Vardzia is a unique architectural wonder located in the south of Georgia, near the town of Aspindza. Vardzia is a cave palace and monastery built by Georgians in the Caucasus in the late 1100s to serve as a sanctuary to resist foreign invasions. The underground fortress spanned 13 levels and contained 6000 apartments, a throne room, and a large church with an external bell tower. Access was likely through a hidden tunnel near the Mtkvari river. Despite its defenses, a devastating earthquake in 1283 destroyed much of the city, and it was ultimately raided and destroyed by Persian invaders in 1551.
Today, a small group of monks maintain the site, with about three hundred apartments and halls remaining open to visitors. Vardzia’s unique combination of architectural and defensive design, as well as its historical and cultural significance, make it a must-see for any traveler visiting Georgia. With its impressive scale and intricate design, the site is often compared to the underground halls in the fictional world of Lord of the Rings, and it’s easy to see why.
In conclusion, Vardzia is a unique and impressive architectural wonder, built by the Georgians in a time of desperation as a sanctuary, and it still stands as a testament to their ingenuity and determination. The site is a popular tourist destination and is definitely worth a visit for anyone interested in history, architecture, or culture.