fact that he is bricked up inside.

Right after you pass the Surami Fortress, you will see Nazuki everywhere. As I have already mentioned, Nazuki is a Georgian sweet bread that you must taste. After hearing a sad story about Zurab, the smell and aroma of Nazuki will bring you to another world, and you will not be able to just pass this place without tasting it. That is how you need to leave Surami, with interesting stories and sweet Nazuki. And you realize that life is exciting, especially when you explore new places.

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