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Euronews advises tourists to visit medieval Vardzia cave complex in Georgia
12 June, 2018
Georgian tourist sites speak for themselves. They are old, mysterious and catchy. One of those sites is Vardzia Complex, currently a monastery, once a cultural and educational, as well as spiritual center of Georgia in medieval ages. Vardzia is located in Javakheti region, 30 kilometers from town Aspindza.

Euronews has published yet another video accompanied with article stressing its historic and cultural importance.
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Fresco of King Tamari and her father, king Giorgi III. Photo courtesy: bestplace.ge

“Vardzia is called the cave town
and is a spectacular site in southern Georgia, dug out of the Erusheti Mountain in 1185” – says the article.

It had special significance for Georgians because it was associated with King Tamar (1184-1213) - such a charismatic woman that she was crowned King instead of Queen! "Among all the architectural jewels of Georgia, the Vardzia complex is the most precious," said 'Postcards' reporter Claudio Rosmino.
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What we see today is a one third of the original complex. Photo courtesy: georgiavoyage.ge

"In this city, carved into the rock, there were houses, shops, libraries and even a water network. In total, 6,000 rooms, spread out over 13 levels" – Rosmino says.
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According to Google maps, it takes from 3.5 to 4.5 hours to get to Vardzia from Tbilisi

Vardzia complex originally was much larger, but in 1283 a devastating earthquake destroyed nearly two thirds of the site. What we see today are just a remnants of a magnificent complex.
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Some of the frescoes are damaged because of illtreatment. Photo courtesy: martlmadidebloba.ge

"Vardzia cave complex was built for approximately 48 years by hand and was designed to host 50,000 people for defence purposes," explained museum guide Tina Zedginidze, "But later it became a Royal monastery with educational functions".
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In this city, carved into the rock, there were houses, shops, libraries and even a water network. Photo courtesy: thebackpackway.world

“A small group of monks is still living there. Some 300 apartments can be visited and in some tunnels the old irrigation pipes still bring drinkable water” –the article reads.
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Restoration works help to maintain old frescoes. Photo courtesy: ambioni.ge

There different are tours in Tbilisi to visit Vardzia, but mostly, each of them lasts for one day. Prices differ from 70 to 90 GEL. Tours start in the city. Distance between Tbilisi and Vardzia is 280 kilometers.

The site is open everyday except of Monday, from 10 am. till 6 pm. The entrance prices are as follows: adults - 5 GEL, teenagers and students – 1 GEL. Guide service costs 25 Gel, audio guide – 10 GEL. Microbus service costs 1 GEL per person. Children under 6 years, employees of Georgian and foreign museums, members of ICOM and ICOMOS, soldiers, IDPs and persons with disabilities can enter the site for free.
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Interior of one of the churches in Vardzia. Photo courtesy: wikiwand.com

Watch Euronews video here

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Why Georgia is a hotspot for natural wines – The Guardian

Vardzia, the ancient Cave City of Georgia – Journal of Nomads

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