The Simon Janashia Museum of History
The Museum evolved from the Museum of the Caucasian Department of the Russian Imperial Geographic Society, founded on May 10, 1852 and converted into the Caucasian Museum on the initiative of the German explorer Gustav Radde in 1865. After Georgia regained independence in 1918, the museum was renamed into the Museum of Georgia .
Simon Janashia Museum of Georgia – oldest of Georgia operates as a scientific-educational institution that preserves and exhibits a unique collection of natural and human history. The collections of the museum cover the history of the country, starting from animal re-parents dated back to 40 million years. One of the most amazing artifacts at the museum is the prehistoric human re-parents found in Dmanisi which date back to 1.8 million years and are oldest sign of human existence outside of Africa. One of the most important collections of the museum is the collection of Treasures that contains a big number of unique objects from the second half of the III millennium B.C. through XIX c. A.D. The collection features gold and silver artifacts and jewelry from the pre-Christian period from various regions of the country: Ananuri, Tsnori, Vani, Mtskheta, Tialeti Kurgans, Zhinvali, Akhalgori, Martkopi, etc.
Shalva Amiranashvili Museum of Fine Arts
Shalva Amiranashvili Museum of Fine Arts is one of the leading museums in the country of Georgia; possesses around 140,000 items of Georgian, Oriental, Russian, and other European art.
In 1945, following a special agreement between the Soviet and French governments, numerous works of art constituting the National Treasury of Georgia – manuscripts, metalwork, jewelry, enamels, paintings were returned to Tbilisi and added to the museum’s collection. The eminent Georgian art historian Shalva Amiranashvili (after whom the museum is currently named), who was to head the museum for more than thirty years, played an important role in the formation of the collection.
The spacious rooms of the museum building house the permanent collection, consisting of sections of Georgian, Oriental, Russian, and European art.The most important of the museum’s collections is naturally that of Georgian art, illustrating the,development of the national artistic culture over many centuries from ancient times to the present. The Oriental section comes next in its size and importance, and is one of the largest in the post-Soviet countries. The museum often holds temporary exhibitions of works from other collections in the country and abroad.
Museum national of Theater, Cinema, Music and Choreography
The museum is located in the old town of Tbilisi in a small street and occupies one of the most beautiful buildings in Tbilisi – the Palace of Art, designed by the great German architect Paul Stern. The palace itself has an interesting and fascinating history, which you can learn during the visit. It was an elegant palace with an exterior facade. Inside were Egyptian and Greek rooms, a room in the style of Louis XIV.
The museum’s collection includes exhibitions from different periods reflecting the evolution of Georgian art, theater, film, music and choreography. The total number of exhibits exceeds 200,000 items. These include audio and video recordings, costumes by Georgian stage masters, posters, theatrical collections and manuscripts of literary characters.
The collection of the museum contains 100,000 photographs relating to the theatrical life of the Russian Empire, as well as prizes to personalities of the Georgian people. The oldest exhibition of the ancient period comes from Vani – a smiling marble mask. At present, the museum’s collection continues to grow due to the policy chosen by its director. He decided that not only eminent personalities, but also all those who wish could participate in the creation of the museum fund. This innovation has yielded excellent results.
Address: 6 Kargareteli Street, Tbilisi
Phone: +995 32 295 35 63
Working hours: Every day except Sunday and Monday, 10.00 – 17.00
Ethnographic Museum in Tbilisi
The Ethnographic Museum in Tbilisi is located under the open sky. The museum is one of the most interesting sights of the city, which will acquaint you with the culture and traditions of the people.
The museum was opened in 1966 on the initiative of Georgian ethnographer Georgy Chitay. The museum is located in the Vake Park, near the Turtle Lake and covers an area of 52 hectares. The museum exhibits more than 8 thousand expositions from all over the country. The houses and buildings of the museum are also considered exhibits. Built houses represent the life of settlers since the Bronze Age. Household items, traditional clothing, ornaments, weapons, and utensils are also exhibited in the houses. The museum is divided into 14 zones around the regions: Ajaria, Abkhazia, Kartli, Samergelo, Hevsurtia, Kakheti, Javakheti, Guria, Racha, Lechkhumi, Ossetia, Svaneti, Kartli and Meskhetia. The Ethnographic Museum is a miniature reproduction of Georgia. The museum regularly hosts exhibitions and festivals, including the annual folk festival “Art Gene”.
