According to historical sources, the town Akhaltsikhe was founded in the 9th century. 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.
Today there is Rabati Museum on this place. The attention is paid to the mosque which is built in Aya Sophia style with the Orthodox elements. It was built by Ahmad Pasha Jakeli in the 18th century on the basis of the Orthodox cathedral.
The synagogue was built in 1863. Here prays are held rarely, only when the synagogue is visited by Jewish tourists. Because according to Jewish rules, at least 10 men are required to attend prays and there are only 5 Jewish families left in Akhaltsikhe.
The fortress is located near the river Potskhovi, on the mountaintop around 1000 m above the sea level. It consists of different kind of constructions from the middle ages.
The history of Rabati Castle begins from the IX century. In XII-XIII centuries this place became the residence of Jakels. This family was ruling this part of Georgia for centuries. While visiting the castle you can freely imagine that you are travelling in ancient times of Georgia. The fortress attracts the attention of tourists by its architecture, labyrinths, churches and mosque. You can also visit the historical museum of Samtskhe-Javakheti that is located in the Jakeli’s family house.
There are many exhibits in the Museum from the Bronze Age and the traces of earliest metallurgy. Among them are the solar plates, which indicate the ancient time.
The mosque called “Akhmedie” is built in 1752 years by the Italian architects. According to the legend, one Georgian architect built it in the style of Aya Sophia church and he got a death penalty because of this.
This legend comes from the architecture of the mosque. If Aya Sophia was a church before and became a mosque, “Akhmedie's" destiny was, on the contrary, it was a mosque at the beginning and then they remade it into the church.
Nowadays, the complex does not have any religious purpose anymore. People who are coming here will be able to get acquainted with different periods of Georgian history and have a good time to relax. In the second part of the complex are the hotel, night bar, cafes and even shopping center, so the guests do not need to go out.
Lovers are able to marry here in a very romantic atmosphere - beyond the “Alley of Love,” at the end of the fortress, there is a small, nice wedding house. Very interesting words are written on the iron door: "Your cheeks are beautiful, take me and we will go together, I will remember your name forever. You are sweet, warm and beautiful, tell me where are you, I love your touch because it’s sweeter than the best wine."
The restoration of Rabati Castle started in 2011. Today, Rabati is a traveller’s favourite place and several thousand of tourists visit it every day. A few years ago Rabati Castle was rewarded for being a symbol of tolerance as this is a place, where many nationalities live in peace next to each other regardless their ethnical and religious diversity.
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