The Legend of Vardzia

The cave monastery complex Vardzia was built during the reign of King George III and his daughter Queen Tamar. There is a legend about the name origin of this outstanding monument of medieval architecture. According to the legend, a long time ago, when Tamara was still a little girl she loved to play in this at that time unfinished cave town.

One day she was playing there with her uncle who soon lost the girl of his sight in that cave maze. And then Tamar loudly shouted: “Ak var dzia!” which is translated from Georgian as: “I am here, uncle!”. The last two words echoed around the cave complex, and they were heard by King George III. He ordered to call the complex just like that – “Vardzia”.

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