Resort "Gudauri” is one of the most valuable places in Georgian tourist industry. Mountain-skiing resort is situated in 120 km from Tbilisi, on the height of 2000 above sea level. Here the best conditions are created for professionals and amateurs of skiing. Season continues from December until middle of April, and sometimes snow cover is so big that you can ski even in May.
Today, three ropeways of the company "Doppelmayr” work (three and four-seater). First ropeway (the lower station) is located on the height – 1990m; the third – 3006m. The total length of skiing lines constitutes 19km, and they are constantly treated by special cars. The longest line in Gudauri is 5 km. Many free rides make Gudauri the best place for skiing.
The fact that Gudauri develops quite quickly and Georgian mountain-skiing tourist industry represents nowadays a visiting card is due to the initiative people. Gudauri was recognized as a significant mountain-skiing resort already in the period of Soviet Union and it, together with Bakuriani attracted many people from both neighboring and distant countries.
In 80ies, Bakuriani was considered the main resort. In those days, the priority was not given to the construction of mountain-skiing resorts, though several men managed to see the potential and did everything to assist its development.
In 1979, a group of architects was organized in the Institute of Projecting that had to make a project for the development of Bakuriani. The group consisted of Vakhtang Mikeladze, Levan Lordkipanidze, Kosta Kavtaraia, Merab Andronikashvili. They had to study and plan only Bakuriani, but on their initiative, the group studied the most part of the whole Caucasioni in Georgia, to find out what places would be perspective for the creation of mountain-skiing resorts.
In 1980, to conduct appropriate expertise, two Italian specialists were invited: Hugo Iling and Giuseppe Kanestrini.
Expertise was organized in the following resorts – Bakuriani, Tsikhisjvari and others. It took them 2-3 weeks and at the end, they went to Gudauri, where it was rainy and foggy. The conclusion, received from Italy was very interesting: Gudauri had the highest indices to be turned into mountain-skiing resort. Gudauri has great possibilities to construct ski-lines as the snow cover on the average is more than 1,5 meters. There are many reserves around Gudauri to create new lines for skiing. Communicational developed system is already constructed; moreover, gas pipes and lines of electricity are passing through Gudauri. Accordingly, it will be much cheaper to create here a wonderful resort. For that time, the children’s school of mountain skiing had already been established and young people together with their parents actively visited Gudauri. Soliko Khabeishvili, secretary of Communist Party at that time had greatly assisted to the process of Gudauri development and building.
In 1985, the contract was signed with Austrian side to build a hotel in Gudauri (nowadays known as hotel "Gudauri” (Marco Polo)) and four ropeways.
Gudauri is now a significant mountain-skiing resort and many interesting championships in skiing were conducted there: 3 contests of International Ski Federation and 2 championships of Russia.
Today "Heli-Ski” is a very popular sport. People go by helicopters to the peak of the mountain and begin their way down along unknown roads. Only Canada and Georgia posses the unique conditions for this kind of sport.
Nowadays, Gudauri infrastructure is actively developing as a mountain skiing resort; many hotels of mini motels type have been built here that are able to accommodate 10-60 people.
Building of private apartments of high level is currently taken place. Besides everything this, still much is left to do, but the potential of this resort is quite big.
After a hard, tiring year the holiday season draws closer. In summer almost everybody tries to get to the seaside in order to relax. There is a wide variety of resorts available. The taste and savings determine the choice. However, Batumi has always been particularly popular. The number of visitors in the city speaks for itself. In particular, since plenty of things have changed here.
Tourists now are a more frequent sight in Batumi. They speak Russian, English, Armenian, French… Perhaps there is a language barrier, but nobody is concerned about it, since they can either enjoy the best quality Batumi coffee brewed on the heated sand in the remodelled café Sanapiro, or savour Adjarian khachapuri at the beloved café of Batumians – the Laguna. It’s simply a shame not to taste one once you are there.
Tourism is rapidly developing in Batumi. It is particularly tangible in the Department of Tourism. Plenty of meetings, presentations, new projects are under way. Nobody speaks about success in Batumi as yet; the success is expected by the end of 2007. Numerous new things and projects will have been started by then. First and foremost among them - the airport and Kazakh hotels, then - the entertainments: the Lunapark on the Choloki bank, the remodeled Dolphinarium, Gymnasiums, the old Batumi, which has transformed into an open museum itself and a lot more.