Georgian State Museum of Folk and Applied Art
The museum houses collections of XIX-XX c.c. craft works from Georgia, as well as objects, mage by other Caucasian nations.
In the museum are displayed gold and silver items, also objects – adornments, belts, weapons, household objects; there are also collections of Caucasian rugs and carpets, silk, leather, heavy cloth, felt objects, Khevsiretian (East Georgia, mountainous region) clothes, embroidery samples, tapestry; collection of local musical instruments; collections of folk craft objects.
In the museum are stored works of Latvian artist Yuli Straume (1874-1970) the rich collection of drawings based on the Caucasian ethnographic material – ornament patterns, sketches, etc. The museum hosts excursions in Georgian, Russian and English. During the tour, you will get acquainted with the Caucasian culture.
Ioseb Grishashvili Tbilisi Historical Museum
Tbilisi State Museum of Georgian folk music and musical instruments
The museum was established on the basis of the Museum of Theatre, Music, Cinema and Choreography. Its funds possess samples of musical instruments of Georgia, Caucasus, Russia and Western Europe. There are more than 5,000 exhibits in museum. Museum had different names. Until 1984 it was called “The Museum of Folk Musical Instruments” and later “The Museum of Folk music and musical instruments”.
The most significant and valuable part is the museum collection of Georgian musical instruments. Among the most ancient exhibits you can find the oldest triple-flute from Mtskheta. Also museums has Salamuri (Lurch) from Samegrelo and Sannori from Guria, Svaneti harmony with narrow range of sound, a sort of bagpipes Gudastviri from Racha and Chiboni from Adjara. The cases of these instruments, decorated with gold, colored glass and chains are interesting to observe as well.
Traditional Georgian polyphonic singing is represented in a collection of audio recordings, the first of which was made in 1901. Another exposition is devoted to the history of sound recording equipment: phonographs, gramophones, etc. In the halls with exhibits of oriental music you can see the strings, bow and percussion musical instruments from the Middle East such as Kamancha, Duduki, Doli, Tari and Sazi. Western part of the fund represents a collection of mechanical musical instruments like harmonicon “Bonaparte”, shaman-argasha produced at the factory of Tbilisi “Nechada”.
The Museum of State Academic Theatre after Shota Rustaveli
The Museum of State Academic Theatre after Shota Rustaveli stores all documents and materials related to the history and development of the academic theater. The museum was opened in 1932 thanks to the collected materials of Ia Kantariya and with the support of Alexander Akhmeteli.
The museum of the Shota Rustaveli Theater stores photographs and documents about the actors of the theater, including personal things and manuscripts. Sketches, old posters, and programs are also presented in the museum. There is a library at the museum.
The museum is named after Shota Rustaveli, an outstanding Georgian poet of the XII century. His contribution to the culture is invaluable. The Theater Institute, the Institute of Georgian Literature, streets in Tbilisi and other cities are named after Shota Rustaveli.
Georgian National Center of manuscripts
Georgian National Center is one of the most important depositories of old manuscript books and historical documents in Georgia. The Institute of Manuscripts was set up on 30 June 1958. The Institute was established on the basis of the State Museum of Georgia. In the funds of the Institute are stored more than 170.000 items in Georgian, Greek, Hebrew, Syrian, Ethiopian, Armenian, Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Slavic languages (dated from 1st c. up to 20th c.). One of the most important aims of the Institute of Manuscripts is organization of the on contemporary level and assistance to international collaboration in the field. The parent directions of the scientific research and international relations are: description, systematization, studying and publishing of manuscripts, historical documents and personal archives of local and foreign (mostly Aphon, Sinai Mountain and Jerusalem) origin; organization of manuscripts care, diagnostics and conservation-restoration according the international standards.
The unique collection, preserved here, involves many branches and spheres: history, geography, travel, law, dictionaries, medicinal books, belles-lettres, biblical texts, hagiography, church law, philosophy, astrology, mathematics, military texts, etc. Preserved in the National Centre of MSS are:
Up to 10000 Georgian (5th-19th cent.), including up to 4000 most important palimpsest pages, and foreign (Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Russian, Armenian, Greek, French, German, Latin, Hebrew, Polish, English, Czech. Syriac, Ethiopic, Mongolian, etc) manuscripts. The Centre works in two directions: museum and research.
