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   There  a  road  angles  right  through  the  villageending  at  the    spectacular fortress of Lori (“Lori Berd”).  This was the capital of David Anhoghin (989-1049) of the Tashir-Dzoraget Kingdom, and was a feudal center of the Kyurikian family. It was taken over by the Orbelian lords of Georgia in the early 12th c, then came under the sway of the Zakarian brothers Ivane and Zakare. When the Mongols arrived, Lori Berd was the capital of Shahnshah, Zakare's son. Historian Kirakos Gandzaketsi described its fall:

 Chaghatai, the commander of all the detachments of the pagans, heard about the fortification of the city of Lorhe and about the abundance of treasures in it, for located there were the home of prince Shahnshah and his treasury. [Chaghatai] took with him select weapons and many siege machines, and in full readiness he went and settled in around [Lorhe], besieging the city. Prince Shahnshah took his wife and children, secretly went into the valley there and secured them in a cave. He gave superintendence of the city to his father-in-law['s sons] but because they were weaklings, they spent their time eating and drinking and getting drunk, trusting in the strength of the city walls, and not in God.The enemy arrived. They dug at the base of the walls and made them collapse, then settled around them and kept watch so that no one would flee. Now once the inhabitants of the city saw that [the Mongols] had taken the city, they began to crowd with fear and filled up the valley. When the enemy saw that, they started to enter the city and indiscriminately cut down men, women, and children taking their  goods and belongings as booty. They discovered the treasures of prince Shahnshah which he had extorted and robbed from those he subdued. [He had] constructed there a sturdy treasury which no one could see, since the mouth of the pit was so narrow that treasures could be cast in, but nothing could be removed. They killed Shahnshah's father-in-law['s sons] and they did reconnaissance around all the fortresses in the district taking many both by threats and by treachery. For the Lord gave them into their hands.

   Surrounded E, S, and W by the sheer gorges of the Dzoraget and Urut rivers, the N side of the promontory is protected by a massive stone wall with multiple towers. Preserved inside the fortress are two baths, the one on the W edge with complex clay piping inside the masonry. A rectangular roofed structure incorporating various medieval tombstones and Christianized by a couple of flanking khachkars, has no E apse but rather a shallow niche in the S wall facing Mecca, a reminder of Muslim occupation of the fortress till the 18th c. Lori Berd is attested as being inhabited under the Russians, but few traces are left of its recent history. A medieval bridge over the Urut is reached by a steep and winding boulder-cobbled path from the gate, but only one pier base is left of a second bridge over the Dzoraget.


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