Although there is still a long way to go, the achievements are already visible. It is a fact that Batumi is a city where you can spare money. History lovers are welcome to visit museums or historical monuments. There really are a lot of things to see; for instance, the Batumi Theatre, the State Museum of Adjara, the museum of Fine Arts etc.
The Botanical Garden, as usual, produces a huge impression on the visitors. You can visit it any time of the year, as either one or another of the nine departments (among them special species from East Asia, North America, New Zealand, Mexico and other regions are exhibited) is always ready to accept guests. Something is always flowering here. This place is unique in all the southern Caucasus for the plants that grow side by side at different seasons.
Not everybody is attracted by sights. Entertainments and amusements are more than enough for them too. Those who cannot swim, provided they get a certificate of health, can try either diving or sailing. Although neither of them is a cheap pleasure, it’s truly worth doing. All the safety measures are taken for you.
In the centre of the city there is the "Tbilisi” cinema. Here people arrive not only to watch films, but to play a game of billiards as well, and even from the adjoining towns.
The night Batumi is particularly beautiful. When watching dancing French fountains on TV, you are really impressed, but what you feel standing in a few metres from the real fountain, is far more than being just impressed! The repertoire is so diverse, that it can satisfy anybody’s taste. Probably that’s the reason why all the seats nearby the fountains are occupied in advance since 10 p.m.
Even if you wish to get lost in Batumi, it is impossible. And even if it still happens, there are two tourist inquiry offices functioning in the city. They are ready to offer the visitors any kinds of information. As the Tourist Department states, negotiations over allotting places for information bureaus is being carried out within the railway stations. Soon the inquiry office for the tourists will be opened in the vicinity of the Sarpi Customs House. Once in Batumi, you cannot help being entertained.
You can find the way out even if you are bored with the life within the city. Almost every hour shuttle buses and taxis set off in all the directions from the territory of the old market and the main bus station. Merely a few minutes walk from here is the Green Cape surrounded by lots of wonderful places and cosy spots; the Gonio historical sights; Chakvi, with its business meetings; Sarpi, with its clearest water etc. The lovers of the nature and the extreme can go sightseeing to the waterfall. This wondrous sight is a few minutes’ walk from the city centre. During summer tourists often gather there. Moreover, swimming is allowed here. Besides, there are plenty of places where one can make a camp and rest remote from the city fuss along with one’s friends.
The most expensive at the seaside resorts is August. During August particularly big number of tourists amasses here. This year even a greater number of tourists is expected to arrive. Advertisements about Batumi have already been released on several Armenian TV channels. A new railway line has been opened between Yerevan and Batumi as well. Even though the passengers have to spend 18 hours in trains, nobody refuses to travel to the long wished for city. In addition, it’s worth mentioning that an Armenian restaurant and a few tourist agencies have been opened specially for the Armenian tourists.
Moreover, rather famous Russian companies have expressed interest and negotiations are under way with them. Holiday-makers are expected to arrive from Turkey as well.
By the way, as regards Turkey, some think that it is the major competitor of our country. They hope the situation will change soon and people from Turkey will choose to arrive in Georgia. Until then, Turkish investors have visited Georgia. The general director of the remodelled hotel "Intourist” Shukri Kara is happy with the achieved results. His hotel is distinguished for the superb quality and the widest choice of services.
Batumi is rather a big city and there is a lot to tell about it. However, it is always better to see once first-hand than to read about it.
Betania, in other words Vifania, is a cloister in honor of the Christmas of God’s Mother, a monument of culture and architecture of Georgia. It was built in XII-XIIIcc and is situated in 16 km from the Georgian capital, Tbilisi in the woody gorge of the river Vere. It was restored at the end of XIX century. Stone relief was preserved from ancient times but ornaments decorating cupola were dated by later time. The main sights of the temple are ancient murals that refer to XII-XIII centuries: Vedreba, Fragments of our sitting Savior, Foretellers.
The main sight represents fresco of Georgia’s Queen Tamar in her life-time (as it is supposed), and also kings – George and Lasha. Fresco is dated by approximately 1207.
Little church Darbazuli (1196) is located on the west of Cathedral. In 3 km to the south from cathedral Betania, there is another monument of Georgian history and culture – sepulcher, dated by the earlier period - VI-VII centuries. This monument hasn’t been completely explored yet.
It is no novelty, that Georgia does not feel a lack of resorts. Though to collect specific information on many of them is difficult and takes much time. Today we’ll try to solve this problem. Let us direct your attention to Borjomi...
