Back when I was planning my trip to Georgia I came across some interesting places. There are tons of beautiful sites around the whole country. But one place that caught my eye the most was Rabati Castle in a little town called Akhaltsikhe.
Have you ever heard of it? For me, it was the first time I heard of this place. But let me ask you this. Are you a Game of Thrones fan? Or just a fan of castles? Then you will love this one. I know I do! Probably, most definitely, 100%, my favorite castle complex so far!
So the town itself doesn’t have much to offer besides the castle. But the castle makes it worth to drive all the way down there. Also, it’s a great base for a day trip to the cave city of Vardzia.
Fun fact: Akhaltsikhe in Georgian means “New castle”.
Rabati castle has a long and complicated history. It was originally established back in the 9th century by Guaram Mampal known under the name Lomisa castle. Then from the 13th century, it was ruled by the House of Jaqeli. In the centuries that followed it fell under the Ottoman rule, but later Russian forces liberated the city and the fortress. Though most of the surviving buildings in Rabati Castle complex date back to 17th and 18th century.
The whole region was falling to ruins after all the wars. With a hope to attract more tourist to the city they completely renovated the Rabati Castle complex back in 2011-2012. I would say they did one hell of a job with it! It’s just marvelous.
Rabati Castle complex consists of an upper and lower part. In the upper part, you will find the castle of Jakeli family situated on the top of the hill. Then there is also Akhmediye Mosque, an Orthodox church, Synagogue, Catholic Church, bathhouse, history museum, the citadel and much more. And then at the lower part, you can find a hotel, cafes, tourist information desk, vineyard, towers, wedding hall, etc.
Now tell me where else can you find so many different architectures types and buildings at one place? I can’t think of any place like this. It’s really unique!
- Now about the entrance fee. You can enter the lower part without paying a fee, but then you have to pay 7GEL (4$) for the upper part. You can also take a guided tour which costs more. Plus you also pay extra for the history museum in the upper part.
- The Rabati Castle complex is open every day from 9 AM till 8 PM.
Here are some more photos of incredible Rabati Castle complex!
If you stay longer in Akhaltsikhe or if you want to visit some more landmarks. There is Sapara Monastery from the tenth century and Khertvisi Fortress, which is on the way to the cave city of Vardzia!
Also, check out this blog post about Prometheus Caves near Kutaisi
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You are right definitely had not heard of this castle before reading your blog. It looks and sounds really beautiful. Never thought of travelling to Georgia but will have to add it to the bucket list.
Oh Georgia is so beautiful. it’s one of my favorite destinations for sure! Put it on your list, the very top I would say!
Oh this looks like a dream. I wanted to go for a long time and now georgia is definitely on my bucket list.
Yes, whole of Georgia is awesome. One of my favorite destinations for sure!
I am not familiar with Georgia or the castle. The castle looks like it is worth the drive. Thanks for sharing your visit there. I should add Georgia to my list.
Yes, you should definitely add Georgia to your list. It’s one of my favorite countries.
Wow, I’m really surprised at how well maintained the complex is. Georgia must be doing a good job funding its heritage sites.
I think this is an exception. But it’s just so beautiful. You definitely have to visit if you go to Georgia.
You’re right, I’ve never even heard about the place. But, being a sort of a history buff, I was immediately drawn to the 9th-century data. Really, it’s that old? Would love to see it in person! Judging by your photos, Rabati Castle has a certain charm typical for such history monuments.
Thanks for the info, it’s going on my bucket list. 🙂
Yes, it’s amazing. Tho it’s so hard to get much information about the castle. But the whole complex is just amazing.
I had no idea there was so much to see in Georgia! The castle looks so beautiful! I’m glad that they renovated it in a way that still preserves its history! The whole place looks spectacular!
Yes Georgia is one of my favorite destinations. It really has so much to offer. You should definitely visit!
We have a lot of castles in Ireland but nothing like this one. I’m also a Game of Thrones fan but honestly, even without the show, I would still be just as obsessed. Really incredible to see one so out of the way too, it makes me want to visit more on my next trip to this part of the world! Thanks for the post and inspo!
Yes, you guys do have a lot of castles. But this one is so different. I’m so obsessed with it. You should definitely visit Georgia!
I spent 3 1/2 weeks in Georgia in 2019, such a beautiful country, Rabati was one of the places I
visited, also Vardzia, a cave complex where people lived at one time, these were visited on the same day. Karbegi, in the mountains, a church on a hill surrounded by mountains, the clouds were below the mt tops. A land of churches and mountains is what I call it. I also was taken to Batumi on the Black Sea, a real up and coming resort town, the beach is stones but to didn’t stop anyone from being there and swimming. This country is worth a visit, and the food is great!
I absolutely agree with you. It’s one of my favorite countries to date. Can’t wait to go back and explore some more.