Exploring Vardzia, Georgia’s mysterious rock-hewed cave city
Melanie Hamilton, CNN
6 minute read
7:24 AM EST, Fri December 3, 2021
Vardzia, Georgia: Scattered across the slopes of Erusheti in Georgia's Samtskhe-Javakheti region, the dramatic cave city of Vardzia once consisted of 6,000 rooms spread across 19 levels.
Former dining hall: First conceived and constructed as a fort in the 12th century under the reign of King Giorgi III, this vibrant medieval city featured 25 wine cellars, dining hall, a nunnery, 15 chapels and an apothecary. The ruins can be explored today.
City of caves: The city thrived under the watchful eye of King Giorgi III's daughter. An elaborate series of caves and chambers were chiseled deep into the belly of Erusheti, among them a secret escape tunnel and a tangle of dead-end halls to confuse enemies.