Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography is one of the candidates for the European Museum of the year Award (EMYA) 2016!
Tuesday-Sunday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Last admission 30 minutes before closing.
Closed on Monday, and public holidays
School Children: 0.5GEL
Children (under 6): Free
Friends of Museum (become a member): Free
Free to: ICOM members, museum employees, people with limited abilities, internally displaced persons (IDPs), socially unprotected persons.
Note: visitors receiving special benefits or free admission privileges should present relevant documents
Up to 10 persons 25GEL
School children groups 10GEL
Guide service is delivered in Georgian, English, German, and Russian languages.
Cloakroom service is free for the following items:
- Coats and jackets
- Travelling bags and backpacks
- Motorcycle/bicycle helmets
- Musical instruments
Handbags (maximum size A3) can be brought into the museum. In case of questionable items , a decision will be made by authorized personnel.
Following items cannot be checked:
- Money, documents, and identification documents
- Check cards and credit cards
In case of violating the aforementioned policy, the Georgian National Museum is not responsible for the loss or damage of any items.
Visitors should collect their belongings by the end of the working day. After the museum closes all the items left behind are considered lost. In case of loss of checked items, authorized personnel should be notified immediately.
Recommendations and Regulations
- The last entrance tickets are sold 30 minutes prior the end of working day. Visitors should leave exhibition halls 10 minutes before the museum closes.
- Children (under 12) should be accompanied by parents or authorized persons
- Parents, teachers, nurses, and group supervisors are responsible for children's actions
- Running, smoking, and excessive noise are prohibited in the museum. Parents are asked not to carry small children on their shoulders.
- Eating and drinking is allowed only in the cafe or the yard terrace of the museum
- Each member of the group should stay nearby the authorized supervisor
- Copying art works in exhibition hall without authorization from the museum administration is prohibited
- Visitors must keep their tickets until the end of the visit
- The following items are prohibited in any part (social or exhibition) of the Georgian National Museum: chemical and toxic substances; firearms and weapons; food and plastic bottles; sharp, overweight, or oversized items; other art works, art work reproductions, or casts; scooters, skateboards, or bicycles; pets and animals.
Photo and Video Shooting
- Taking photos of the museum building and permanent exhibitions for personal purposes are allowed without using flash and tripods
- Photo and video are strictly prohibited at temporary exhibitions
- Photography for commercial purposes is subject to prior negotiation and written permission issued by the museum administration and communications department
- Taking photo or video featuring GNM employees is a subject of prior negotiation with the museum administration
Access help for people with disabilities
The GNM offers various museums with the special facilities to make your visit more enjoyable. If you have any enquiries regarding facilities and services for disabled people, please contact us by telephone + (995 32) 299 80 22.
Entry to the Museum is free and people with disabilities are entitled to free admission to all the Georgian National Museum exhibitions.
After the exhibition, you can visit our stores with your friends and family members. Purchase beautiful jewelry, accessories, great books, postcards and more, all inspired by the GNM's collection. Stores are available at: Museum of Georgian History, National Gallery, Museum of Fine Arts and Sighnaghi Museum.
7, A.Ioseliani St., Mestia, Georgia
Tel: + (995 32) 2 15 73 00
Fax: + (995 32) 298 21 33
Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography is located in north-western Georgia, in the recently-renovated capital city of the Svaneti region, Mestia. Museum was established in 1936 as a Local Museum.
In 2013 the new museum was opened in modern building (architect Gaga Kiknadze) according to international standards. Now it makes possible to organize temporary exhibitions right next to museums unique permanent expositions, in a specially arranged space. In addition to all the facilities mentioned above, educational center and media library were open in 2015.
During their visit, museum guests can enjoy cafe and bookstore. Our renewed public space is equipped with modern technology and makes museum more interactive for the visitors.
The renovated Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography has become a 21st century cultural-educational center that also encourages scientific research and the education of future generations.
The Museum's collections include important archeological and ethnographic materials, a rich collection of Georgian manuscripts, and Georgian Orthodox icons painted in the unique Svan style. It also houses ancient objects dating back to early empires and cultures that made their mark on Georgian history.
