Connect with us

Travel

Uplistsikhe, The ‘Lord’s Fortress’ in Georgia

An abandoned ancient cave town that once housed Christian kings.

Ann Moises

Posted

(

)

A A A
  • Uplistsikhe is one of Georgia’s ancient cave towns located just an hour away from Tbilisi.
  • From the 6th century BC to 1st century AD, Uplistsikhe was a major religious, political, and cultural center.
  • It was once home to the Christian kings of Kartli.
  • A 9th-10th Christian basilica, Uplistsulis Eklesia or the Prince’s Church, sits on top of the cave complex, built over Uplistsikhe’s most important pagan temple.

Founded in the late Bronze age at approximately 1000 BC, Uplistsikh is an abandoned rock-hewn town located in eastern Georgia. The name literally means ‘Lord’s Fortress.’

The enormous cave town became one of the most significant political and religious centers of pre-Christian Kartli. It likewise housed temples for the sun goddess.

The Christian kings of Kartli took residence in Uplistsikhe in 645 AD, after the Arabs occupied the capital. Moreover, it was a vital trade center on a main caravan road from Europe to Asia.

In its heyday, at least 20,000 people once lived there.

However, Uplistsikhe saw its downfall when King David the builder recaptured Tbilisi in 1122. Then the Mongols irrevocably destroyed the city in 1240.

Ultimately, the people abandoned the cave town.

What remains to this day is the 40,000 sq. meter Shida Qalaqi or Inner City. It is only less than half of its original size.

The cave town can be divided into three sections or areas: the lower, central, and upper area.

A narrow tunnel connects the lower and the central area. The central area contains majority of the rock-cut structures, most of which are devoid of decorations except for some larger structures with its stone carvings. Most of the archeological finds have been discovered here since 1957, wrote the Lonely Planet.

According to UNESCO, archeologists uncovered extraordinary artifacts like stunning jewelry of gold, silver, and bronze as well as remarkable samples of ceramics and sculptures. Most of the artifacts are on display at the National Museum of Tbilisi.

A 9th-10th century Christian basilica, Uplistsulis Eklesia or the Prince’s Church, sits on top of the cave complex.

The church, which still exists today, was built over a sun temple used for animal sacrifices.

The rock-cut structures in this amazing cave complex include a large hall called Tamaris Darbazi (Hall of Queen Tamar). There were sites for pagan sacrifices, lodgings, and functional edifices such as a pharmacy, bakery, an amphitheatre, and a prison as well.

Tunnels link the structures, though some tunnels served as an emergency escape route.

Only 150 are left from the 700 caves in Uplistsikhe since the old days. But at least the remaining structures have been preserved to their original state, and tourists can still have a glimpse of the past.

View Comments

Travel

5 Places That Spark Creativity and Inspiration for Writers

After all, choosing your words is not always easy. Right, writers?

Margaret Tionquiao

Published

on

writers-inspiration

  • Creativity has always been tied up with inspiration, especially for writers.
  • One percent of writers' inspiration can get the words flowing.
  • The good news is, writers can actually seek inspiration in virtually everything, including beautiful places.
  • From the fairy tale like castles to charming cobbled streets, clean beaches, and rocky terrain, writers who need inspiration can always find it all around the world.

Continue Reading

Travel

Peru’s Manchu Pinchu Reopens for One Stranded Tourist Who Waited Seven Months to See It

Finally, he got to visit the ruins – and he had it all to himself!

Ann Moises

Published

on

  • Jesse Katayama, a boxing instructor from Okinawa, Japan, has been stranded in Peru for several months.
  • He bought a ticket to visit Manchu Pinchu on March 16. However, the country was placed on lockdown because of the Coronavirus pandemic.
  • After seven months, with help from a local tour company and Peru's National Ministry of Culture, he was granted access to the ruins.
  • Manchu Pinchu is not officially open to the public yet.

Continue Reading

Travel

A Peaceful Way of Living in Santa Cruz del Islote, Columbia

There’s zero crime rate on the island.

Ann Moises

Published

on

  • Santa Cruz del Islote is a small island located in Columbia.
  • It is so peaceful that no crime has ever occurred there according to its residents.
  • Although small, the island welcomes tourists who wish to explore and learn about their culture.

Continue Reading

Popular