The only place of interest in Akhaltsikhe town is the old stone Rabati fortress. It is standing on a hill located on the shores of the Potskhovi river. The name “Rabati” is of Arabic origin and means “fortified place.” The fortress is visible from any corner of the city.
The Rabati fortress has erected in the 13th century and has witnessed a lot during centuries. This military building had been destroyed a few times, had been in a siege and bears the patterns of various cultures and religions.
In 2012 the fortress was fully reconstructed and after that, it turned into a town within a town. Nowadays it is both a historical monument and a cultural city center. It has the church, synagogue, mosque, History Museum, shops, hotels etc.
The concrete beginning of the history of Rabati fortress is unknown. No one can surely state when the first fortification appeared. They say in the 12th century the family of Djakeli prince had built the first real fortress here, and it had become their residence for three hundred years.
When the fortress was erected, it had the name of “Akhaltsikhe”, which means new fortress. The city stretching at its walls preserved this name till nowadays.