Archeological discoveries made in Svaneti date back to the 3rd century BCE, and provide evidence of active cultural and social life, as well as connection to Kolkheti-the ancient land of the Golden Fleece encountered by the Argonauts. The archaeological collection contains many examples of ceramics, jewelry, cult or religious objects, armaments, trading instruments, and numismatic collections.
The Svaneti numismatic collection is distinguished by its breadth. The majority of the coins represent the church-treasury. The chronology of the numismatic collection reserved in Svaneti begins with 5th century "Kolkhuri Tetri" and finishes with 20th century Soviet coins. Also notable are collections minted by Georgian monarchs David Aghmashenebeli, Giorgi III, Tamar, Giorgi IV, and Rusudan. The modern collection includes historic European currencies from Poland, Denmark, Germany, and the Czech Republic.
Christian culture collections reserved in Svaneti include many significant Georgian middle century, Syrian, Byzantine, and European artworks.
The majority of the museum icons are made by 11th century Svan masters in a style unique from elsewhere in the Orthodox world, and even from the rest of Georgia. Notable icons include Emperor Diocletian's Torture of St. George by the iconographer Asani, and Christ Pantokrator, painted by Giorgi and Tevdore.
There are many "capital city school" and folk master's artworks among the unique Georgian painted icons in Svaneti.
There are distinguished relic rooms representing chased/painted icons in the museum. Among them are the Jvartsma (11th-12th century) icon, and an icon donated by the nurse of Queen Rusudan, Silkhan.
The museum collection in Ushguli also includes diverse objects such as 6th Syrian bronze censers, a13th century Venetian altar cross known as the "Lataijvari," 13th century Italian medallions, and 14th century German wooden glass.
The manuscript archives include medieval ecclesiastic manuscripts written on parchment and paper, palimplsestic papers, and illuminated manuscripts:
5th century judgment from Jerusalem, liturgical and hymnographical collections from the 5th-6th centuries, 14th-15th century documents written on wood, and books printed between the 17th and 19th centuries (among them the 18th century "Tueni" printed in Erekle II's printing-house) are presented in the manuscript collection.
Traditional Svan life is represented through 19th century photos, Svanetian domestic items, economic and battle instruments, jewelry, and the towers standing in Mestia and Ushguli.
The GNM is not only the administrative overseer for this museum and its collection, but is also responsible for this region's magnificent architectural treasures. The village of Chajashi with its outstanding towers and castles is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and is a part of the GNM Open Air Museum.
Museum Educational Center aims to promote Georgian culture, heritage, art and science among local and international visitors. Educational programs provided by the newly opened center will include excursions, games, public lectures, meetings with scientists and researchers, movie screenings, performances and many other activities.
Museum provides wide range of programs that are designed for the whole family, including educational programs for children and teenagers under 17, also activities for students of different sport-schools and camps.
With the support of Mestia Municipality, students from the different schools of the mountainous regions will have a chance to participate in the programs. Excursions and field trips will also take place with the aim of introducing participants to the local history, traditions, ecology, flora, fauna and cultural heritage.
Besides deepening general knowledge, informal environment provided by the museum educational programs will help participants develop skills such as - imagination, concentration, independent thinking, critical analyzing and communication. At the Georgian National Museum we aim to turn museums into a space providing inspiration and positive emotions in visitors, to deepen interest and creativity, to support perception of the world and reinforce consciousness.
Media Library is a modern interactive space where visitors will be introduced to the latest literature and will have an opportunity to use free Wi-Fi.
For the local residents and tourists the Georgian National Book Centre supplied Svaneti Museum's reading space of the Media Library with more than 200 books. The books published by research institutes and Georgian publishers are intended for the people of various interests and age groups. Media Library will help the population of mountainous region to access the latest literature.
Georgian National Book Centre and The Georgian National Museum would like to express gratitude for the help to the G. Leonidze Museum of Georgian Literature, G. Chubinashvili National Research Centre for Georgian Art History and Heritage Preservation, National Centre of Manuscripts, The National Parliamentary Library of Georgia, Bakur Sulakauri Publishing, publishers - Artanuji, Intelekti, Saunje, Bakmi, Shemetsneba and Palitra L.