Thu, Jan 12, 2012
Ruins of massive cave city in Europe a site to see, but needs help.
It is off the beaten path of world tourism. Unlike the great monuments of ancient Rome, Greece, Egypt, China and Mesoamerica, it sees comparatively fewer visitors. Yet if casual tourists or expeditionary scholars were to see it, they would likely say that it is every bit as impressive as the Roman Colosseum or the Pyramids of Giza. Built astride and into the sheer cliff face of a mountain, it resembles something of a hybrid of ancient Petra in Jordan and the Mesa Verde cliff dwellings of the U.S…..or, for those familiar with the Tolkien works, a Minas Tirith in ruins. Known as the cave city or monastery of Vardzia, it was dug into the side of Mount Erusheli near the town of Aspindza and the Mtkvari river in southern Georgia during the late 12th century. Today, it is a tourist destination for Georgians, Europeans and others throughout the world who know of its existence. But some of its remarkable remains will crumble away into oblivion if expert care and conservation is not realized in full. . . . Read complete extensive report w/photos