Tbilisi, the charming and historic capital of Georgia, is a city that is steeped in culture and tradition. From its ancient fortresses and monasteries, to its picturesque Old Town, the city is a treasure trove of history and art. Visitors to Tbilisi will find a wide range of museums that showcase the rich cultural heritage of Georgia, from its ancient past to the present day. These museums not only offer a window into the country’s history and art, but also provide a deeper understanding of the people and culture of this fascinating country. Whether you are interested in art, history, theater, or politics, Tbilisi has a museum that will suit your interests. In this article, we will take a look at some of the best museums in Tbilisi that should not be missed by visitors to the city.
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The Georgian National Museum
The Georgian National Museum is the largest museum in the country, and it is home to a vast collection of Georgian art and artifacts. The museum’s collections reflect the nation’s history,starting from animal re-parents dated back to 40 million years. The prehistoric human re-parents discovered in Dmanisi, which date back 1.8 million years and are the oldest evidence of human existence outside of Africa, are one of the museum’s most remarkable items.
The museum is divided into several different sections, including the Archaeological Treasury, which displays ancient artifacts from the pre-Christian period, and the Numismatics Department, which houses a collection of Georgian coins. The museum also has a section dedicated to the history of Georgia, which includes a display of medieval manuscripts, weapons, and clothing. Additionally, the museum has a section dedicated to contemporary art, which showcases works by Georgian artists from the 19th and 20th centuries. The Georgian National Museum is located in the heart of Tbilisi and is a must-visit for anyone interested in Georgian history and culture.
The Museum of Soviet Occupation
The museum is administered as a section of the Georgian National Museum and is situated on Rustaveli Avenue, Tbilisi’s main thoroughfare.This museum is dedicated to the history of Soviet rule in Georgia. The museum offers visitors a glimpse into the brutal repression and censorship that Georgians faced under Soviet rule. The exhibits include photographs, documents, and personal stories that help visitors to understand the impact of Soviet rule on the people of Georgia. The museum is a powerful reminder of the human cost of Soviet oppression and is a must-visit for anyone interested in 20th century history.
The Museum of Fine Arts
This museum is located in the historic district of Tbilisi and is home to a collection of Georgian art. More than 3500 pieces of art created over the period of the last 70 years are on display in the museum. The museum features the founders’, Gia Jokhtaberidze and Manana Shevardnadze, family collection. The goal of the family collection is to bring Georgian soviet and post-soviet art together in one cultural space and to promote it, as many of the pieces on display have never been seen by a larger public. According to the idea of chronological development, sculptures, paintings, and graphics are located on the fifth, fourth, and third floors. A rather different image is portrayed on all three floors in terms of historical and political eras, including socialist realism, the thawing period, the fall of the Soviet Union, the Cold War, the civil war, and independent Georgia. Each floor tells a different story of how Georgian art attempted to uphold traditions while still aspiring to modernity. The Museum of Fine Arts is a great place to visit for anyone who is interested in art and wants to learn more about Georgian artists.
The Georgian National Gallery
Commonly known as the Tbilisi Art Gallery, is one of Tbilisi’s most well-known museums and is adored by art enthusiasts for its abundance of exhibitions by well-known Georgian and foreign artists. The Georgian National Gallery was founded in 1920. Dimitri Shevardnadze, a well-known Georgian painter, made significant contributions to the gallery’s growth.Tbilisi National Gallery has long played a central role in the promotion of Georgian art. Today it holds more than 30,000 items of value, including permanent exhibitions from prominent Georgian artists Niko Pirosani, Lado Gudiashvili, Davit Kakabadze and Iakob Nikoladze. In recent times, The Georgian National Gallery has hosted numerous well-known artists, such as Michelangelo, Botticelli, Titian, Michelangelo Pistoletto and Lucas Cranach. For those who are interested in art, the National Gallery is a very fascinating and spectacular location.
The Open Air Museum of Ethnography
The Open Air Museum of Ethnography is an outdoor museum in Tbilisi, Georgia, that showcases samples of folk art and architecture from various regions across the country. The museum was established on April 27, 1966 and is situated west of Turtle Lake. It is essentially a historic village with structures that have been relocated from all of Georgia’s major territorial districts. The museum, which is spread across 52 hectares and divided into eleven zones, showcases more than 8,000 objects and almost 70 buildings, such as openwork wooden homes from western Georgia, watchtowers from mountainous regions of Svaneti, Khevsureti,and Pshavi, Kakhetian wineries (Marani) and etc. If you want to learn more about Georgia’s various regions and distinctive cultures while you are in Tbilisi, this is the place for you.
Nowadays, Tbilisi has some interesting and contemporary museums/galleries worth mentioning – The Museum of Illusion offers you a location appropriate for both social and fun tours into the captivating realm of illusions that has fascinated people of all ages. It’s the ideal setting for having fun and discovering new things with friends and family. In addition, we should mention Holoseum – an audiovisual and alternative museum, where paintings are brought to life through cutting-edge projection mapping that is both interactive and dynamic. You can tour both museums simultaneously because they are both situated in the same location.
In conclusion, Tbilisi is a treasure trove of museums and galleries that offer a glimpse into Georgia’s rich history, art, and culture. From ancient artifacts to contemporary masterpieces, these institutions provide a comprehensive overview of the country’s diverse heritage and artistic expression. Whether you are interested in archaeology, fine arts, performing arts, or contemporary art, there is something for everyone in Tbilisi’s museums and galleries. Exploring these cultural institutions can be a fascinating and enriching experience, allowing you to deepen your understanding of Georgia’s past and present. So, if you’re planning a visit to Tbilisi, be sure to include some of these museums and galleries in your itinerary for an immersive cultural journey.