House Museum of Chavchavadze in Tsinandali, Georgia
Manor of the great Georgian family
A manor in the village of Tsinandali that you see the on the pictures is an ancestral estate, a palace of princely family of Chavchavadze. There are many amazing, beautiful and tragic events in the history of Georgia are connected with him.
The father of Alexander Chavchavadze, the first owner of the manor – Garsevan Chavchavadze, was one of the initiators of annexation of Georgia to Russia; Treaty of Georgievsk has his signature. He participated in the war with Napoleon in campaign to Europe in 1812, 1813, and 1814. He conquered Paris and achieved the rank of general-lieutenant. After, tired from the military campaigns, Alexander Chavchavadze decided to leave the capital. He took his family from Saint-Petersburg and moved to a quiet village of Tsinandali where he started his project on europeanization of Georgia.
The manor in Tsinandali is the reflection of his aspirations. He not only applied European architectural techniques in the construction and inner planning, he laid out an English garden around his palace.
Moreover, there were not only trees, but also gardeners who came from the Great Britain. He did not stop on this. Chavchavadze invited the best winemakers from Europe, with whom he built the first wine factory that produces wines according to European technologies. Thus appeared popular in present “Tsinandali” wine.
Chavchavadze was not only a military general, but also the most educated figure of his time. He was a writer, translator, polyglot, a big landowner and a great poet. His poetry reached our days as folk songs. The manor of the poet and a general had become the center of the intellectual life of Georgia in the 19th century where people of culture and art, social figures gathered. The first grand piano in Georgia first sounded in these walls. Great Russian poets such as Alexander Pushkin and Mikhail Lermontov, poet-Decembrist Alexander Odoevskiy and French writer Alexander Dumas Sr. stayed there. Playwright, poet and a composer Alexander Griboedov met in Tsinandali the princess Nina Chavchavadze, his future wife.
The history of the Chavchavadze family and their ancestral estate is closely tied with the history of Georgia. Today there is a museum busy with tourists from all over the world. The interior of the 19h century has almost been fully restored. It was also possible to collect touching material evidences from the relatives of the bygone period: suzane, embroidered by the daughters of Chavchavadze, the picture of Imam Shamil painted by Anna Ilinichna held in captivity. The museum has the working desk of the poet, the first grand piano, personal things and books. There are regular art exhibitions held in the museum, and basement of the building hosts Kakhetian wine tasting ceremonies.
If you are in Kakheti, make sure to touch the history of the most famous family in Georgia.