It was once a pile of crumbling ruins on the hill of a sad metropolis. Always grey skies, or raining, or if not that then sunny, hot, and dusty. Then one day someone had a grand vision to rebuild it all and make a wedding house out of it, somewhere nice for the locals of Akhalsitkhe to take fancy pictures and maybe not have their celebration in some hotel that for the rest of the year serves as a brothel or a refuge for very lost tourists.

That is, I guess, how Rabati came to be.

And why not?

I’ll admit I’ve been a detractor myself. But what was once there before was hardly a useful place to bring tourists, and now that I’ve been to Rabati with bright-eyed tourists not yet bogged down by the cynicism of thousands of liters of wine, I’ve grown to appreciate the site myself.

gates of rabati

entering Rabati

A bit of history

The grounds here are fertile with history, and though what has bloomed is nothing but a complex of hotels, meeting rooms, and Instagram-perfect portrait studios, it’s still something beautiful where there was only the vague remnants of grey stone. And to their credit, they took some effort to restore the semblance of the great castle and citadel that once stood there. So why not indeed?