მუზეუმები და ობსერვატორიები

Abastumani Astrophysical Observatory

Starry-eyed travelers will have a field day at the Soviet-era Abastumani Astrophysical Observatory atop Mount Kanobili. The journey begins with the option between an hour-long hike or a cable car ride to the observatory. With seven telescopes built between 1932 and 1978, a small museum, and a tour option, visitors have plenty of recreational options to choose from at this remote location. Before catching close-up glimpses of the moon and stars, be sure to enjoy the beautiful hiking paths nearby. It is located on Mount Kanobili, near Abastumani resort.

Private: Akhalkalaki Museum of Local Lore

The museum displays archeological exhibits, national clothes, old manuscripts of famous people in the Akhalkalaki municipality, pictures, numismatics, and old household items.

The museum preserves typical living materials of the region such as samples of folk furniture, clothing, and rugs. It also houses materials obtained from archeological excavations from the Late Bronze Age to the Middle Ages.

Borjomi Local Lore Museum

Having opened in 1926, the Borjomi Lore Museum is one of the oldest museums in Georgia. There are over 36,000 items on display, informing visitors of all historical periods of Borjomi. Visitors can learn about the region’s flora and fauna, unique architecture, glass, wood, porcelain, and bronze artifacts from the 18th and 19th centuries.

Price: 5 Gel (approx. $1,5) or less
Duration: Approximately 2 hours
Hours of Operation- 10 AM-5PM Tuesday-Sunday (closed Mondays)
Address: 5 Tsminda Nino St, Borjomi 1200, Georgia

Cultural Heritage Monument Firuza

Built in 1892 by the consul of Iran Mirza Riza Khan, the bright blue Firuza palace is at the entrance of Borjomi’s Mineral Water Park. The architecturally savvy onlooker will distinguish the unique blend of Persian, Georgian, and European elements that the building encapsulates. Firuza’s wooden windows, decorative paintings, and impressive mirrors are a style uncommon in Georgia, adding to its cultural significance not only for the town of Borjomi but for the country as a whole. The building has been repurposed into the 4-star Golden Tulip Borjomi luxury hotel, where you can stop by for a meal or a quick drink at the restaurant and bar.

Doukhobors Museum

The Village Gorelovka contains the Doukhobors Museum, and the village was founded in the 1840’s by the Doukhobors. They were a group of Christian Russians exiled to the region by Tsar Nicholas I. The Doukhobors living in the Ninotsminda Municipality were exiled in the mid-19th century. The word Doukhobor means ‘spirit wrestler’ in Russian. Considered to be heretics by the Orthodox Church in Russia for their rejection of church ritual, many Doukhobors chose exile in the Caucasus region of the Russian empire in the 1840s rather than convert to Orthodoxy. A number settled in the Samtskhe-Javakheti region of Georgia.

The Museum, which was once a building of the Rus-Dukhabor Orphanage, it was built in 1847 at the initiative of the head of the Doukhobor movement, Luceria Kalmikova. The orphanage complex includes several buildings of significance, the Russian Dukhobors’s cultural life building, farm, and the orphanage, which is the spiritual center of the Russian Doukhobors and a place of worship.

The Doukhobors were exiled after burning their weapons of war, rejecting Russian Orthodoxy, and as pacifists refusing to join the army or fight in any wars. It is said that Leo Tolstoy helped many relocate to Canada where a large population of Doukhobors live today, while a minority of Doukhobors live in Georgia, the Ukraine and other neighboring countries. When they came to Georgia, they built homes putting sand from the nearby lake on their roofs to keep warm, and painted their homes in joyful hues of white, blue and green as they created a communal living environment in this harsh region.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, non-Doukhobors began moving into the area. With the rise of nationalism and the arrival of Georgians into villages such as Gorelovka. The Doukhobors were no longer welcome, many moved away but a handful still remain. The diverse people of Gorelovka now live in a harsh environment, but surrounded by stunning scenery.

Private: Jivani House Museum

Jivani’s House Museum is located in Kartsakhi. The walls of the house-museum exhibition hall are decorated with photographs depicting Jivani’s childhood and his children, as well as various objects related to his life in the Alexandrapol (Gyumri) and Tbilisi regions. Also shown are photos, posters, writings, and Talyan’s and Jivani’s dynasty tree. People contributing to this collection include Jivani’s daughter, Hripsime’s grandson, Jivan Hakobyan, Gagik Varderesyan, and others.

