Photographer's Note

Vardzia - The vertical city

Vardzia is a is a cave monastery site in the south of Georgia and excavated from the slopes of the Erusheti Mountain.
It is quite remote but in Akhaltsikhe we were able to negotiate with a taxi driver to take us there for a day trip (and also to the Sapara Monastery and the Khertvisi Fortress) at a reasonable price.

Do you see the lonely tree on top at the edge of the cliff? That will be the POV for Malgo's pictures when she will be there in April.

For a front view of the rock and a view at the inside, please have a look at the workshop.

Information from Lonely Planet Guide:

In the 12th century a fortification was built here and later a monastery was established that grew into a virtual holy city housing perhaps 200 monks, renowned as a spiritual bastion of Georgia.
The inhabitants lived in dwellings carved from the rock and ranging over 13 floors.
Altogether there are 119 cave groups with 409 rooms, 13 churches … and 25 wine cellars :)

Vardzia suffered a major earthquake in 1283 which shook away the outer walls of many caves.
Today Vardzia is again a working monastery with some caves inhabited by monks.

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Additional Photos by Paul VDV (PaulVDV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5077 W: 17 N: 12171] (49032)
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