Akhalkalaki is a small town located in the southern part of Georgia, in the region of Samtskhe-Javakheti. It sits at an altitude of 1,260 meters (4,134 feet) above sea level and has a population of around 8,000 people. The town is situated on the Akhalkalaki Plateau, surrounded by the Lesser Caucasus Mountains.

The history of Akhalkalaki dates back to the 2nd millennium BC, when the area was inhabited by the Urartians, an ancient kingdom in the Caucasus region. The name "Akhalkalaki" comes from the Georgian words "akhali" (new) and "kalaki" (city), indicating that it was founded as a new city in the 11th century AD by King Bagrat IV of Georgia.

Throughout its history, Akhalkalaki has been a strategic point for various empires, including the Ottoman and Russian Empires. In the 19th century, it became a center of the Russian military presence in the region. During Soviet times, it was a significant military base and home to a large Soviet army garrison. Today, the town is still home to a military base.

Despite its small size, Akhalkalaki is home to a diverse population, with Georgian, Armenian, and Russian communities living together. The town is known for its unique blend of cultures and traditions, which are reflected in its architecture, cuisine, and local customs.

One of the main attractions in Akhalkalaki is the St. Gregory the Illuminator Church, which was built in the 10th century and is one of the oldest churches in Georgia. The town is also surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes, including the Javakheti Plateau and the Paravani Lake.

If you're planning a visit to Akhalkalaki, be sure to pack warm clothing, as the town experiences long, cold winters and cool summers. The average temperature in winter is around -5°C (23°F), while in summer it ranges from 15°C to 20°C (59°F to 68°F).

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