Vardzia caves

Сave city of Vardzia  (Region of Samtskhe-Javakheti)

Vardzia (Georg. ვარძია) Complex carved in the rock (1156-1203) stands in Javakheti,  on the left bank of river Mtkvari. Vardzia monastery has the width of 0,5 km and is arranged on 13 floors. It consists of 2 parts: rock village of Ananauri (X-XI cc.), monastery itself built in 5 stages: on the first stage, during the reign of Giorgi III (1156-1184), first cells and a church were carved. On the second stage, during the reign of Queen Tamar (1184-1185), in the center of the monastery was carved a hall church of Assumption of Virgin Mary with stoa.

The best preserved is eastern part – 242 carved rooms (including a hall of 8 m x 5,6 m, assembly hall, Tamar’s room, feast room). In the western part is a refectory, in central part – asylum rooms. Tunnels were supplied from natural spring existing in the depth behind the main church (with the help of 3,5 km running water system).Vardzia is rich with fresco paintings. In the XII century church of Assumption of Virgin Mary there are images of donators: Giorgi III and Queen Tamari. There are also scenes from the New Testament.

Сave city of Vardzia is presented for inscription on UNESCO World Heritage List.