From the time of its foundation, Tbilisi was presented by three citadels: Tabori-Korchi-Kala, Metekhi Fortress and Deda Tsikhe (Mother Fortress). Tabori fortress controlled the door of Ganja and defended the city gate areas. Narikala Fortress is the main defense building of Tbilisi and is found in the Georgian and foreign sources of IV-XVIII centuries under the names of “Deda Tsikhe”, “Kala”, “Shuristsikhe” (“Envy Fortress”), “Maglatsikhe” (“Upper Fortress”). The fortress was founded in IV c. during the reign of King Varaz-Bakur. From the second half of the V c. Tbilisi Fortress’s strategic importance increased with the political and economic growth of the city. It was its main defensive structure. Vakhtang Gorgasali reconstructed “Kala Tsikhe” damaged in the times of the Persians domination and fenced it with the stone wall after the capital had moved from Mtskheta to Tbilisi. Narikala was a strong defensive structure with high walls, towers and bastions. After the collapse of the united Georgian state in XVI c. the Narikala Fortress served as a citadel, in turns, for Persians and for the Ottoman Empire. Erekle II (XVIII c) expelled Persians from Narikala and deployed the Georgian army there.
Narikala Fortress is presented in the form of buildings of XII-XIII and XVII c. c. The part of the fortress citadel – so called “Stambulis Godoli” (“Istanbul Tower”), located in the western part of the fortress, is the highest and well-preserved. After the Persians, the Russians occupied and destroyed the main fortress of Tbilisi. The earthquake of 1827 damaged the walls, towers and pillars of the fortress. Narikala lost its strategic importance.