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Skyline of Akhalkalaki  ახალქალაქი
Akhalkalaki  ახალქალაქი is located in Georgia (country)
Akhalkalaki  ახალქალაქი
Location of Akhalkalaki in Georgia
Coordinates: 41°24′20″N 43°29′10″E / 41.40556°N 43.48611°E / 41.40556; 43.48611
Country  Georgia (country)
Mkhare Samtskhe-Javakheti
Elevation 1,707 m (5,600 ft)
Population (2002)
 • Total 60,975
Time zone Georgian Time (UTC+4)
Website Official

Akhalkalaki (Georgian: ახალქალაქი for New City;) is a town in Georgia's southern region of Samtskhe-Javakheti. Akhalkalaki lies on the edge of the Javakheti Volcanic Plateau. The city is located about 30 km from the border with Turkey. 90 percent of the city's population are ethnic Armenians. The city was passed from Ottomans to Russians after Russo-Turkish War (1828–1829). On January 4, 1900, an earthquake destroyed much of the town and killed 1,000 people in the area.[1] According to the 2002 official estimate, the town had a population of 60,975.


Akhalkalaki was founded in 1064. In 1066 the city was destroyed during the Seljuq invasions of the Kingdom of Georgia.[2] In 11th century Akhalkalaki became political and economical centre of Javakheti. In the 16th century the city came under the rule of the Ottoman Empire and became a sanjak centre in Çıldır Eyaleti. Under the Ottoman rule, the town was known as "Ahılkelek". The city was passed from Ottomans to Russians after Russo-Turkish War in 1828–1829. In 1887 there were 4303 inhabitants in Akhalkalaki, including Russians - 61, Armenians — 4080, Jews — 63 and Georgians — 45.[3] According to Georgian encyclopedia, after the establishment of a Russian regime, Georgian Muslims were deported to Turkey and Armenians were settled down from the Vilayet of Erzurum.[4]


Тhe fragment from the map By Antonio Zatta, published in Venice in 1784. The map shows Akhalkalaki, Georgia

In April 2005, an agreement was signed to build a new railway connecting Turkey with Georgia and Azerbaijan, passing through Akhalkalaki. This would bypass an existing line through Gyumri in Armenia which has been closed by Turkey, blockading Armenia, for political reasons since the 1990s.[5] It is here where the break-of-gauge will be.[6]


The city was a home to the Soviet-era 147th Motor Rifle Division (part of the 9th Army of the Transcaucasian Military District) up until the early 1990s. After the fall of the Soviet Union the Division became the Russian 62nd Military Base which was officially transferred, according to the Sochi agreement, to Georgia on June 27, 2007.[7]

Famous people[edit]


  1. ^ The Annual Register of World Events, 1900 (Longmans, Green, and Co., 1901) p461
  2. ^ Suny, Ronald Grigor (1994), The Making of the Georgian Nation: 2nd edition. Indiana University Press, p. 34
  3. ^ "Ахалкалаки". Брокгауз-Ефрон. Archived from the original on 2012-02-15. 
  4. ^ Georgian Soviet Encyclopedia, volume 2, 1977, p. 96
  5. ^ Railway Gazette International February 2009, p54
  6. ^ http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/passenger/single-view/view/stadler-signs-baku-tbilisi-kars-sleeping-car-contract.html
  7. ^ Russia Transfers Akhalkalaki Military Base to Georgia. Civil Georgia. June 27, 2007. Accessed on June 29, 2007.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°24′20″N 43°29′10″E / 41.40556°N 43.48611°E / 41.40556; 43.48611