Akhaltsikhe can always be found among must-see Georgia destinations. It’s an administrative center of of Samtskhe-Javakheti region and the largest town in the area with the population of 20,000 people. Roads from Tbilisi, Batumi, Borjomi, Gori, and Turkey meet there. This town with thousand-year history used to have strategical importance due to being located on a crossroad of large roads. The name of the city derives from Georgian and translates as “new fortress”; there’s a famous fortress Rabad.
The city was founded in 12th century BC and was a residence for Dzhakeli princes. This family created a fortress the town was named after. In 1393, Akhaltsikhe was destroyed by Tamerlan, in 1486, it was burned by Mongolian khan Yaqub. Although, the town was wiped out several times, it managed to rise from the ashes.
In 1578, the fortress was invaded by Ottoman Empire. In1828, during Russian-Turkish war, the Russians reclaimed the fortress. Since then, Akhaltsikhe has been an ordinary, little, provincial town with no major events to happen. Eventually, the fortress became abandoned and started to collapse. Throughout 20th century the town remained an inconspicuous destination in Georgia. The town kept developing slowly; railway station, theater, and bus station were opened.
Everything changed in 2011, when Rabat fortress was reconstructed. After the reconstruction was done, the town became one of the most popular Georgia destinations. Apart from Rabat fortress, there’re so many other sightseeing places in Akhaltsikhe. There’s Catholic temple Surb Nshan that was founded in 15th century. There’s a monument dedicated to Queen Tamar, monastery Sapara, fortress Koht, and observatory Abatsumani.
Akhaltsikhe isn’t an average, remoted, little town, but one of the most recent Georgia destinations.