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крепость рабатAkhaltsikhe is beautiful city, which go back centuries. City appears from simple settlement in early medieval due its favorable geographic location. Akhaltsikhe and surroundings landscape represents mixture of field and hills. City divided on two part: old city on the hill and new region on ruins.

History of Akhaltsikhe go back century, some days it called Lomsia. Approximate since 900 years was residence of dukes Djakeli. Djakeli family uplifted here new fortress and the city was called the same way. Djakeli dukes conduct permanent war with central government until Queen Tamara subdue them. And pass the city to other line of Djakeli, giving Georgia famous commander and Saint Shalva Akhaltsikheli. During XIV-XV century, Akhaltsikhe ruined several times. In 1393 by Tamerlan Army, in 1486 army of Mongolian Khan Jakub had burned city. Despite of the wars Akhaltsikhe rose from the ashes since Akhaltsikhe has strategic meaning and huge trade route.

Osman Empire Turks occupied city in 1578 and perform it to vanguard. During Russian-Turkish war in 1828-1829 in surroundings of Akhaltsikhe took place the battle as a result Turkish army retreat and yield up the Rabat fortress. Монастырский комплекс ВардзиаRussian military service established here. Turks will not be able to return territories under their control. When the war over Akhaltsikhe became province city. Then fortress was abandon and it gradually went to ruins. During whole XX century Akhaltsikhe was less known point on the south of Georgia where slow-paced life flows.

Akhaltsikhe Sights:

  • Atskuri Fortress – settlement observed here even in 1700 BC and even apostle St. Andrew the First-Called visited the city.
  • Armenian catholic temple Surb Nshan built in XV-XVI centuries was the main point of the city. Stands on the hilltop of North High-level and located on the same high with Rabat Fortress. Paskevitch’s army attacked monastery from the North High-level in 1828. In tenth meters from the monastery was located edge north Monastery complex of Vardzia-bastion of Akhaltsikhe wall and namely here took place the most furious fighting. General Borodin fatally wounded here, as well as many common soldiers of Shirvan regiment killed here and many of Turk city defenders. This high ground falloff allow attacking by fire Rabat though fortress surrendered immediately. Fight for Akhaltsikhe was considered to be fight for catholic monastery.
  • Monument to Queen Tamara – her character is hold in reverence by locals. Tamaroba holiday dedicated to Храм Царицы Тамарher, celebrating on 14th May with special palpitation.
  • Sulfur baths located between fortress and catholic monastery, now only ruins preserved two big-bricked dome and front face. Some orthodox temple blocks wall in the baths, possibly baths build on the basement and on the falling debris of the temple.
  • Sapara Monastery built in X-XI century, name translated as “concealed” and hard to found out in wooden mountain gorge.
  • Kokhta Fortress – only preserved traces of an earlier fortress
  • Saint Marine Church build in 1865 on an area of ancient religious construction. Tourists are more interested to see fragments of relics of Saint Marine. Church decorations are modest but elegant, walls ornamented with icons, near is high bell-tower. It is typical Georgian orthodox architecture. General Galuzevski’s grave located in the temple he fought for liberation Akhaltsikhe from Turks.
  • Jew’s district located in an old town beyond East gorge, inhabited by Jews and Armenians in the past. Almost all Jews left and a little Jewish has been left in this part of the town. But two synagogue and cemetery still preserved.
  • Shoreti Monastery and Shoreti Monastery complex dated by VI-VII-XV centuries is a unique example of cultural monument with mural mosaic. Complex include bell-tower and scriptorium located 5km far from village of Ota Aspindza region.
  • Cave town Vardzia is one of the main sight of Georgia. Vardzia is emanation of Golden Century epoch. They are saying that city built by the rule of Queen Tamara. First caves are constructed even in the rule of her father George the III.
  • Rabati Fortress is one of the bright and unforgettable part of Akhaltsikhe, is fully renovated, and divided to free and payable zones. Here you can visit museum, Akhmedie mosque, citadel, orthodox temple, beautiful garden with fountain and flowers and many ancient falling debris.


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