Uplistsikhe begins showing up in historical records as a major spiritual center as early as the 4th century BCE. This fascinating city was carved into the cliffs, reaching an immense importance by the 9th and 10th centuries.
It was granted the status of an Immovable Monument of National Significance in 2006.
An interesting legend surrounds the construction of Uplistsikhe. It is said that the slaves charged with its construction were provided with work tools with iron on one side and gold on the other. Anybody who managed to wear out the iron side of their pick would not only be given their freedom, but would also be allowed to keep the gold.
Uplistsikhe starts to be mentioned in historical sources from the 7th century. It was first a residence of a local hegemonic community, and later became a center for united tribes of Shida Kartli. The leader of the union, who was called Upali (Lord), lived there. That is where the name Uplistsikhe comes from.
The historical museum and protected area has a wall and four gates. You can walk through the streets and squares, see the public spaces, temples, theaters, pharmacies, wine presses and wine cellars carved into the cliffs.
You’ll also be able to explore the secret tunnel that connects the caves to Mtkvari River.