Vardzia, the ancient Cave City of Georgia – Journal of Nomads
06 February, 2018
Vardzia, the ancient Cave City of Georgia – Journal of Nomads
Vardzia, Georgia’s unique cave city continues to amaze people from all over the world. This time, famous travel blog, Journal of Nomads devoted wonderful and very interesting article to Vardzia – Georgia’s unique ancient cave city.

Vardzia is a rock-carved fortress stretched over 500 meters. It is located in the historic region of Samtskhe-Javakheti and consists of 600 rooms. It can freely be called the Honor of Georgians.
geotv.ge
Vardzia is a rock-carved fortress

This cave town is a monument of
Georgian history, culture and religion. It should be mentioned that the site is included in the UNESCO world culture heritage list as one of the most unique rock-hewn towns.
geotv.ge
Vardzia is a monument of Georgian history

The name of the cave-town is connected with Queen Tamar , the great female monarch (Mepe) of Georgia from 1184 to 1213, presiding over the apex of the Georgian Golden Age. According to the legend, young Tamar, when out hunting, lost in the caves; when called for, she replied "I am here, uncle" (Georgian: “aq var dzia"), giving the site its name.
geotv.ge
The name of the cave-town is connected with Queen Tamar

“Vardzia is a spectacular cave monastery near Aspindza in southern Georgia. It looks like one of the movie sets of Lord of the Rings, but it is not the home of dwarfs but of many monks. This underground monastery was built in the 12th Century, under the reign of King Tamar, the first woman that was ever crowned as a king (not a queen!) in Georgian history”, the article reads.
geotv.ge
It looks like one of the movie sets of Lord of the Rings

Author of the article emphasizes distinctiveness and importance of the place and tells its great history. As it is known, Vardzia was built as a shelter from Mongol attacks.

“In the late 1100's the medieval kingdom of Georgia was constantly under threat of the Mongol Empire. To help her people avoid the Mongol onslaught, Tamar ordered the construction of an underground sanctuary and secretly they started building this fortress under the Erusheli mountain. It was a gigantic job but the people worked hard with the determination that their culture and lifestyle should not be destroyed by the invading Mongols”- Cynthia Bil, a travel blogger at Journal of Nomads informs its readers.
geotv.ge
As it is known, Vardzia was built as a shelter from Mongol attacks

The publication stresses unique architecture of the medieval complex: “This underground fortress eventually had 13 levels constructed with natural caves and contained over 6000 rooms, including a throne room, a reception chamber, a meeting room, a bakery, a forge, chapels and a huge church. The only way to get to this underground city was through a secret tunnel which started at the nearby Mtkvari River.”
geotv.ge
Vardzia kept Georgians safe from the Mongol attacks

It is also noteworthy that the land on the outside of the hidden monastery was extremely fertile. The monks arranged an irrigation system on terraced farmlands so they could produce their own food. As the author notes, some tunnels had irrigation pipes that still bring drinkable water. The cave city also had about 25 wine cellars containing 185 wine jars.
geotv.ge
Journal of Nomads team in Vardzia

Vardzia kept Georgians safe from the Mongol attacks, but, sadly, a devastating earthquake in 1283 (only 100 years after its construction) destroyed more than two-thirds of the city. In the aftermath of the earthquake, the remaining caves that were once hidden became visible.

geotv.ge

There is a special “bubble gum tree” outside the cave city

At the end of the article, the author advises its readers not to forget bringing some chewing gum with them, as there is a special “bubble gum tree” outside the cave city, where people make a wish and stick their chewing gum to the tree.

Read full story at Journal of Nomads

All photos courtesy of Journal of Nomads

Related stories:

Vardzia, unique monument of Georgian culture

“Travel with us” – Georgian couple in the cave city of Vardzia

Vardzia - Georgia's unique cave city

15 things to know about Tamar the Great – First female monarch of Georgia

Georgia's Queen Tamar appears in a popular computer game

Print
Other Stories
Things to keep in mind while travelling to Georgia
If you are planning to visit Georgia, Georgian Journal will provide you with important tips and recommendations.
3 Innovative startups created in Georgia
Georgian students have created a number of interesting startups in recent years.
Stunning Georgian Monasteries captured by Giorgi Nikolava
Georgian photographer Giorgi Nikolava has captured beautiful views of Georgian Monasteries.
Georgia, I love you - Georgian policemen's honorable behavior leaves tourist excited
"The Georgian police went above and beyond my expectations" - writes Nicole on Facebook.
Cave cities to visit in Georgia
Georgia boasts its unique caves spread out across the country.
Top 12 Must-See Places in Georgia
If you are going to visit Georgia, there are top 12 places you must visit throughout the country.
Unique Qvevri-made whisky by Alexander Distillery
Whisky is a strong alcoholic beverage, an aromatic drink, which is made from fermented grain mash in oak barrels.
Virtual tour to snowy Georgia by Shermazana
Georgia is distinguished by its unique nature. Georgia boasts its Mountains, lakes, rivers and a sea, forests and resort towns, all found in a single country.
History of the Georgian resort town Borjomi
Borjomi is a resort town located in the region of Samtskhe-Javakheti, Georgia.
CNN about abandoned Tskaltubo Spa
CNN has recently published an article about the abandoned sanatoriums of Tskaltubo, a town in the west part of Georgia.
4 Estonians and a Lithuanian who farm tea in Georgia
What comes to your mind when you hear Georgia? Lots of things: wine first of all, cuisine, nature and mountains covered with snow all year, tourism, but what about tea?
Georgia celebrates National Flag Day
Today on the 14th of January Georgia celebrates National Flag Day.
Imeretian vine species: Black Acorn
Georgia boasts more than 500 varieties of indigenous grapes, some of them are not found anywhere in the world.
The New York Times advices Americans to visit Batumi in 2019
“Tbilisi, Georgia’s charming capital, has been flooded with tourists over the past decade”
Georgian mountain town Mestia on the travel hotlist
The daily newspaper Daily Express in the United Kingdom has recently published an article about the top up-and-coming travel destinations for this year.
Washington Post about Georgian wine on Mars and Chakrulo
Washington Post has recently published an article about the IX Millennium project and the Georgian team experimenting on grape varieties and Mars-like soil.
Tbilisi covered with fireworks on the New Year’s Eve
Old Tbilisi was entirely covered with fireworks on the New Year’s Eve in Georgia.
Alilo – Christmas tradition in Georgia
Alilo is a traditional Georgian Christmas song performed the night before Christmas.
Georgian wines to taste for Christmas and New Year
Georgia is the country where the earliest evidence of grape wine-making was found.
8 Georgian buildings nominated at the Mies van der Rohe Award
8 Georgian buildings have been nominated at the European Union Prize of Contemporary Architecture, Mies van der Rohe Award 2019.
Georgian wine wins gold medals in Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Georgian wines have recently received gold medals at the International Wine Tasting Competition “Vine East”.
Founder of brandy tradition in Georgia – David Sarajishvili
Wine making has long tradition in Georgia. It has been made for centuries in this country and scientists sometimes call Georgia a cradle of wine.
“Mekvleoba” and “Bedoba” – New Year traditions in Georgia
New Year is one of the main celebrations in the wintertime.
Wintertime paintings by Georgian artists
The wintertime is always associated with snow, Christmas and New Year.
Festive decorations in different parts of Georgia
Georgia gets ready for Christmas and New Year.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
14.02.2019
15.02.2019
USD
1
USD
2.6438
2.6420
EUR
1
EUR
2.9917
2.9778
GBP
1
GBP
3.4060
3.3915
RUB
100
RUB
4.0208
3.9577