Svaneti Museum

Renewed Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography

On July 1st 2013, renewed Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography opens its doors for visitors. Director of the Georgian National Museum David Lordkipanidze will host guests on the opening day.
05 June 2021 – 31 August 2021

Tamo Jugeli and Nina Kintsurashvili`s group exhibition `Limen`

Gallery Artbeat presents Tamo Jugeli and Nina Kintsurashvili's group exhibition 'Limen' at GNM, Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography. 
21 April 2021 – 30 May 2021

Switzerland and Georgia in Posters

From April 21, Georgian National Museum Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography, in partnership with the Embassy of Switzerland in Georgia, presents the exhibition "Switzerland and Georgia in Posters". 
03 August 2020 – 18 April 2021

Svaneti-Khalde Revolt 1875-1876

Georgian National Museum and Khalde Revival Foundation present the exhibition "Svaneti-Khalde Revolt 1875-1876" this time at Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography.
08 Oct. 2019 – 20 Oct. 2019

Bulgarian Monuments Under UNESCO Protection

The Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Georgia and the Georgian National Museum present an exhibition of "Bulgarian Monuments Under UNESCO Protection" at the Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography. 
25 August 2018 – 14 Oct. 2018

Gone Here Today Tomorrow - მეჩდე ამჩუ ლადი მ`ხაარ

Georgian National Museum and Project ArtBeat Present Maia Naveriani's exhibition "Gone Here Today Tomorrow - მეჩდე ამჩუ ლადი მ'ხაარ" at Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography.  
19 May 2018 – 19 August 2018

MUSEUM FEST: MAGNUM PHOTO 70 - Robert Capa 1947, Thomas Dworzak 2017

Within the frames of the festival, Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography will host an exhibition "MAGNUM PHOTO 70 - Georgian Journal: Robert Capa 1947, Thomas Dworzak 2017". 
02 Nov. 2017 – 15 Feb. 2018

Edward Curtis and Evdokia Kozhevnikova: Earthly and Sacred Universes

The United States Embassy in Tbilisi and the Georgian National Museum are showcasing the photo exhibition "Edward Curtis and Evdokia Kozhevnikova: Earthly and Sacred Universes". The opening event will take place on November 2, 2017 at 3 pm. 
15 Sep. 2017 – 19 Sep. 2017

European Pages in Georgian History

On September 15, 2017 at 3 pm, Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia and Georgian National Centre of Manuscripts invite you at the opening of the exhibition "European Pages in Georgian History" in Georgian National Museum Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography. 
30 July 2017 – 10 Sep. 2017

Here - solo exhibition by Levan Mindiashvili

Georgian National Museum and Project ArtBeat present "here" ˗ a solo exhibition of New York based Georgian artist Levan Mindiashvili at the Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography. Opening event will take place on July 30, 2017 at 3 pm. 
09 Sep. 2016 – 09 Nov. 2016

Fragments From History

Georgian National Museum Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography invites you to the joint exhibition "Fragments from History" by Keti Matabeli and Gia Gugushvili. The opening event will take place on September 9, 2016 at 3 pm.    
29 July 2015 – 31 August 2015

Photo Exhibition - Guram Tikanadze and Svaneti

Exhibition of Guram Tikanadze's photographs took place at the Georgian National Museum Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography on July 29, 2015 at 1 p.m.    
24 July 2014 – 10 Sep. 2014

Vittorio Sella`s Photo Exhibition

Georgian National Museum, Embassy of Italy in Georgia and National Geographic Georgia, present photo exhibition by famous Italian photographer and mountaineer Vittorio Sella at Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography. Opening event will take place on 24 of July 2014, at 2 p.m.
11 August 2018

Artarea Festival - Salt for Svanetia / ჯიმ შვანთე

Georgian National Museum Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography hosts Artarea Festival. August 11, 9 pm. 
07 July 2017

40 days since Rusiko Kochkiani passed away

Weak and subtle on one glance, Rusiko Kochkiani was a woman of strong personality with firm professional and personal values. 
18 March 2016

EU Film Festival 2016 at the Svaneti Museum

Georgian National Museum Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography invites you at EU Film Festival 2016. Within the festival, 2 movies will be shown on 18th of March. The festival is organized by the European Union Delegation in Georgia together with the Embassies of the EU Member States. The whole festival will be held on 09-18 March 2016 in Tbilisi, Rustavi, Bolnisi, Kutaisi and Mestia. 
21 October 2015

Svaneti Museum in Summer 2015

Svaneti Musesum hosted a variety of events in the summer 2015. The museum has opened an educational center, media library, the exhibition of Georgian famous photographer Guram Tikanadze. Also the "Museum Talks", performances, public lectures, educational programs with the participation of children living in the mountains region and many other interesting activities were held at the museum.     
16 September 2015

Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography is one of the candidates for the European Museum of the year Award (EMYA) 2016!

The European Museum of the Year Award is the longest running and most prestigious museum award in Europe, presented each year by the European Museum Forum under the auspices of the Council of Europe.   
29 July 2015

Educational Center is now open at the Svaneti Museum

Opening of the educational center took place at the Georgian National Museum Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography on July 29, 2015 at 1p.m.
29 July 2015

Opening of the Media Library at the Svaneti Museum

Media Library was open at the Georgian National Museum Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography on July 29, 2015 at 1 p.m.    
24 September 2014

Svaneti Museum Hosts an International Conference

Georgian National Museum Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography will host a regional conference on the World Heritage and Sustainable Development on 24-25 September, 2014.
17 August 2013

Svaneti Museum hosted an event dedicated to the birthday of Shota Chartolani

The event dedicated to the birthday of Shota Chartolani was organized on August 17, 2013 by the Georgian National Museum at Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography. 
23 July 2013

International Seminar in Mestia: “Contemporary Model of Museum in Post Soviet Countries”

Georgian National Museum, with the support of Goethe Institute in Georgia and in the collaboration with the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation/Staatliche Museen zu Berlin organizes international seminar at renewed Svaneti Museum on July 23-26, 2013.    
01 July 2013

Renewed Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography

Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography opens its doors for visitors on July 1st 2013 after a long period of being closed for reconstruction of the museum building.     

Visitor Information

Before visiting please consider general recommendations 

Opening hours

Tuesday-Sunday | 10 am to 6 pm. 

Last admission 30 minutes before closing.

Closed on Monday, and public holidays



Cloakroom service is free for the following items: 

  • Coats and jackets
  • Umbrellas
  • 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
  • Valuables
  • Handbags

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.


Contact Information

7, A.Ioseliani St., Mestia, Georgia
Tel: + (995 32) 2 15 73 00
Fax: + (995 32) 298 21 33


To see photos from Svaneti Museum click here


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 project of rehabilitation of Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography was supported by Government of Georgia and different international organizations and funds, such as: The National Commission of UNESCO in Georgia, EU Twinning Program, the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation/Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Smithsonian institution, US Ambassador's Fund for Cultural Heritage Preservation and with the help of the Italian and Swiss embassies.

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.

To see more photos from Svaneti Museum click here