According to The Georgian Chronicles the city was established in the 9th century by Guaram Mampal, son of the King of Tao. From the 13th to the end of 14th centuries it was the capital city of Samtskhe-Saatabago, ruled by the Georgian princely (mtavari) family and a ruling dynasty of the Principality of Samtskhe, the House of Jaqeli.
In 1393 the city was attacked by the armies of Tamerlane. Despite the Turko-Mongol invasions fortress withstood and continued to thrive. After the Treaty of Constantinople in 1590, the whole territory of Samtskhe-Saatabago went under the rule of Ottoman Empire. Turks Mostly used to build defensive edifices. In 1752 first mosque was built in Rabati. In the first half of the 8th century Prince Vakhushti of Kartli writes
By the end of the 18th century Metropolitan John writes that "despite the fact that a large part of the population has been Islamized, there's still functioning Orthodox church." After the Treaty of Georgievsk between the Kingdom of Kartli and Russian Empire was signed the question of the fate of Akhaltsikhe arose. The first attempt to take the fortress in 1810 fell. Russians took the city after 18 years in 1828. After the Treaty of Adrianople in 1829, the Ottomans yielded the part of Akhaltiske Region.