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Five monks still live in this mountain. Every morning at seven they ring the bell in the high arch.

Vardzia (Ottoman takeover in the sixteenth century. Now part of a state heritage reserve, the extended area of Vardzia-Khertvisi has been submitted for future inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List.[1][2][3][4]


  • History 1
  • Site 2
  • Church of the Dormition 3
  • Management 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7
  • Panorama 8


[5]) "ac var dzia", giving the site its nameაქ ვარ ძია

Tamar in 1186, when the Church of the Dormition was carved out and decorated; the third from that date until the Battle of Basian c.1203, during which time many more dwellings as well as the defences, water supply, and irrigation network were constructed; while the fourth was a period of partial rebuilding after heavy damage in the earthquake of 1283.[5]

A number of documentary sources supplement the knowledge derived from the site's physical fabric. The collection of chronicles known as the Ottomans in 1578, the monks departed and the site was abandoned.[5]


The greater Vardzia area includes also the early eleventh-century church at Zeda Vardzia and the tenth- to twelfth-century rock village and cave churches of Ananauri. The main lower site was carved from the cliff's central

Vardzia cave monastery (panorama)


  • Vardzia Historical-Architectural Museum-Reserve
  • Vardzia-Khertvisi (UNESCO)

External links

  1. ^ "About Meskheti".  
  2. ^ a b "Vardzia Historical-Architectural Museum-Reserve".  
  3. ^ a b c "Vardzia-Khertvisi".  
  4. ^ a b "Vardzia Monastery complex".  
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i Gaprindashvili, Ghivi (1975). Ancient Monuments of Georgia: Vardzia (in English, Russian, and Georgian). Aurora Art Publishers, Leningrad. pp. 7–25.  
  6. ^ a b c d e "Evaluations of Cultural Properties by ICOMOS (2001)" (PDF).  
  7. ^ a b "Vardzia: Preserving the Wall Paintings of Georgia" (PDF).  


  • Christianity in Georgia
  • Culture of Georgia
  • Georgian polyphony
  • Byzantine art

See also

Since 1985 the site has formed part of the Vardzia Historical–Architectural Museum-Reserve, which includes forty-six architectural sites, twelve archaeological sites, and twenty-one sites of monumental art.[2][6] In 1999 Vardzia-Tbilisi State Academy of Arts.[7]


[6] world, but applied using local artistic traditions".Byzantine, and "testify to contacts with the Christian Orient and the secco, but executed in frescoes The paintings are not [5]; other paintings were lost in the 1283 earthquake.Saint Stephen, Angels bearing a Medallion with the Cross, and three scenes from the life of Bosom of Abraham, Last Judgment are scenes of the narthex. In the Twelve Church Fathers, behind the altar, are sanctuary. On the rear wall of the stylites, are paintings of saints and intercessors At a lower level, more accessible as [7][5] of the Dormition).Orthodox Feast, which corresponds with the Assumption (the church is sometimes known as the Church of the Dormition, and Descent of the Holy Spirit, Ascension, Harrowing of Hell, Crucifixion, Washing of the Feet, Last Supper, Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem, Raising of Lazarus, Transfiguration, Baptism, Presentation in the Temple, Nativity, followed by the Annunciation Episodes from the life of Christ occupy the vaults and upper walls in a sequence, starting with the [5] The Church of the Dormition was the central spiritual and monumental focus of the site. Carved similarly from the rock, its walls reinforced in stone, it measures 8.2 metres (27 ft) by 14.5 metres (48 ft), rising to a height of 9.2 metres (30 ft). Both church and

View to the apse and iconostasis or screen decorated with icons that separates the nave from the sanctuary

Church of the Dormition


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