As you make your way from Mestia to Ushguli, one of the highest settlements in Europe, look out for the “Tower of Love”, which stands on a huge boulder in the river Enguri.
This three-story tower has high floors that are connected with one another by vertical stairs, although you should be especially careful when climbing them. The thick walls of the tower have stood for centuries and are likely to stand for many more.
We forst discovered this tower at the end of September 2023, during our few day trip to Svaneti. We were asked GEL 2 for entrance and were actaully allowed to climb up the tower. I decided not to climb but filmed with a drone.
The root of the tower’s name lies in local legend. Once upon a time, Miaguli Pirveli, a beautiful woman, met a skilled hunter called Otia Margvelani during the Kvirikoba festival. They fell in love, but Otia was married and had five children, while Miaguli did not want to ruin her beloved’s family.
Saddened by this story, Otia went hunting, fell into the river and died. His wife could not bear the pain of her husband’s death and jumped into the Enguri river as well. According to the legend, the husband and wife turned into trout. Miaguli asked her father to build a tower on the boulder, where she lived till the end of her life, feeding the fishes every day.
Once the water level in Enguri decreases, a pure spring appears from the bottom of the boulder, which is said to be Miaguli’s tears.
If you happen to be in the area, make sure to make a stop, climp up the tower or buy some goodies at the kiosk in front of it.