Borjomi is located in the central part of our country; its area constitutes 1190 square kilometers.Coniferous and deciduous woods occupy 60-65 % of the territory. The geographic location stipulates the peculiar climate of the gorge. The climatic variety increases the role of Borjomi as a resort and a medical zone. The settlement is surrounded by high mountains. Summer is warm, winter – soft. Pleasant air and environment make this place attractive and unforgettable.
As soon as you find yourself on the road towards Borjomi, you will forget about the prices. The road has been already built up for a long time. So, this is not a problem to hinder your comfortable trip. Somewhere, on an occasional bad section of the road, you may see an inscription "We apologize for inconveniences. The road is under construction for you".
Movement in the city is very easy as well - special buses and minibuses go around different villages.
To establish telecommunication with the region, it is necessary to dial code: 267. Mobile telecommunication extends on the whole region. The same could be said about television broadcasting. Local TV company "Borjomi” generally broadcasts informational programs. But holiday-makers can always watch programs on Rustavi 2 and Imedi.
Borjomi is full of holiday-makers both in summer and winter. However, Bakuriani is still more popular. It is a mountain resort of international importance, where all necessary conditions for the development of different kinds of winter sports are created.Borjomi is very rich with sights. For example, the Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park; it ranks first among parks in the whole Caucasus. Most part of the woods here is kept untouched. 9 basic tourist routes function in the territory of park. So, tourists have an opportunity to examine surrounding areas on horses and stay overnight in special small houses in the forest.
The most part of paths operate since April up to the end of October.Museum of Local Lore, History and Economy of Borjomi is especially interesting. It represents one of the oldest museums. The building, in which the museum is located, was constructed in 1890 and is unique by its architecture. Various exhibits of special importance are kept in the museum. Several expositions are open, where except for special samples of flora and fauna, stone tools, monuments of culture and agricultural implements from the bronze age are presented. This corner is rich with churches and monastic complexes. Interested persons can visit a green monastery, Kvabiskhevi church of St. Mariam, village church and etc. Gogia’s fortress overlooks at resort town from the north-western part. One cannot come across similar quadrangular towers in the Georgian architecture later than XIV century. From their height the view on city is especially beautiful. The fortress belonged to feudal lords Avalishvili, and to this day it carries the name of Gogia Avalishvili.So much for the official part.For today, situation in the area is not so good.
Gas and electricity supply is almost constant, but surprisingly, the water system is not well-organized. The prices in the market and shops do not differ considerably, though, it is impossible to compare them with the prices in the capital. To make it clear, prices for products and clothes are approximately the same as prices of same things in prestigious districts of Tbilisi. And the choice is not at all great. You will not find shelves with souvenirs or boutiques anywhere. Nevertheless, it does not reduce the general impression about Borjomi. The most important here is the nature and rest.
However, respective conditions are created for tourists. The situation concerning hotels in Borjomi is normal. For example, "Borjomi”, "Borjomi Kheoba” (Borjomi Gorge), "Villa Park” and others are located close to the center and are easy to find. Prices, in comparison with foreign resorts seem ridiculous for foreigners; and for Georgians - acceptable, but still not small. It is possible to rent separate rooms in private houses, at an average price 30-35 GEL and higher per day. The most expensive apartments are located close to Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park. This area is probably considered most prestigious.Problems of accommodation and many others are more or less solved.
But what should the tourist, having arrived to Borjomi do if he gets very hungry? A way out could most certainly be found. There are several cafes and "sakhachapures” (cafes, where khachapuri (Georgian pies) are served) in the center. Though they are not in great demand even from the locals. Experienced people in this sphere think that it is better to go outside Borjomi, for example in Ahaldaba, and have a tasty dinner there.
For those who are fond of traditions, holiday "Borjomi City Festival” will be held in October. Local residents celebrate this holiday according to special rules.
