Sighnaghi is a small town on a mountainside surrounded by fortress walls. It's the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of Tbilisi. It takes about an hour and a half by car to get there. The population is about 2,000 people.
The city hides behind the walls of a stone fortress erected by King Irakli II to protect the inhabitants from marauders and enemy raids. Sighnaghi doesn't know bloody wars, it was difficult to approach because of its location on the hill.
It has a pleasant, mild climate and moderate humidity. It is an ideal place to grow the best sorts of grapes. The best wines are produced here, which are famous all over the world.
The City of Love
Sighnaghi is called the city of lovers, and there are two explanations. The first legend says that the name came from a beautiful wedding palace, which works even at night. All you have to do is write an application an hour before the event, bring two witnesses and take the documents.
The second legend is more sad and poetic. Once upon a time, a poor and talented artist lived here, and he fell in love with a French actress. He sold his house to buy a sea of scarlet roses for her, and to cover the square under his sweetheart's windows with them. But she did not love him back, and he was left with a broken heart and no home. By the way, Alla Pugacheva's song "A Million Scarlet Roses" is about this story.
What to see
The most visited place is the Signach fortress, which surrounds the city. From its height opens up a gorgeous view of the Alazan Valley. It consists of 28 towers and 5 entrances. It is possible not only to look at the fortress, but also to visit it inside. It is equipped with a wooden walkway, steps, and fence for safety.
Walking around the city you can notice the copper sculptures that decorate the street. There are a lot of archeological findings, antique ceramics and weapons made of bronze. There are also paintings by local artists.
On the highest point of the hill stands the church of St. Stephen. It was erected inside a tower, so it has an impregnable appearance. Nearby there is an observation deck where you can admire the panorama of the city and the valley.
Do not miss and Bodbe monastery. It is a religious building, which was once the home of St. Nino, who spread peasantry in Georgia. A few kilometers from it there is a holy spring of Nino and healing water.
An ordinary walk through the city with its cobblestone streets, neat red-roofed houses, carved balconies and well-kept facades, will give great pleasure to everyone.
Sighnaghi has wonderful restaurants and cafes with traditional Georgian, European and Latin cuisine. But the most famous place is the winery "Tears of Pheasant". Here you can not only taste real Kakhetian wine, but also have a delicious meal with a view of the valley.
The main advantage of the restaurant is seasonal cuisine. The menu is constantly updated, and depending on the season it is possible to try different dishes from always fresh, local products.