In the central part of the exhibition hall is Jivani’s bust. Displayed on the right side of the bust is his violin and on the left side his Kamani. As a symbol of Jivani’s immortal song “I am a tree of apricot” and the Armenian nation’s eternity the wall behind the bust is covered with images of apricots, over which Jivani’s “Hovik” song quartet is written in his handwriting.

There are photos of the Armenian and foreign celebrities, who valued Jivani or are closely connected with his life and work. The best performers and people who processed Ashough’s songs are also included in the exhibition. The exhibition ends with photographs of Jivani’s tombstone and the pictures of Ashough school founded in Yerevan, in 1997. On August 27, 2017, Support to Javakheti Foundation opened the memorial section of the house museum. In this part of the house museum Jivani spent the first years of his life.

Samtskhe-Javakheti Historical Museum

Located on the territory of the reconstructed fortress of Akhaltsikhe, the Samtskhe-Javakheti Historic Museum was renovated and reopened in 2012. The museum displays the extensive history of Samtskhe-Javakheti, starting with prehistoric artifacts and fossils. Visitors will learn about the landscape, environment, metalwork, culture, rituals, and religion of the region’s ancient history.

Price: Adults- 3 Gel (approx. $1), kids- 1 Gel ($0.31)
Hours of Operation: 10 AM- 6PM Tuesday- Sunday
Address: E 691, Akhaltsikhe, Georgia.


Opening Hours:

Tuesday – Sunday 10:00 am 6:00 pm


Vardzia Historical-Architectural Museum-Reserve

Vardzia is a monastery dating back to the twelfth century AD, located on the banks of the river Mtkvari and is one of the most important historical sites in Georgia. The location, in the middle of a huge gorge, offers unforgettable views. Until this day, some monks still live in those caves.

The popular story behind the name is that the young Tamar (later Queen of Georgia) went out hunting with her uncle Giorgi and got lost in the caves. Giorgi searched for her and eventually found her because she shouted out from the rock cave above “Aq var dzia” (“I am here uncle”), which in the local language is close to the word Vardzia, i.e. I am here uncle.

The cave monastery grew into a complex stretching along the mountainside for as long as 800 m, to the depth of 50 meters housing perhaps 2,000 monks, with over 13 churches, 25 wine cellars, baths, libraries and numerous dwellings connected by tunnels and stairs. During an enemy attack, the complex could host up to 20,000 people.

It is assumed that the only access to this stronghold was via a hidden tunnel whose entrance was near the banks of Mtkvari river. The outside slope of the mountain was covered with fertile terraces, suitable for cultivation, for which an intricate system of irrigation was designed.

Four distinct building phases have been identified at Vardzia: the first during the reign of Giorgi III (1156–1184), when the site was laid out and the first cave dwellings excavated; the second between his death and the marriage of his successor Tamar in 1186, when the Church of the Dormition was carved out and decorated; the third from that date until the Battle of Basian c.1203, during which time many more dwellings, as well as the defences, water supply, and irrigation network, were constructed; while the fourth was a period of partial rebuilding after heavy damage in the earthquake of 1283.

Since 1985 the site has formed part of the Vardzia Historical–Architectural Museum-Reserve, which includes forty-six architectural sites, twelve archaeological sites, and twenty-one sites of monumental art. In 1999 Vardzia-Khertvisi was submitted for inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List as a Cultural Site.

On the banks of the river directly below it is a service area which is home to several shops and restaurants. Steps lead from the car park in front of the shops up to the ticket office. Behind the ticket office, a paved road leads up to the upstream side of the complex, from where visitors are conveyed through a combination of external paths and stairs and internal tunnels along a one-way system to the far end of the complex from where they descend downstairs and tunnels to a path that leads them back to connect with the road just up the hill from the ticket office. 

Entrance Fee: The Vardzia entrance fee is 15 GEL (€4.45). 


Opening Hours

Tuesday to Sunday 10:00 am 6:00 pm

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