The Vardzia-Khertvisi Festival is a unique celebration of the history and culture of southern Georgia. It takes place annually in August in the town of Akhaltsikhe, near the historic cave monasteries of Vardzia and Khertvisi. The festival attracts visitors from across Georgia and beyond, who come to experience the region’s rich traditions and unique cultural heritage.
The festival celebrates the history and architecture of Vardzia and Khertvisi, two of Georgia’s most important historic sites. Vardzia is a sprawling cave complex that was carved into the side of a cliff in the 12th century. The complex includes over 600 caves, chapels, and living quarters, and was once home to thousands of monks and pilgrims. Khertvisi, on the other hand, is a medieval fortress that dates back to the 10th century. The fortress played a key role in the defense of Georgia against invading armies, and was an important cultural and political center in the region.
During the festival, visitors can explore the caves and tunnels of Vardzia, and learn about the history and architecture of the complex from knowledgeable guides. There are also traditional music and dance performances, as well as local food and drink vendors selling delicious Georgian cuisine and wine. Visitors can also watch demonstrations of traditional crafts, such as carpet weaving and pottery making.
One of the highlights of the festival is the reenactment of a medieval battle, in which local actors dress up in period costumes and recreate a famous battle between the Georgian and Turkish armies. The battle is accompanied by traditional music and dance, and provides visitors with a thrilling glimpse into Georgia’s rich history and culture.
Overall, the Vardzia-Khertvisi Festival is a must-visit event for anyone interested in Georgian history and culture. The festival provides a unique opportunity to experience the rich traditions and unique architecture of the region, while enjoying traditional music, dance, and food in a festive atmosphere.