In the south part of Georgia is located a unique monument of architecture of the Middle Ages, which is a monastic complex inside a tuff cliff along the river Kura. The monastery has more than 600 rooms.
The Vardzia monastery is located inside the Erusheti Mountain, and once it was even fitted with running water and an irrigation system. The monastic complex includes not only rooms, but also a number of temples, chapels, closets, a storage space for treasury, libraries, and other necessary facilities. Its overall height is eight floors. The monastery was built in the late 12th and early 13th centuries. In addition to its religious purposes, it was also a protective structure. It defended the valley against a possible attack of the Turks and Iranians. During the war, the Vardzia monastery was also a shelter for the royal family.