Facts about Akhaltsikhe
For the first time mentioned in the 12th century, Akhaltsikhe was the seat of the «Akhaltsikhelis», the dukes of Samtskhe, in the 12th and 13th century. From the 13th till the 17th century the city was reigned by the Jaqeli family. After being part of the Ottoman Empire, Akhaltsikhe only came back to Georgia, which was part of the Russian Empire, between the Russian-Turkish war in 1828/1829.
Rabati Fortress and other places of interest
The rich history of Akhaltsikhe is still visible today. The most important sight is the Rabati Fortress. The recently renovated example of architecture include the castle of Jaqeli family, a mosque, an orthodox church, a citadel and an amphitheatre. As a touristic sight, Rabati also includes hotels, restautrants, cafes, an information center and a marriage hall.
Besides Rabati, Akhaltsikhe offers also other interesting places. like a palace from the 13th/14th century, two synagogues, a Jewisch cemetery and several mosques, most of them destroyed. As more than a quarter of the population in Akhaltsikhe is Armenian, there are also several Armenian churches in the city.
How to get to Akhaltsikhe
From Tbilisi you reach Akhaltsikhe within 3 hours. The first part of the 208 km long route is on the highway, from Khashuri it is a normal road.
From the Didube bus station in Tbilisi the Marshutka's depart from 10:00h till 17:00h. The trip takes about 3 hours and costs 12 GEL per person.
There is no airport in or near Akhaltsikhe. From both Tbilisi International Airport and Kutaisi International Airport it takes about 3 hours to get to Akhaltsikhe by car.
Akhaltsikhe is not connected with the Georgian railway system.