Written By Tinatin Bujiashvili
Salkhino is a village in Martvili region. It is 15 km from Martvili at about 250 m above the sea level. It is situated on the north-east slopes of Kvibia Mountains from the left bank of the Tekhura River. The summer residence of Dadiani in the village Salkhino is truly distinguished. The palace was constructed, on a site originally occupied by a modest royal residence in the village of Salkhino near the Martvili Church, during the reign of David Dadiani’s father Levan V Dadiani (1804-1840).According to the historian Gigolo Basilaia, the church was built by Katsia Dadiani. It was the first stone church in the region and is known as a Kari Church. (Kari-Door). The bell tower of the church was built by Levan Dadiani. In the beginning of communism early in the 20th century it was destroyed.
The palace is situated near the home of the Ojaleshi (variety of wine grape) on the bank of the river Tsachkhura, which is famed for its fine trout. The plan of the palace, with its ground-floor wine vessel, oaken posts, and handsomely ornamented arch, fully justifies the name of the palace Salkhino, which means “Festive”. The idea of building a palace of this kind, on this spot, could only have come to a Prince such as Levan Dadiani, who spent all his life in feasting and singing.
The Salkhino Palace was ravaged under the Soviet regime in the name of social justice, leaving only a stripped shell. Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to enter the building.The garden was designed by an Italian designer Zeb Lambert. In the end of the garden there is a wine cellar built in the 18th century.Today there is a Father monastery there, where nearly 6 monks live.