Rabati Castle

Rabati Castle lies in the city of Akhaltsikhe, in the Akhaltsikhe municipality in the Samtskhe–Javakheti region in Georgia. The castle is also known as Akhaltsikhe Castle and with that name is also has a namesake in the Shida Kartli region.

The city and probably the first castle were founded in the 9th century by Guaram Mampali, a Georgian Bagratid prince and the youngest son of Ashot I of Iberia. At that time it was known as Lomsia. It was first mentioned in 1204 as Akhaltsikhe. This name translates to back to 'New Castle", so probably it had replaced the older fortification.

Rabati Castle consists of a small castle on the highest point. Then there is a middle bailey which holds a mosque, a madrasa, a church and a palace. And finally the outer bailey. From the outer bailey there is a covered walkway that leads down the Potskhovi River.

From the 13th to the end of 14th centuries Akhaltsikhe was the capital city of Samtskhe-Saatabago, ruled by the Georgian princely family and a ruling dynasty of the Principality of Samtskhe, the House of Jaqeli. In 1393 it suffered an attack by the Turco-Mongol armies of Tamerlane.

After the Treaty of Constantinople in 1590, the whole territory of Samtskhe-Saatabago came under Ottoman rule. The Ottomans completely rebuilt the castle during the 17th and 18th century. The present mosque was built in 1752.

In 1810 the Russian Empire attempted to take Rabati Castle from the Ottomans but failed. In 1828, during the Russo-Turkish War of 1828-1829, the castle was taken by the Russian Emperial army, led by General Paskevich, at the Battle of Akhaltsikhe. After that the castle lost its importance and slowly fell to ruin.

In 2011-2012 the entire complex was rebuilt in order to attract more tourist to the area; the mosque and the madrasa were renovated, the castle and the 9th/10th century church were rebuilt as was the Jaqeli Palace. After the restoration a museum, hotel, restaurants and other tourist facilities were installed in the outer bailey. The project was done rather rigorously, a bit too much for my taste because the castle may look original at first glance, but you will find a lot of concrete when you look closer.

At present Rabati Castle can be visited for a small fee during office hours. The castle may be a bit over-restored but still has some nice views.


Gallery

Rabati Castle

Rabati Castle lies in the city of Akhaltsikhe, in the Akhaltsikhe municipality in the Samtskhe–Javakheti region in Georgia. The castle is also known as Akhaltsikhe Castle and with that name is also has a namesake in the Shida Kartli region.

The city and probably the first castle were founded in the 9th century by Guaram Mampali, a Georgian Bagratid prince and the youngest son of Ashot I of Iberia. At that time it was known as Lomsia. It was first mentioned in 1204 as Akhaltsikhe. This name translates to back to 'New Castle", so probably it had replaced the older fortification.

Rabati Castle consists of a small castle on the highest point. Then there is a middle bailey which holds a mosque, a madrasa, a church and a palace. And finally the outer bailey. From the outer bailey there is a covered walkway that leads down the Potskhovi River.

From the 13th to the end of 14th centuries Akhaltsikhe was the capital city of Samtskhe-Saatabago, ruled by the Georgian princely family and a ruling dynasty of the Principality of Samtskhe, the House of Jaqeli. In 1393 it suffered an attack by the Turco-Mongol armies of Tamerlane.

After the Treaty of Constantinople in 1590, the whole territory of Samtskhe-Saatabago came under Ottoman rule. The Ottomans completely rebuilt the castle during the 17th and 18th century. The present mosque was built in 1752.

In 1810 the Russian Empire attempted to take Rabati Castle from the Ottomans but failed. In 1828, during the Russo-Turkish War of 1828-1829, the castle was taken by the Russian Emperial army, led by General Paskevich, at the Battle of Akhaltsikhe. After that the castle lost its importance and slowly fell to ruin.

In 2011-2012 the entire complex was rebuilt in order to attract more tourist to the area; the mosque and the madrasa were renovated, the castle and the 9th/10th century church were rebuilt as was the Jaqeli Palace. After the restoration a museum, hotel, restaurants and other tourist facilities were installed in the outer bailey. The project was done rather rigorously, a bit too much for my taste because the castle may look original at first glance, but you will find a lot of concrete when you look closer.

At present Rabati Castle can be visited for a small fee during office hours. The castle may be a bit over-restored but still has some nice views.


Gallery