Vardzia is a cave monastery in Southern Georgia built by legendary Queen Tamar in 11 century. It is located on the left bank of Mktvari river near Aspinza in Southern Georgia.  The main period of construction was the second half of the twelfth century. The caves stretch along the cliff for some five hundred meters and in up to nineteen tiers. The Church of the Dormition dating to the 1180s during the golden age of Queen Tamar reign has an important series of frescoes. The site was largely abandoned after the Ottomon invasion 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 INESCO World Heritage List.
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