Rabati Castle Complex – The Georgian Disneyland
Well, not exactly a Disneyland or an amusement park, but one of the top touristic attractions of Georgia representing a multi-ethnic history. Occupying approximately seven hectares territory, the castle complex is comprised of a mosque, a minaret, a synagogue, a Christian church, a palace, a citadel, as well as landscaped gardens, vineyards on terraces, outdoor pools with fountains, a history museum, a hotel, a restaurant, souvenir and wine shops.
Note: There is an entrance fee to the upper levels of the complex, which is 5 Georgian Lari (about 2 Euro).
How to get here?
Rabati Castle, located in Akhaltsikhe, the capital of Samtskhe-Javakheti region is within 3 hours’ drive from Tbilisi, the capital city of Georgia. Minibuses run to Akhaltsikhe’s main market/bus station from Didube market in Tbilisi, as well as from the bus stations in Kutaisi and Khashuri. Akhaltsikhe is connected to the main Batumi–Tbilisi–Baku railroad by a spur through Borjomi ending in Akhaltsikhe.
Tip: You can also visit Cave City Vardzia, which is sixty kilometers away from Akhaltsikhe.
When inside the territory of the 800-year-old Rabati Castle Complex, one can enjoy spectacular views from almost any angle, climb up the towers for the floating views, walk in the never ending hallway and enjoy the majestic view of the castle at night.
By the way, when walking around the territory of the castle look for the star honoring world famous French singer of an Armenian origin Charles Aznavour, whose father was born in Akhaltsikhe.
Tip: You might need at least three hours to explore the area, but if you can’t help to see the sky full of stars, there is a hotel inside the territory of the complex.
Recently restored (August 2012), Rabati Castle dates back to the 13th century and developed under the influence of different cultures, because the small city of Akhaltsikhe has had Georgian, Ottoman, Russian and Soviet rulers over the centuries. We recommend you visit Ivane Javakhishvili Samtskhe-Javakheti History Museum inside the territory of the complex to learn more about the region’s history and cultural heritage.
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