Rabat fortress or as it is often called Akhaltsikhe Castle is one of the most beautiful and largest medieval fortresses in Georgia. It’s located in the town Akhaltsikhe of region Samtshe-Dzhavaheti and its popularity among tourists can compete even with Vardzia.
The history of the fortress is very rich and goes back to ancient times. Historians cannot say exactly when it was began its construction, but it is known that already in the XII century here was the residence of the princely family Jakeli who called it Akhaltsikhe, which means "New Castle", later adopted the name of the city, building at the foot of the hill on which stands the fortress.
Rabat fortress is divided into two parts, with a total area of more than 7 hectares: the historic and the new. In the historical you can visit an interesting museum, a Turkish mosque, madrasah (Muslim school), the citadel, the Orthodox Church and the Turkish baths. In the modern part is the basic tourist infrastructure: a luxury hotel, a restaurant, several cafes, bars, wine shop, souvenir shops, information center and even the registrar.
Built in the IX century fortress Rabat repeatedly passed from hand to hand and over its bastions raised the flag of many rulers. For example, in 1578 the city and the fortress were captured by the Turks. At that time the aforementioned mosque was built on the territory of the fortress. Rabat fortress also played a very important role in the Russian-Turkish war. During battles she suffered greatly and although it was then that the fortress was annexed to the Russian Empire, in its true glory medieval fortress was rebuilt only in 2011 with the support of the Georgian government.
In the fortress there are some stunning lookouts, located in 4 observation towers on the roof of the citadel, which offers scenic views of the Akhaltsikhe.
Now Rabat fortress is a favorite vacation spot for travelers. On average, every day it is visited by about 2000 visitors from all over the world.