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Tbilisi, Georgia
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Cave Towns
The ancient city carven in the rock is located 20 km east to Gori (Gori lies in 86 km from Tbilisi). It was part of the historic Silk Road. On the verge of II and I millennia BC, one of the tribes that lived on the territory of Uplistsikhe decided to use and arrange the natural caves as their dwelling spaces. In the 6th-5th centuries BC it became one of the most important cultural and political centers of Shida Kartli. Starting from the 2nd century BC it transformed into a typical hellenistic town. Uplistsikhe was an important trading centre till the 12th century AD. The remains of the town, which was built on the bank of the river Mtkvari still retain the signs of hellenistic epoch and make an unforgettable impression on the visitors.
Davit Gareji
Grandiose monastery complex of the 6th century that was carven in the rocks and is located in the miraculous landscape 32 km from Sagarejo (Sagarejo lies at the distance of 54 km from Tbilisi) was founded by one of the 13 Saint Assyrian Fathers Davit Garejeli. The complex which is built in the semi-arid area consists of 30 monasteries. During its heydays it housed about 10,000 monks. One of the monasteries still preserves the oldest sample of the Georgian wall painting from the 9th century.
Vardzia is a city of the 12th century carven in the rock. It is located in the Southern Georgia next to Aspindza, 280 km from Tbilisi. Its construction is linked to one of the strongest sovereigns of Georgia Queen Tamar. The huge 13-storey complex includes 250 caves. The extant church is located in the central part of the city and the fresco of Queen Tamar is one of its attires. From the very beginning of its establishment Vardzia combined in itself the functions of a spiritual centre, dwelling and fortification.

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