Uplistsikhe rests on the banks of the Mtkvari River several kilometers away from the city of Gori. Today the cave town as well as the village nearby are abandoned.
Once you’re wandering in the cave city of Uplistsikhe, you can still see several houses on the river bank from above. The surviving photographs show that until the beginning of the XX century, a three-story bell tower and two hall-type churches stood in the village. They were destroyed in 1920 by a large earthquake.
Nevertheless, a topographical map from the 20th century shows that as many as 200 families lived there until the 1960s. However, in the 1970s all the inhabitants resettled across the river.
While some say that this sudden move was due to climate change, there is another story about Uplistsikhe, which the locals prefer. During the archaeological excavations in the area, ancient burials were found that required careful study. Due to that, the locals had to move.