Vardzia’s Church of Dormition caught fire
02 November, 2016
Vardzia’s Church of Dormition  caught fire
The church of Dormition of the Mother of God located in Vardzia cave complex caught fire last night,on November 1. As National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation of Georgia reports, the candlestick burnt down and part of the unique frescoes were covered with soot. At this moment the church is closed for visitors and tourists. The specialists are examining the d
amage and soon restoration works will be launched.

National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation of Georgia has been carrying out a plan for preserving Vardzia complex carved into the rock for recent years. Within the frames of the project, special works, examinations and researches have been carried out in order to study the condition for conservation of the 12th century unique frescoes in the church of Dormition in the complex.

The agency has been cooperating with Courtauld Institute of Art of the University of London and carrying out surveys in Vardzia Complex together Tbilisi State Academy of Arts over last four years.
The extended area of Vardzia-Khertvisi has been submitted for future inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Vardzia is a unique medieval complex dug out of the solid rock in southern Georgia, on the left bank of the Mtkvari River, thirty kilometres from the town of Aspindza. At first sight this magnificent cave monastery may remind you of the great palace built by the fairytale dwarfs from Lord of the Rings, but in reality it is a wonder made by a human’s hand. The complex was built by the order of Georgia’s great Queen Tamar to help her people avoid the Mongol onslaught in the 12th century. When completed this underground fortress extended 13 levels and contained 6000 apartments, a throne room and a large church with an external bell tower. The only way to get to this underground kingdom was via a secret tunnel which started at the nearby Mtkvari River.

Related stories:

Vardzia – one of the 17 most unusual towns to visit in the world

Vardzia - Georgia's unique cave city

Ten new floors discovered in the cave city of Vardzia

Fascinating 8th century monastery carved into the rock in Vani

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