And finally, the most important thing why Borjomi is visited: its mineral water, of almost legendary status. The water is rich with elements necessary for the organism and is the best treatment, or means of avoiding, numerous illnesses. There are several sources in the gorge and each of them is characterized by individual characteristics. Nowadays, Borjomi mineral waters are well-known all over the world. However, many have probably never heard about the legend. It is said, that Grenadier regiment set up a camp on the place, where the park is constructed now. During the felling of the trees, they by chance found a spring welling out of the ground. The chief of the regiment, who was ill with some unknown disease, drank that tasty water and recovered. Uniqueness of this water is confirmed also by the gold medals received at numerous international exhibitions.A special place for water is located in renovated Borjomi Park, which was opened on August, 12th, last year. This place will be soon covered by glass and everyone will have an opportunity of taking some mineral water with them. Cinema, children’s attractions and a special hall covered by glass, where the model of Georgia are to be found in the Park. The territories allocated for restaurants, bars, sports-clubs, and other entertaining institutions are already leased and will soon start operating. The chair lift is once again operational. The park is protected by the police.Warm mineral water can be also found in Likani. The old sanatorium offers holiday-makers various medical-improving procedures. At present, the building is sold out and nobody knows whether it will keep its function in the future or not.This place is known for its beauty for a long time and to this day, does not lose its popularity. It is full of holiday-makers, especially children, whose parents take care of their health from an early age, even though age is of no importance here. In fact, rest on the resort is equally acceptable and useful to all.To put it briefly, if you got tired and have a tight-filled purse, Borjomi is the best vacation spot.
Bakuriani is famous skiing resort in the Borjomi district of Georgia. It is located on the northern slope of the Trialeti Range, at an elevation of 1,700 meters (5,576 feet) above sea level. The region around Bakuriani is covered by coniferous forests (mainly made up of spruce). The resort lies 30km from Borjomi and is located within the so-called Bakuriani Depression/caldera. The present-day area of the town was built up by the lava flows from the Mukheri volcano. The highest mountain of the resort used for skiing is called Mount Kohta at around 2,200 meters (7,216 feet) above sea level. The climate of Bakuriani is transitional from humid maritime to relatively humid continental. The winters are cold and experience significant snowfall while the summers are long and warm. Average annual temperature of the town is 4.3 degrees Celsius. The average temperature in January is -7.3 degrees Celsius while the average August temperature is 15 degrees Celsius. The annual precipitation is 734mm (28.9 inches). The depth of snow from December to March is 64cm (25.2 inches). Bakuriani is also home to the well-known Botanical Garden of the Georgian Academy of Sciences.
Sairme is an essential balneological-climatic resort in Baghdadi region. It is situated on the northern slope of Meskheti range, in the canyon of river Tsablaristskali, on the height of 950m, and in 25 kilometers from Baghdadi.
Climate is mild: winters are with little snow (Average temperature in January -1.0°C) and summers are temperately warm (Average temperature in August +17°C);
Precipitation is 900 mm a year. Healing factor: mineral water of Narzan type with carbonic acid hydro-carbonate calcic-sodium (water #1 and #3) and of Borjomi type with carbonic acid hydro-carbonate sodium (well #4 and #5) waters.
A sanatorium, holiday homes and resort polyclinic are located in Sairme. Season starts in May and continues up to November.
Abastumani is a settlement of urban type, mountain-climatic resort in Adigeni region, Georgia. It is situated on the southern slope of Meskheti mountain range, in the canyon of river Otskhe, on the height of 1300m., and in 28 kilometers from railway station Akhaltsikhe.
Population is 5000 people (1969). Clear, limpid air, temperate dryness, absence of strong winds is typical for Abastumani. There are forests (pine-trees, fir-trees, spruce) on the mountain slopes. Summer is temperately warm, winter is mild and sunny. Average temperature in January is -6?C, and in July +17 ?C. Precipitation is approximately 600mm a year. It is a healing place for consumptive patients.
There are weakly-mineralized thermal (from 40 up to 48 ?C) springs, water of which is used for curing patients with attendant diseases of supporting-impellent organs, nervous system, female disorders and others. Seasonal prevalence is all the year round. Abastumani astrophysical observatory is located near the resort.
If you happen to have free time by the end of the week and are tired of the city, there always is a solution. The cultural-historical wealth of Georgia certainly provides lots of options.
For example, you can go hunting to Kvareli. If you arrange in advance, with the help of horses and experienced hunters (such as Nukri Zautashvili, Bezhan Ustiashvili and so forth), your trip will be unforgettable. The Young Tourist Association of Kvareli will assist you in contacting them. This association plans many interesting changes in the city.
Together with pleasant relaxation in the city, you can visit many interesting places. Let’s consider them in order.
In the central square of the city you will see the church of John the Baptist and the museum of Ilia Chavchavadze. Ilia Chavchavadze was born in the tower of what now is the museum. His belongings are now stored there. The museum also has a wine cellar, which will specially interest foreign guests. Epecially if the potential that the locals claim exists there will be realized. In this case, guests can participate in the making of the wine and then taste the result.
There you will also see the Marjanishvili museum, which is temporarily closed. Reconstruction affected only its roof. That too, as a result of the good will of a certain well-known businessman. To what extend does a roof of metal tiles suit an old museum, you can decide yourself, on the spot.
In a few minutes’ walk from the center, you will come to a place called "Ilias Gora” (the hill of Ilia), where the largest statue of Ilia in Georgia is located. In the distant past, a fully equipped sports complex was situated there, which had its own tennis and basketball courts, a soccer field, a swimming pool and other recreational facilities. Nowadays the only thing that remains from all this are stone ruins. But the place still is worth visiting. Furthermore, the fresh air makes the walk even more worthwhile. You will find mere ruins of the restaurant as well, but you are sure to find ample picnic sites in nature. On the hill, Kvareli’s most traditional festivity – "Iliaoba” – was often held. This tradition has been preserved and the local population always celebrates the date of November 8th.
The river Duruji flows in Kvareli. Its gorge is very beautiful and very dangerous at the same time. It has collapsed twice, and has left respective markings on the place. The locals will surely show any guests enormous boulder that the river has brought after the second collapse. It cannot be moved due to its sheer enormity, but a certain function has already been assigned to it.
Camping is possible near the lake of Kvareli. It is located in 6-7 kilometers from the center and certainly is an exceptionally beautiful place.
It is strange, that during walks in the city you will not find a singe souvenir shop – for now. Construction of one is already planned. Specifically – near the Duba convent, which dates to the 6th century. Along with souvenirs, Kakhetian wine and Churchkhelas will be sold there.
Having mentioned wine, it is also worth mentioning that under the initiative of the ministry of agriculture, Kvareli was recently declared as the zone of Kindzmarauli. The region is apparently very interesting from this point of view. The tunnel, which has existed here since 1965 is exceptionally important. The locals claim, that in its time, it was of strategic significance. Now it has a special mission – ageing of wine. The temperature there is constantly 14°C. It is 8 km in length and is divided into 15 sections, with each being 500 m. Nowadays only six of them are operational. Enormous barrels are stored in each section, where wine is streaming through pipes leading outside. Apparently the president of the winery association of France was so amazed by the tunnel that he wrote down his wish to be buried in that tunnel after his death. Tourists, who apparently visit this place quite often, leave it with similar impressions.
If you were impressed by all this, and have decided to buy wine in Kvareli, the Wine House will certainly be of service. The wine there costs much cheaper then in distant shops, let alone Tbilisi.
Vartsikhe is an old name of the village in surroundings of Bagdadi (ex Mayakovsky). On the place of the existed village, there was situated a town of old Egrisi in the ancient times. According to the Greek sources it was called Rodopolis, in georgian – Vartsikhe. It was first mentioned in Byzantine annals of the sixth century. Due to its successful geographical location, the city had significant economic and political-strategic importance. The ancient caravan route crossed it. In the middle of the sixth century during the Persian-Byzantine war the city was passed from hand to hand.
In IX – XI centuries the city went through the epoch of Renascence. In later times it represented one of the residence of Imeretian Kings.
In 1968, there were conducted archaeological excavations of a big scale in the city, during which the ancient city was discovered. It was the fortress dated by IV-VI centuries. And, it became known that already in those times the city represented well fortified defense with stronghold wall with towers.
According to the data of the western Georgia’s map, made in 1737, significant constructive works were conducted in this place by Imeretian King, Alexander V. In a few hundreds of meters from Vartsikhe to the left of the river-bank Rioni, the settlement of ancient times was discovered during investigations.
Vartsikhe is a place of production of the excellent fine brandy "Vartsikhe”, awarded by many gold medals during international exhibitions
Nunisi water has been used for medicinal purposes since the first half of IX century. First it became possible after the experiments held on animals. According to the legend that David Aghmashenebeli saw firsthand how his horses, exhausted after ling fights, were cured and revitalised after having drunk this water. Besides, the water cured domestic animals from mange. The local had noticed it and they successfully applied this water for treatment themselves. In the reign of Tamar Mepe (the King Tamar, as theGeorgians called the ruling queen) the Church of Virgin Mary was built here and it has survived up to now.
