The old stone Rabati fortress, the main sight of the Akhaltsikhe town, is standing on the small hill on the very shores of the Potskhovi river. Its name comes from Arabic meaning “fortified place”. It is located on the western suburbs and can be seen practically from anywhere in the city.
The city consisted of three parts: a city, a fortress and a citadel. The fortress was surrounded by three fortress walls and was connected by tunnels with its surroundings. The location of the fortress was advantageous. It was located near important roads and caravan routes. The area of the fortress is 8 hectares in size. It protected rich people, the mint, the court and some other important buildings. Craftsmen, merchants and ordinary people were living behind the fortress.
“Rabat is the symbol of tolerance”. A temple resembling the Hagia Sofia, a Georgian Orthodox church, a mosque, a glorious museum, an amphitheater, sentinels, pavilions, café-bars, restaurant, hotel, shops and other things to see, places to have fun, and things that have been built in earlier years are all located next to each other here.
The history of Rabati fortress goes back into the centuries and no one can definitely say when the first fortification appeared. It is known that in the 12th century Djakeli prince’s family had built here the first real fortress and it had turned into their residence for 300 years. What is interesting is that when they had erected the fortress, it had a name of “Akhaltsikhe” that is translated as “new fortress”. So the city that stretched at its walls has preserved this name up to our days.
In 1393 Rabati fortress was destroyed by the army of Tamerlane who was taking his troops from conquered Iran towards the lands of the Golden Horde at the shores of the Caspian Sea. The town and the fortress had been restored but 100 years later. In 1578 Akhaltsikhe was occupied by the army of the Ottoman Empire. They rebuilt and fortified the fortress, and the name “Rabati” had gradually spread out. In Arabic it means a region adjoining the fortress and surrounded by an additional protection wall. But here it had acquired the meaning of the fortress itself.
In 2011 massive restoration of the Rabati fortress began and in August 2012 it was opened and the list of interesting spots on the touristic map of Georgia has extended by one more historic pearl.
Extra fees for entrance tickets
7 days a week at 09:00 am
Rabati Fortress, Akhaltsikhe Georgia
Rustaveli str 59. Batumi, Georgia