The Rabat fortress or as locals call it - Akhaltsikhe Castle is one of the most remarkable and biggest medieval fortresses in Georgia. It is located in the town Akhaltsikhe of the region of Samtskhe-Javakheti in 200 kms from the Capital Tbilisi.
The history of the fortress goes back to ancient times. It has been proved by archeologists that already in the 12th century Rabat was a residence of the noble family of Jakeli’s. They gave the castle new name Akhaltsikhe - "New Castle".
Rabat fortress is divided on two parts, with a total area of more than 7 hectares: the historic one and the new one. In the old part tourists may visit museum, Turkish mosque, madrasah (Muslim school), Orthodox Church and ancient baths. In the modern part one may find a luxury hotel, restaurants, cafes, bars, wine shop, souvenir shops, information center and even the civil registrar.
In 1578 the fortress was captured by Turks which built the mosque. Rabat fortress also played a very important role in the Russian-Turkish war of 19th century and eventually the fortress came under the rule of the Russian Empire. The medieval fortress was rebuilt and renovated in 2011.
The fortress is equipped with 4 observation towers on the roof of the citadel. The towers offer spectacular views of the Akhaltsikhe.
Now Rabat fortress is a favorite vacation for travelers to Georgia and about 2000 visitors from all over the world visit the place every day.