Written by Tinatin Bujiashvili
Village Tsurtavi is located on the valley between the rivers the Debeda and the Keli. According to Armenian historian Ukhtanes, the town, known as Tsurtavi, was called Gachiani in the X century. We meet records about Tsurtavi since V century. In the VI century there was a residence of Kartli Pitiaksh Episcopas. Cathedral was founded there too. Tsurtavi was cultural and educational centre too. Georgian and Armenian scholars worked there. Iakob Tsurtaveli, Tsurtavi bishop Moses worked in Tsurtavi. An Armenian Lazare Parpets studied here too.
According to Vakhushti Bagrationi, after punishing Varsken Pitiaksh, king Bakur took the dead body of Shushanik to Tsurtavi and buried there.
Queen Darejan, the spouse of King Erekle II, built a little St Ketevan church here, where today two nuns, Salome and Natalia, live.
Today Tsurtavi is mostly populated by Armenians. Very few Georgians live there.