Uplistsikhe Cave Town;
Ateni Sioni Church;
The Stalin Museum in Gori;
Dmanisi Archeological Site;
Uplistsikhe is the oldest cave town in Georgia. Back in the second millennium BC it was a flourishing city situated on the great east-west trade route, the Silk Road. Visitors can still walk among the ancient streets, rock-carved theatre, royal halls and pharmacy, while the remains of granaries and large clay wine vessels give us some clue as to the daily life of the inhabitants.
Dmanisi archaeological site proves that even 1.7 million years ago Georgia was the favourite destination for travellers! At about that time, human beings migrated from Africa to Europe and settled the region around Dmanisi. The skull of one of these first Europeans is now kept at the State Museum of Georgia in Tbilisi, while at Dmanisi itself you can visit the site of the on-going excavations.
Bolnisi Church - The earliest known inscription in the Georgian language is to be found on the façade of this late 5th century church. Pagan sculptural elements such as animals and birds merge with the ‘new’ Christian motifs to give a fascinating insight into a period of great change.
Samtavisi Church (11th century) represents the pinnacle of early Georgian stone-carving. Many of the ornamentations developed here were used as models for later and grander churches. Note that the Tree of Life on the eastern façade is represented as a vine - yet another proof of the importance of viticulture in Georgia!
Ateni Sioni Church (7th century) - The first thing to strike the visitor is the setting - the church is located in a gorge at the top of a cliff. Then you will be captivated by the magnificent frescoes. Inscriptions carved into the walls are also an invaluable source of information on the history of Georgia.