Idea #505 – Visiting Rabati Castle in Akhaltsikhe in Georgia
The city of Akhaltsikhé (in Georgian : ” new fort “), situated in Georgia on Kour, was founded approximately 800 years ago and then constitued an Ottomans regional administrative center, from the XVIth century until the Russian-Turkish war. The city was given up by the Ottomans to the Russians, in 1829.
The Rabati fortress, restored in 2011, covers 7 hectares, the top constituting the historic core. We can visit in particular there the Haji Ahmed Pacha’s Mosque, the madrassas, the Pasha’s grave, the Orthodox Church of the IXth century, the citadel and the amphitheater. The famous Russian military historian Vasiliy Potto so describes the fortress in its book “Caucasus War”, dedicated to the Russian-Turkish war of 1828-1829: “In fact, the fortress Akhaltsikhe consisted of two parts : a hard steep rock, surrounded by a stony wall, was a citadel, and slightly below the High castle, builds on a coastal cliff high and surrounded with a double row of walls, flanked by towers. In the fortress were placed all the governmental buildings and the Pasha’s main house of Akhaltsikhe, and the mosque in which was one of the richest libraries of the Muslim East. Only the Muslims had the right to live in the forteress which held the Ottomans to protect the fortress from treason of a foreign population”.
The site was unfortunately completely rehabilitated in 2012, by the intiative of Mikheïl Saakachvili. It is moreover rather a folk reconstruction than an hisotrical restoration, with the addition of buildings, towers, fountains and balconies, corresponding to a 2000’s vision of an Ottoman castle in Georgia.
Where is it ?
Rabati, Akhaltsikhe, Georgia