Uplistsikhe in Gori is one of the most important historical sites in Georgia. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it remains an outstanding example of a medieval fortress.
You can reach the site by boarding the 10:20 am train heading to Gori. You can also try the buses from Gori. There are several of these, but they tend to be overcrowded. It is more practical to ride the train or taxi.
What to See There
The remains of the Hellenistic amphitheater can still be seen over the Mtkvari River. This used to be the place where the people relished Greek style shows. There is also a 9th century church set over an old pagan shrine.
This temple used to be the place of worship of a pagan god. There is also a cave tunnel heading to a river and pillared seat for royalty. Facilities for storing wheat and herbal medicines are also visible.
Uplistsikhe in Gori was inhabited as far back as the Iron Age. The whole area was carved from rock. Prior to the rise of Christianity, it was the center of a pagan religion.
But when Saint Nino converted King Mirian II to Christianity, the pagan temples were demolished. The city suffered greater damaged when the Mongols sacked it in the 12th century. By the 15th century, the place was deserted.
According to archeologists, the site is one of the earliest urban settlements in the country. It was in the center of the Kartli kingdom.
There is evidence that it became Georgia’s religious center in the past. Its importance can be seen by the myths that have surrounded it. According to a famous legend, the land was established by Uplos, offspring of Mtskhetos.
The ticket costs $3 for an adult and $1 for students. A ticket with a guide costs $10. The taxi costs 15 lari. Bus tickets costs 0.7 lari. Note that 100 tetri is equal to 1 lari in Georgia currency.
The site is classified into three sections: north (upper), middle (central) and south (lower). They cover 8 hectares. The site contains staircases and narrow alleys emanating from the middle road.
Before being declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Uplistsikhe in Gori endured years of neglect. For this reason, some areas are still undergoing restoration. If you cannot access a specific area, it is probably under renovation.