The monastery of Vardzia is remarkable. Located at the juncture of Eastern Europe and Western Asia, its history dates back to almost nine hundred years.
When being in Georgia, the best picnic place is Vardzia to visit. Vardzia is often called cave city or monastery which was built in the 12th century. It is like a labyrinth of rooms and tunnels that extend to Erusheli Mountain. It’s 30 minute’s climb to access the monastery and you will have to pay a little entrance fee to the monks.
The monastery originally had six thousand rooms and thirteen storeys. Nowadays there are three hundred rooms and halls remaining.
In 1185 the throne of Georgia was passed to a woman for the first time, her name was Tamar. During her reign Georgia saw a flowering of culture and the monastery was her idea. She decided to have a monastery carved from solid rock, because the Mongol Empire was threatening little Georgia constantly. To help her people avoid from Mongol onslaught, Tamar commanded to build an underground sanctuary.
The place was chosen in Aspindza and the secret works started nearby Erusheli Mountain. During the construction time the Queen was twenty-five years old. Her age was the reason that nobles tried to usurp her position, but failed. Tamar ruled for twenty-nine years and is known as a warrior queen.