Located in Eastern Georgia, Uplistsikhe (literally “Lord’s Fortress“) is an abandoned rock-hewn town, which once have played an important role in Georgian history. The place was founded in the late Bronze Age, around 1000 BC, and continued to be inhabited until 13th century AD. Between the 6th century BC and the 11st century AD, Uplistsikhe was one of the most important political and religious centers of pre-Christian Kartli – one of the predecessors of the Georgian state.
The complex is almost inaccessible from the river side. A 30 meter shaft that tunnels almost vertically down through the mountain, provided a secret entrance and escape route during times of danger. Although the city has been ravaged by invaders, earthquakes and the weather, it still contains a number of impressive public buildings. The city is divided into three parts: south (lower), middle (central) and north (upper) covering an area of approximately 8 hectares. The middle part is the largest and is connected to the southern part via a narrow rock-cut pass and a tunnel. Narrow alleys and several staircases radiate from the central “street” to the different structures. A church dating from the 9th-10th century was built at the top of the cave city. A church dating from the 9th-10th century was built at the top of the cave city. Uplistsikhe is remarkable for the unique combination of styles from rock-cut cultures of the region, most notably from Cappadocia (in modern Turkey) and Northern Iran. Most of the unearthed artifacts can be seen at the National Museum in Tbilisi.

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