The town Akhaltsikhe is situated on the river Pozchowiszqali in the south of Georgia near the Turkish border.

From the 12th to the 13th century it was the seat of Achalzichelis, the rulers of Samzche. It was conquered by the Ottoman Empire in 1576. Instead of the original Rabati castle from the 8th century, the Ottomans built a completely new fortress on the same site, with a mosque at its centre.
In 1828 the town was taken by Russian troops. 
In 2011-2012 the entire castle complex was restored to make it more attractive for tourists.


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