The cave city of Uplistsikhe was founded between 6th and 4th Centuries BC by pagan tribes. It’s located in 90 KM from Tbilisi, on the left bank of Mtkvari River.
Today, it has become a big attraction for travelers. Uplistsikhe is a full scale city carved into rock. Here you’ll find temples, churches, wineries, a pharmacy and even a theater! It’s a must see location for history, nature and photo lovers!
Archaeologists tell us that People living in Uplistsikhe were farmers. As the fertile lands surrounded the city, locals produced a big amount of agricultural products, mostly wheat and wine. So these caves quickly became a hub of local trade and culture. This city was one of the big stops on the Georgian segment of the Great Silk Road. Caravans from east and west came to sell their spices and buy the delicious Geogian Wine.
This was a a holy city for pagans, so most of the people living here were pagan priests who held great power. Therefore we can confidently say that Uplistsikhe strongly influenced even the politics of its era.
Short History of Uplistsikhe
As the cave city of Uplistsikhe was a city-fortress, it played a big role as a defensive unit throughout the ages. Since its foundation, city has seen multiple attacks.
In IX-X Centuries, Bagrationi Dynasty, Kakhetian dukes and the King of Armenia actively fought to conquer the city. The battle ended with the victory of Bagrationi Dynasty, who later used it as a base for the rebellion against Arab invaders.
After the rebellion and unification of Georgia, this great cave city lost it’s importance. The final end of the city came in 14th century. Defeated by the Mongols, Georgians destroyed the walls, in order to avoid the invaders fortifying themselves.
After the 14th century, people used these caves only for hiding purposes. It never again stood up to it’s glory.
Today, If you look carefully, you can also find some medieval and World War Grafiti on these sandstone walls.
Tours visiting Uplistsikhe
Want to visit Uplistsikhe? Take a look at our tours that cover it: