Written by Tinatin Bujiashvili

Vanis Kvabebi (Vani’s Caves) is a cave monastery in Samtskhe-Javakheti region of Georgia near Aspindza town and the more famous cave city of Vardzia. The complex dates from 8th century and consists of a defensive wall built in 1204 and a maze of tunnels running on several levels in the side of the mountain.

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There are also two churches in the complex. A newer stone church that is in quite good shape stands near the top of the wall, and a smaller, domed church is clings from the rock on the level of the highest tunnels.

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This is St. George Church.  An 11th c. small church with almost its half running into the cave has got the facing layer of neatly hewn stones. A massive cornice is being arranged all around its perimeter. The construction is covered with stones lab roof that is decisive in creation of the impression of the construction’s monumentality and solidity.

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the domed church dates back to 15th c This domed church built on the fold of the rock as if it were a birds’ nest perhaps is the most astonishing of all constructions. Its interior keeps lots of 15-16th cc ink paintings and inscriptions in modern lay Georgian alphabet called Mkhedruli, including some verses from the poem “The Night in the Panther’s Skin.”

In order to reach the church you have to use tunnels.


Spectacular view from Vanis Kvabebi…

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