Dadiani Palace (Region of Mingrelia)
The Dadiani Palace, belonging to the former dukes of Samegrelo region, is located in Zugdidi town. The museum complex consists of the palaces of Princess Ekaterine Chavchavadze-Dadiani and her son Niko Dadiani (19th c.), a church, and a decorative garden laid out by the Dadianis. Niko Dadiani’s Palace is beautified by a stone balcony and an enormous ballroom (the largest in Georgia).The palace garden is planted with unique trees and bushes, brought from different parts of the world. In 1850 with the initiative of Prince of Megrelia David Dadiani a museum was opened in their palace. It housed a collection of ancient numismatic items, European military weapons of the Middle Ages, paintings, and works of fine art.
Today more than 41 000 rare exhibits are on display at the museum. Among its collection of relics of European monarchs and imperial families there is a death mask of Napoleon Bonaparte brought to the palace by the husband of David Dadiani’s daughter, prince Ashille Muratt, grandson of Napoleon’s sister, Carolina. The museum also houses the relics of Christian saints, including the Shroud of St. Mary, which was brought to Georgia in 1453. It was first kept in the Bedia Church and then in the Khobi Church. Later, in 1533, it was brought to the palace of Levan Dadiani I. At present the mentioned Shroud is brought to the public eyes anualyy only on 15th of July during the religious ceremony.