The resort is located on the region of Kharagauli at the distance of 22km from the centre. It is at 6 km from the railway station which is situated in the village of Moliti. To ride a private car to the site will cost you 8-10 laris. If you drive your own car, keep in mind that you’d better use a jeep. The cable-way works from 9 till 11p.m. and is worth 20 tetri.
The springs are located at the influx of the river Zvarula. The water here is characterized by high alkalinity. It consists of bromine, boric acid, potassium and others. It cures skin’s, limbs’, diseases of peripheral neural system. It is especially useful for people who have problems of anemia. Both, the climatic and balneal factors provide effective treatment.
Vardzia – monastic complex with many caves, dated by XII century, in the dale of the river Kura, approximately in 70 km to the south from Borjomi city – is situated in the historical area of Georgia, Javakheti. It represents a prominent monument of Georgian fortification, architectural and artistic arts.
Ensemble was created mainly in 1156-1203 and sanctified on the 15th of August, 1185 - in the period of George III and his daughter Queen Tamar’s governing in the south-west border of Georgia. Royal cloister both as a stronghold and a monastery had enormous importance - it was blocking the canyons of Kura river to protect people from Iranian forays. Monastery’s heads were governing at that time all the spiritual-monastic affairs and participating in the political life of the country.
During the invasion of Mongolians in the second half of the 13th century, monastic community was actively fighting to protect cultural and religious values of the cloister. In the XVI century, during the Turkish invasion the cloister was destroyed, and the enemy seized huge cultural and material values of the cloister, including such sacred objects as the famous icon of God’s Mother, golden gates and others.
During the archeological research works, conducted in 1970-71, three main cultural periods were defined in the life of cloister. One referred to the Early Middle Ages, second to the XII century and the third was dated by XIII-XIVcc. Hundreds of premises and subways were constructed in the body of the mountain, they were spread along the mountain in the length of 500 meters, in the depth - up to 50 meters and in the height - for 13 floors. Three veiled passages led to outside, from which thousands of Georgian warriors appeared unexpectedly for foreign oppressors.
The complex itself consists of two components – the cloister and ancient cave village – Annanuri, dated by X century. Complex’s construction was conducted in several stages. During the first stage, the plan was made and first cells were built in the period of king George III (1156-84). During the second stage (1184-85) the scheme was looked over. By the order of Queen Tamar, the center of monastic complex had been changed and a big church Assumption of the Virgin was hewed in the rock.
The church was painted by the group of artists under the supervision of some George on the financial means of Eristavi of Kartli, Rati Surameli. During the third stage (1185-1203) works to built fortification constructions and irrigational system were completed and all cells of monks had been also hewed. The forth stage refers to big earthquake in 1283. After the earthquake, the layer of rock up to 15 meters in width came of the mountain and fell into Kura river, as a result of which the monastery was exposed and it had lost its value as a stronghold. At the end of XIII and in the beginning of XIV, during the time of Attabeg Jackeli-Tsikhisjvareli (1285-1306) the cloister was restored and completed. During the time of Attabeg Ivane, a big refectory was built.
The main temple in the honor of Assumption of Saint Virgin is situated in the center of the cloister, the walls of which are covered by murals. Frescos were well preserved under the lay of soot. The point is that in 1551 the cloister was destroyed by the forces of Iranian shah, Takhmaspa and in the end of XVI it was seized by Osmanli Turks. Those barbarians made a fire out of weaken and sick monks exactly in the center of Assumption temple, that’s why the frescos immediately became covered with soot. Later on, Turks-shepherds, sheltered in the cloister in winter time, were frequently lighting fires. Images of King George III, Queen Tamar and Eristavi Rati Surameli are found in the Assumption temple, created by the master George in 1180. This is one of the few images of the great queen of such an ancient origin. Beautiful frescos are also found in the temples of Ascension and Transformation of God. These unique frescos of the XII century were first discovered in the middle of the XX century. Vardzia’s paintings represent significant monument of the georgian monumental painting.
In 1828, Javakheti surroundings were liberated and not long after the monastic life in Vardzia was resumed by Orthodox Greeks.
During the Soviet period monastic life in Vardzia cloister seized its existence and in 1938 it was announced museum-reserve.
By the efforts of Catholicos-Patriarch Ilya II, which at the end of 80-ies has served in Vardzia the first after closing a monastery the Divine Liturgy, a monastic residence here had been renewed.