The Money Museum was opened in 2001 in Kvareli, in honor of the 10th anniversary of the country’s independence with the support of the National Bank. The museum was located in Tbilisi, recently it was moved to Kvareli.
The museum represents the largest collection of coins and money of different eras and countries. The most expensive exhibits are coins from Kolkhida dating back to the VI century BC. Important exhibits are the paper money of 1917 used in the country after the revolution, coins of David Agmashenebeli of IV century and other antique ones. Expositions represent the history and development of money circulation in the country.
One of the halls is dedicated to modern money from around the world. Currencies are placed by continents and neighboring countries.
Address:10, Rustaveli ave., Kvareli
Phone: +995 032 2 296 604
Working hours : Everyday, except Saturday and Sunday, 9:00 – 18:00
Tbilisi State Silk Museum
Tbilisi State Silk Museum is a unique storage of over 5000 species of cocoons, butterflies, and silkworms. Tbilisi State Silk Museum was founded in 1887 by silk researcher Nikolay Shavrov. The history of the museum is closely connected with the opening of the Caucasian silkworm station, which was headed by Nikolai Shavrov. The building of the silk museum adjoins the silkworm station, which allows visitors to observe the process of silk production.
The museum building and station are a landmark of Tbilisi as a great example of the architecture of the XIX century.The museum exhibits not only the species of silkworms and butterflies but also presents the entire process of silk production, as well as mulberry varieties, dyes, and silk products. The most interesting part of the museum is living silkworms, which can be fed with mulberry leaves. The worm needs to be fed only with fresh leaves from April to June. In the museum, you can also buy a silk cocoon.
Address: 6, Giorgi Tsabadze st. Tbilisi
Phone: +995 32 2340 967, +995 32 2340 963, +995 32 2347 850
Working hours : Everyday except Monday, 11.00 – 17.00
Museum of Georgian emigration in Tbilisi
The museum of Georgian emigration is located in the building of Tbilisi State University named after Ivan Javakhishvili. The museum stores information about outstanding Georgians living outside their homeland. In the museum, you will get acquainted with the amazing stories of great people, learn about their destinies and activities. One of them is Ekvtime Takaishvili: he emigrated from Georgia to Paris to preserve the national treasure.
The archival fonds is of particular value: it contains more than 80 personal archives (works, epistolary heritage, personal and official documents). Noah Zhordania, Noah Ramishvili, Akaki Chkhenkeli, Victor Nozadze, Ekvtime Takaishvili, Grigol Robakidze, George Machabeli and others. 90% of the documents in this archive are handwritten (autographed), the remaining 10% are printed. Also a unique photo archive – 400 museum files. Archives include group and thematic photos of famous immigrants. Despite the fact that the museum represents the activities of people who once left Georgia, they still remain the part of the history of Georgia.
Address: 1, Chavchavadze Avenue, Tbilisi
Phone: +995 32 229 15 53
Working hours : Daily, except Monday 11.00 – 17.00
Museum of History and Ethnography of Georgian Jews named David Baazov
In 2014, Georgia celebrated the 2600th anniversary of the Georgian-Jewish friendship. Georgia is one of the few countries with no anti-Semitic sentiments. The Jewish community was formed in Georgia in 586 BC, and no surprise that there is a museum of history and ethnography of Georgian Jews in the country. The Museum of History and Ethnography of Georgian Jews named after David Baazov is located in Tbilisi, near the Freedom Square, in the building of the “Dome” synagogue, which was closed in the 20s. David Baazov, a well-known active figure, had a huge contribution to the formation and development of the Jewish community in Georgia. The museum displays exhibits depicting the friendship between Georgians and Jews. The museum presents photographs and documents of important events for 26 centuries.
