Samtskhe Javakheti


Samtskhe-JavakhetiVardzia  
Samtskhe-Javakheti is a southern parto of Georgia from the historical provinces of Meskheti (Samtskhe), Javakheti and Tori (Borjomi gorge). The capital city of the region is Akhaltsikhe. 
The regions consist of six administrative districts: 
Akhaltsikhe, Adigeni, Aspindza, Borjomi, Akhalkalaki and Ninotsminda. 
While talking to this region, one of the places which come to people on mind is historical Vardzia. This is a cave monastery which is represented on the left bank of the Mtkvari River. History of this ancient monastery complex comes from 12 century, during Queen Tamar’s years of reign. Referred to Georgian history, this period is recognized as “golden age”. 
It is believed that church on the cave city territory was built during 1180s by command of Queen Tamar. Approximately 200 monks was housing During 12 century at this territory.   
According to the legend, the name of the cave city comes itself from Queen Tamar. She had accompanied her father while hunting, when she got lost. King and his companions called Tamar and answer came from caves “ Ak var Zia” (which means here I’m uncle).
 At the heart of the Vardzia, is Church of the Assumption, where on the north wall side Queen Tamar’s and his father King George III’s  famous frescoes is illustrated. This fresco is one out of the 3 frescos which is kept up to date.    
Rabati Castle
Around Akhaltsikhe is Rabati old town, which is multicultural architecture, combining Synagogue, an Armenian church,a Catholic Church, the Jakelis Palace and a mosque.
Reconstruction of the Rabati Castle started in 2011 year. All this historical building has been restored on the base of old images. Rabati castle is reach of its Georgian old traditional halls, and was built during 12th century. On the territory is kept ruins of Islamic school.
Nowadays, it is ready to receive tourists. Castle covers around s space of seven hectares.