Samtskhe-Javakheti History Museum, Akhaltsikhe

Samtskhe-Javakheti History Museum opened in 1923, and since 1972 has been located in Rabati Fortress in Akhaltsikhe, Georgia. That same year, the museum’s title was changed to its current name in honor of the famous Georgian historian Ivane Javakhishvili. Visitors to the museum today will be introduced not only to the history of Samtskhe-Javakheti Region but to its geography, traditional ways of life and its connection with the Islamic world.

Samtskhe-Javakheti History Museum holds more than 25,000 displays pertaining to the region’s cultural heritage, including ancient manuscripts, photo-documents, coin collections, archaeological findings and ethnographic materials. Many of the relics were collected in the 1880s by famous Georgian researcher Ivane Gvaramadze, who eventually opened a family-run museum in which he displayed his many discoveries.

Exhibits in Samtskhe-Javakheti History Museum are distributed between eleven halls. One of the most popular sections is the coin collection, which includes a 1st- millennium coin with the image of Caesar Augusto Denarius, copper and silver coins from Rome dated to the 1st -4th centuries, 11th-century Byzantine gold and silver coins and more.

In the archaeological section are tools and other items dated from the Paleolithic to the Late Bronze Ages, all of which were unearthed in Samtskhe-Javakheti Region. The ethnographic section includes agricultural tools, ammunition, national clothing, household items, wood carvings and copper and silverware which are native to the region.

Visitors can see old manuscripts and printed books, including a 16th-century copy of "The Knight in the Panther's Skin"; "Christian Doctrine", printed in Italy in 1477; a Georgian-Italian dictionary published in 1626; and a 1709 copy of the Psalms from the printing house of King Vakhtang VI.

A new section which opened in 2009 exhibits more than 800 materials obtained on archeological expeditions along the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline.

Samtskhe-Javakheti History Museum is located in Rabati Fortress at E 691, Akhaltsikhe, Georgia.