Address: 3, Anton Catalikosi str, Tbilisi
Telephone: +995 032 2 98 59 92
Working hours : Daily, except Saturday and Sunday 11.00 – 18.00
Joseph Stalin Museum
The name of the great Soviet leader, Joseph Stalin, is connected with Georgia, with the city of Gori. A state museum was opened in the native town of Joseph Stalin, near the house where he was born. The construction of the museum began during Stalin’s lifetime, a few years later, in 1955 the museum opened the doors for the visitors.
The museum exhibits everything that is associated with the name and life of Joseph Stalin including personal things, furniture, photographs, documents, clippings from magazines and much more. The museum exhibits the poems from the early life of Stalin. In the halls, there are gypsum and stone busts of the leader.
In the museum, there is also a whole railway car, on which Stalin traveled in the country. The interior of the car is preserved in an initial form with luxurious interior decorations like Venetian mirrors, carved furniture and etc.
Address: 32, Stalin Avenue, Gori
Phone: (+ 995 370) 7 52 15
Working hours : Daily, 1 0.00-17.00
Dadiani Palaces History and Architectural Museum
The Dadianis’ palace is situated in Zugiddi (the north-west of Samegrelo – West Georgia). The museum complex includes: palaces of the Samegrelo queen Ekaterine Chavchavadze-Dadiani and Prince Niko Dadiani, court church, and the magnificent botanic garden (60-90-ies of the XIX c.). In 1850 Prince David Dadiani organized a museum in the palace, where were displayed discovered during accidental excavations unique numismatic materials from the Archaeopolis (Samegrelo region, present day village Nokalakevi), as well as Dadiani family collections of medieval European armor and weapons, ethnographic objects, and fine art.
It was one of the major cultural centers in 19th century Georgia. At the present in the museum are kept: samples of the I c. B.C. – XIX A.D. goldsmith works; archaeological materials representing antique period Greek and Georgian culture; relics of Samegrelo princes, royal families of France (numerous items connected with the Napoleon Buonaparte, from Ashil Miurat – Son in law of David Dadiani), Russia, Spain; libraries of Napoleon (6.000 items) and Dadiani family; Napoleon’s death mask is on display in the Zugdidi historical museum. The museum funds: 44 475 items.
Prince Alexander Chavchavadze, the founder of the Georgian romanticism turned the estate in the village of Tsinandali, which he inherited from his father into cultural and intellectual center of the country, the status it preserves to this day. The place regularly hosts exhibitions, concerts, literary events and master classes. The complex in Tsinandali embraces the memorial house, a landscape garden, a historical winery, wine cellar, hotel and a café. The vineyards have been restored and wine production has resumed.
We offer you a pleasurable and informative experience: you will look into the background of the noble Chavchavadze family, who played a significant part in the national history; enjoy the views of the garden, have a look at the winery and sample the “Tsinandali” (first produced by the Chavchavadzes) etc. Georgian wines and round off the visit at the historical hotel. The landscape garden in Tsinandali is the first European-type recreation zone in Georgia. It was laid out by the landscape architects Alexander Chavchavadze invited from Europe. The garden is unique for its exotic plants and layout. It was in the Tsinandali winery that the wine was first bottled in Georgia. Al. Chavchavadze’s collection of vintage wines consists of over 15 000 bottles, with the oldest dated with 1814.
Dmanisi Museum-Reserve of History and Architectur
Dmanisi Museum-Reserve was founded in 1983 on base of the Dmanisi monument. The museum represents the medieval town of Dmanisi and the geological layer dating back to 1.8 million years, which is rich for the oldest hominid and animal remains. Since 1991 five sculls of prehistoric hominids have been found in the site.
It’s notable that there is no analogue of discovery such many hominid remains in one archeological site. These results caused the great interest of the international community of scientists, as it changed the whole theory of human spreading outside Africa. The medieval archeological monument includes the inner castle, secular buildings, shrines and the secret tunnel. Among the shrines, the VI c. Dmanisi Sioni is of the utmost interest, with the XIII c. unique gate with the ornaments and manuscripts on it
Vani Archeological Museum-Reserve
Vani archeological Museum-reserve, situated on the hill close to the town of Vani in the western Georgia, was founded on April, 21, 1981 on the base of the local lore museum and was opened in September, 1985 during the international Symposium. The museum includes: Site of Vani, expedition base and the museum itself. The museum houses the majority of the archeological materials discovered in the site of Vani.
