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Rabati Castle, Akhaltsikhe town in Georgia - From wars to peace


Admired the old stone fortress Rabati Castle, in the town of Akhaltsikhe, Georgia. It stands on a small hill on the shores of the Potskhovi river. The fortress had been destroyed and rebuilt several times. It has therefore absorbed tracks of different cultures and religions. Now a symbol for how people of different backgrounds and identities can live together peacefully. 

Photo. The old stone fortress Rabati Castle, in the town of Akhaltsikhe, located in the region of Samtskhe-Javakheti, Georgia.

The Arabic word “Rabat” is translated as a fortified place. The fortress was built on a high hill, with a good view point, and is visible from any point of the city.

Exploring the Rabati castle complex, located in the region of Samtskhe-Javakheti, gave a fascinating historical insight and understanding how it became what it is today. Rabati Castle can be considered as "A Symbol Of Tolerance". Rabati is one of its districts where Catholics, Jews, Armenians, Orthodox, Christians and Muslims had their own chapels. This small district of Akhaltsikhe shows to the world how people with different religions can live together peacefully and friendly.

Rabati Castle was built in the XIII century and had seen many invasions and destructions. In the XIII century, the fortress was destroyed by the army of Tamerlane. The majestic fortress was in ruins. Then it was restored, but hundred years later it was again destroyed by Mongolian troops, then came the Ottoman army and the army of the Russian Empire. In times of all the invasions, the fortress was of great strategic importance.

Rabati Castle has a powerful fortress wall, four towers with spiral staircases, an observation deck, and buildings. The fortress occupies about 7 hectares and is divided into two parts – modern and historical. In the modern part, there is a restaurant, a hotel, cafes, and shops. In the old part of the fortress, there is the Ahmediyeh Mosque, the church, the family castle of Jakeli and the historical museum.

Stein Morten Lund, 15th June 2019

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