Akhaltsikhe (Georgian: ახალციხე, literally new castle; also known as Lomisa, Armenian: Ախալցխա, Turkish: Ahıska) is a small city in Georgia's southwestern region (mkhare) of Samtskhe-Javakheti. It is situated on the both banks of a small river Potskhovi, which separates the city to the old city in the north and new in the south. The name of the city translates from Georgian as "new fortress".
Renovated Rabati castle in Akhlatskikhe
The city is first mentioned in the chronicles in the 12th century. In the 12th - 13th centuries it was the seat of the Akhaltsikhelis, dukes of Samtskhe, whose two most illustrious representatives were Shalva and Ivane Akhaltsikheli (of Akhaltsikhe). From the 13th up to the 17th century the city and Samtkhe were governed by the feudal family of the Jaqelis. In 1576 the Ottomans took it and from 1628 the city became the centre of the Samtskhe Eyalet of the Ottoman Empire as "Ahıska". In 1828, during the Russo-Turkish War of 1828-1829, Russian troops under the command of General Paskevich captured the city and, as a consequence of the 1829 Treaty of Adrianople (Edirne), it was ceded to the Russian Empire as part of first Kutaisi and then Tbilisi governorates. In the old part of the city one can see an old fortress, castle and mosque, the old fortress of the Jakelis (13th-14th century), and St. Marine's Church. The hills nearby the city harbour the Sapara Monastery (10th - 14th centuries).
Detail from a map of Rigobert Bonne
, published in Geneve in 1780. The detail shows Akhaltsikhe, Georgia
In the late 1980s the city was host to the Soviet Army's 10th Guards Motor Rifle Division, which became a brigade of the Georgian land forces after the fall of the Soviet Union.
The indigenous population of Akhaltsikhe are Meskhetians. According to the 2002 Census, the city's population with the many surrounding villages was 46,134. The city proper is currently estimated by locals to be about 20,000. In 2002 the majority were ethnic Georgians (28,473, or 61%), with minority of Armenians (16,879, or 37%). Meskhetian Turks formerly constituted majority of the city before forcibly deportation in 1944.
International relations 
People associated with Akhaltsikhe 
- Michel Tamarati (1858–1911), Georgian Catholic priest and historian
- Lusine Zakaryan (1937–1997), Soviet Armenian soprano singer
- Sergo Kobuladze (1909–1978), painter and illustrator
- Grégoire-Pierre Agagianian (1895–1971), Armenian Catholic cardinal
- Aghan Ephrikian(?-1840)Pasha and Governor
- Michael Aznavourian,father of Charles Aznavour
- Shalva Maglakelidze, plenipotentiary for the Russian Provisional Government and then for the government of Georgia in Akhaltsikhe (1917–1918)
- Stepan Malkhasyants, Armenian academician
- Giorgi Mazniashvili, governor general of Akhaltsikhe (1919–1920)
- Vakhtang V of Kartli fled to Ahiska, after a coup failure
- Vakhtang Tchutchunashvili (?-1668), usurper of Imereti throne, fled to Ahiska after being deposed
- Aram Ghanalanyan (1909-1983), Armenian philologist, folklorist, member of academy of sciences of Armenia
- Ahmed-Pasha Khimshiashvili (?-1836), pasha of Ahiska
- Hovhannes Katchaznouni (1868–1938), first prime minister of Democratic Republic of Armenia
- Hakob Kojoyan (1883–1959), Soviet Armenian artist
- David Baazov, rabbi in Akhaltsikhe (1918)
- Palavandishvili family
See also 
||This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2009)
External links 
Coordinates: 41°38′20″N 42°59′10″E / 41.63889°N 42.98611°E