10 Nov 2017 - 15:41
The restoration of the iconic highland village of Mutso in Georgia's north-east will be completed next year, as the ongoing rehabilitation project aims to bring the historic northern gateway to the country back to life.
Large-scale works have been ongoing in the village, located in the Khevsureti province and perched 1880 metres above sea level, since 2014.
Within stages of rehabilitation completed so far, disintegrated and damaged facades of Medieval buildings of the small settlement have been restored.
See the village of Mutso under restoration works, captured in drone footage:
Roof constructions have been set up to safeguard the historical structures from precipitation, while stone stairs used to move between levels of the terraced village have also been repaired.
The Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia said around 20 defensive towers dotting the village had been included in the rehabilitation work completed so far.
Within the multi-stage restoration efforts, experts have been focused on repairing and rebuilding the three terraces comprising the mountain village. The third and highest section is to be restored in 2018.
Mutso features around 30 fortified structures and four defensive towers arranged on three vertical terraces above the Mutso-Ardoti Valley.
River Ardotistskali runs through the valley overlooked by Mutso and its fortifications. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge.
The fortified community served as a forward point defending the roads leading into Georgia from the north during the late Middle Ages.
The remote village was almost completely deserted a century ago while more recently the remaining residents slowly vacated the village in search for more opportunities closer to the city.
While being difficult to access, the village has retained its original architecture and has been a popular destination for hikers and enthusiasts from all over the globe.
Governmental rehabilitation of the village was first initiated in 2004, but practical works only began a decade later. Works have been complicated by the location and weather conditions at the site, among other factors.