In 1987, after discovery of the rich burial, the Gold Fund was opened at the Museum, which preserves the unique pieces of Vani Goldsmith. The exposition covers the period from VIII c. BC to I c. AD. The constant exhibition exposes architectural and goldsmith materials as well as the unique bronze statues and their fragments. Vani hosts annual international symposiums over the issues of history and archeology of the ancient Mediterranean countries.
Dzalisa archeological Museum-Reserve
Dzalisa – one of the most significant archaeological sites of the Classical period on the territory of the kingdom of Kartli (Iberia). Archaeological excavations were carried on here in 1971-1990 by the Nastakisi archaeological expedition of the Georgian Institute of History, Archaeology and Ethnography. The former city site is situated in Mukhrani field, v. Dzalisa, 20 km north-west of Mtskheta, and is identified with the city of Zalissa mentioned along with other cities by the 2nd century AD Greek geographer Ptolemy (Claudius Ptolemaeus) in his “Geographical Handbook”.
The excavations have shown Dzalisa to have been the best example of the upsurge and growth of urban life of the former city site of Iberia in the opening centuries AD. The ancient city held an area of ca 70 ha on the right bank of the river Narekvavi. The artificial mound of 6-7 ha area in the north-western part is believed to have been the citadel or inner fortress, surrounded with an adobe wall. Here various habitation layers have been revealed and remains of a monumental building of the Late Classical period, probably roofed with tile. Inter-crossing streets and squares, paved with brick slabs, and planned according to the so-called regular principle have come to light on the site. Both public and dwelling, as well as cultic buildings, adorned with outstanding mosaics, baths, water supplying system and traces of sewage system are in evidence.
Ivane Javakhishvili Samtskhe-Javakheti History Museum
Ivane Javakhishvili Samtskhe-Javakheti History Museum was established in 1923 as an archive-museum. In 1972 Museum moved to two buildings at the Rabati territory in Akhaltsikhe and it was named after Ivane Javakhishvili. Today, the Museum houses the significant part of the region’s cultural heritage.
Totally it preserves over 25,000 objects. They include manuscripts and old printed books (parchments dating to the XI, XII, XV, and XVII cc.), photos, archaeological, numismatic, and ethnographic collections, etc. The Museum’s textile collection (rugs and carpets of the verge of XIX-XX cc.) as well as collection of ancient inscriptions cut on stone are of high importance. Since December 2004 Ivane Javakhishvili Samtskhe-Javakheti History Museum is a part of the Georgian National Museum.
Svaneti History-Ethnography Museum
Svaneti Museum situates in the regional center of Svaneti – Mestia. The Museum was established in 1936 as a Local Museum. In the Museum are kept very important and valuable archaeological and ethnographical materials, rich collection of the Georgian manuscripts, icons, etc. There are high level items in the collections donated to Svaneti churches by Georgian kings. There are some items of foreign origin, like: Syrian, Sasanian Persia, from Byzantine Empire, and Venice.
In 2003 the museum moved to the new building. Permanent exhibitions are presented the three halls. Collections of the Svaneti Museum are: archaeological collections – 2187 items, engraved and painted icons – 242 items, manuscripts – 68 items, metalwork – 292 items, wooden ethnographical objects – 650 items, jewelry and silverware – 421 items, textiles – 37 items
National Gallery of Georgia (“The Blue Gallery”)
The National Gallery of Georgia was opened in 1917 thanks to the contribution and diligence of the artist Dmitry Shevardnadze. The National Gallery or the Blue Gallery is located in the center of Tbilisi, in the old house built in 1888. Recently, the building was restored, and right after the reconstruction, the gallery was named after the creator Shevardnadze.
In the National Gallery of Georgia are stored more than 30 thousand works of contemporary art – paintings, sculptures, graphics, examples of decorative and applied art, art photographs and other works of Georgian artists of the XX century. The modern gallery is divided into eight exhibition halls. Permanent exhibitions are presented only in two halls, other halls are allocated for temporary thematic exhibitions. The National Gallery of Georgia is located on Shota Rustaveli Avenue 11. The Gallery is open daily from 11:00 to 18:00 except Mondays. The gallery also organizes excursions in foreign languages.