As the oldest known mosque in Adjara, Akho was among several sites chosen as part of the recently established Keda Cultural Route. The structure itself dates to 1818, but a foundation stone at the base of the minaret marked with the hijri year 1340 (1920-21 AD) suggests later renovation. What survives are layers of regional mosque decoration: the incised carvings on the door and minbar speak to the fusion of Ottoman motifs with Georgian vernacular during the Ottoman period, while the applied wooden ornament (derived from templates) and fluted doric columns are more typical of the later Russian imperial period. The minbar’s detailed carvings—one side adorned with an Ottoman tulip motif, the other with interwoven rings and stars—and latticework crown date it to the Ottoman era. Although the interior walls have been whitewashed, painting fragments—including a cornstalk on a door in the vestibule—suggest murals added between 1890-1920. Plain fiberboard paneling covers the dome’s original paintings, which were likely victims to decades of water damage. The front door, with its intricate geometric patterns, is a replica: during the Soviet period, regional museum officials took the original door to the Adjara State Museum in Batumi for display amidst other ethnographic artifacts of the pre-socialist past. Today, the door remains at the State Museum, which commissioned a copy for the mosque when Akho village requested its return.
LOCATION: 41°39'14.8"N 42°03'26.2"E
CONSTRUCTION DATE: 1818 (hijri 1233)
RENOVATION DATE(S): 1920-1921; 1990s
CRAFTSMEN: Usta Hussein (Laz)
MINARET: Original minaret demolished c.1920;
new minaret added in 1990s