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National History and Archeology Museum - Constanta (Romania)

National history and archeology museum from Constanta was inaugurated in 1977, December 25, in the former City Hall of the town. Is has a patrimony with more than 430.000 objects, which shows the settlements profile across the centuries, from the prehistoric era till 1940, attesting facts, events, the portraits of important personalities from Constanta.

Even that in Constanta was not a real museum tradition, by the state efforts and the passions of a valuable group of specialists, some museum were founded, which now are famous even outside the border of our country, for the foreign tourists there are already a reference point in their visiting program, during the time spend on the Romanian sea side, and also for the Romanian tourist too.

The first steps to organize a museum are back in 1878 when Dobrogea was returned to the homeland. By the care of the prefect Remus Oprean and the professor Iona Banescu, the archeological material gathered by the second one have been housed in one room in the Prefecture building.

It is a massive building, designed by one of the students of the architecture school of Ion Mincu. The Brancoveanu style is found in the loggia from the big fronton, the hall with a large opening, supported by the thick columns, and in exterior with small and narrow windows at the third floor.

The Archaeology and National History Museum in Constanţa, was opened for the public on the 25th of December 1977, to celebrate the anniversary of the Centenary of Romania's Independence.

The museum is held in a building which is telling for the Romanian school of architecture. The National History and Archaeology Museum is not only a regional museum which illustrates the historical evolution of the province situated between the Danube and the Black Sea, but also a national one, which epitomizes the history of the Romanian people.

The Archaeology Museum has a rich collection of Roman statues. Two of them are of special value, namely those which feature Fortuna and Pontos, the patron protectors of ancient Tomis, and the one of the Glycon Serpent. Most of the museum's exhibits were discovered in 1962 beneath the old railway station, after they had survived to the test of time, starting with the Avars' invasion (7th century A.D.). One should not miss to see the Roman mosaic, in the vicinity of the museum, and visit a hall dedicated to Ovid, a Roman poet exiled to Tomis between 8 - 17 A.D. By the end of the 19th century, King Carol I gave the town a new life, as a port on the Black Sea Coast and as a resort holiday.

Exact location

Location: Piata Ovidiu, Constanta, Romania - 44°10.4′N 28°38.3′E

Info for tourists

Videos about Constanta, Romania:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EL95mKR7mrQ&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkKgTTAenTc&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHqxSoauI0A


Cape Kaliakra (Bulgaria)

Cape Kaliakra is the end of a long and narrow peninsula on the Bulgarian North Black Sea coast. It is located 12km East of Kavarna and 60km North-East of Varna. The coast is steep with sheer cliffs, descending 70 meters downward to the sea. These are hard limestone and conglomerates, formed in an old shallow Sarmat sea. The iron oxides, which they contain are the reason for the crimson - red colour of the rocks.

Kaliakra is a protected zone since 1941. The reserve contains a land territory and aquatory with a common area of 687,5 hectares. The nature reserve has a unique nature and it is the only place in Bulgaria where one can see steppe grass communities.

The antique geographer Strabo, describing Kaliakra, says that this was the capital of king Lysimachus, one of the heirs of Alexander the Great and a superior of Thracia. In the Hellenic era on the inner side of the land part was built a second fort wall, and during Roman times the Thracian fort has been enlarged. In 341-342 were completed round towers, there is already an outer and inner towns. During the second half of the 4th century, deeper inside from the end of the cape has been built a third fortification with 10-meter walls, 2,90m thick. During archaeological excavations, done during the 20th century, on Kaliakra were discovered the remnants of antique and early-Christian necropolis.

The constantly increasing importance of the village in the late antiquity, is mainly due to the incredible natural gifts, making its fortification easier and contributing to its transformation into one of the brightest creations of the fortification thought and practice on the territory of provincial Scythia. Thanks to the archaeological excavations, made during 20 years, the late-antique fortification system of Tirizis/Acre is thoroughly researched.

Cape Kaliakra is also related to the devotion of the local people to the Orthodox Christianity and the block against the pressure, done during the years by the Ottoman domination for religious assimilation of the local people. The most famous legend is about the 40 Bulgarian girls, who tied their hairs onto each other and jumped into the sea, so that they do not fall into the arms of the Ottoman invaders. One of them was Kaliakra, whose name the cape bears. Another legend is about St. Nicolas, the protector of the sailors. The saint ran from the Turks and God prolonged the land hardness under his feet, so that he could run away, and this is the way the cape was formed.

Exact location

Location: Kavarna Municiplaity - 43.36333° N, 28.46561° E

Driving directions from Sofia to Cape Kaliakra

Suggested routes
1.    Route 4 and A2-  520 km, 6 hours 59 mins
2.    A1- 623 km, 7 hours 33 mins
3.    A2- 540 km, 7 hours 34 mins

1.    Route 4 and A2-  520 km, 6 hours 59 mins

Sofia, Bulgaria    
1. Head northwest on bulevard Tsar Osvoboditel/булевард Цар Освободител toward ulitsa Knyaz Aleksandar I/улица Княз Александър І - 180 m
2. Turn right toward bulevard Knyaz Aleksandar Dondukov/булевард Княз Александър Дондуков - 34 m
3. Turn right onto bulevard Knyaz Aleksandar Dondukov/булевард Княз Александър Дондуков - 1.7 km
4. Continue onto ulitsa Chereshovo topche/улица Черешово топче - 500 m
5. Continue onto bulevard Vladimir Vazov/булевард Владимир Вазов - 4.9 km
6. Take the ramp to bulevard Botevgradsko shose/булевард Ботевградско шосе - 290 m
7. Slight right onto bulevard Botevgradsko shose/булевард Ботевградско шосе - 3.4 km
8. Continue onto E79 - 8.0 km
9. Continue onto Route 1 - 550 m
10. Continue onto A2 (signs for Варна/Varna) - 73.1 km
11. Continue straight onto Route 3 (signs for Pyce/Ruse/Варна/Varna) - 1.4 km
12. Merge onto Route 4/E772 via the ramp to Sevlievo - 9.6 km
13. Slight right toward Route 4/E772 - 2.4 km
14. Continue straight onto Route 4/E772
Go through 3 roundabouts - 246 km
15. Turn right onto Route 2/E70 (signs for Варна/Varna) - 10.3 km
16. Continue onto A2 - 74.1 km
17. Take the exit - 400 m
18. At the roundabout, take the 4th exit onto Route 29 - 7.1 km
19. Slight right toward Route 902 - 13.3 km
20. Turn left onto Route 902 - 16.4 km
21. Turn left onto Route 9
Go through 2 roundabouts - 32.6 km
22. Turn right onto Route 901 - 1.1 km
23. Turn left to stay on Route 901 - 96 m
24. Turn right to stay on Route 901 - 12.8 km
Nos Kaliakra

 2.    A1- 623 km, 7 hours 33 mins

Sofia, Bulgaria   
1. Head southeast on bulevard Tsar Osvoboditel/булевард Цар Освободител toward ulitsa Dyakon Ignatiy/улица Дякон Игнатий - 1.1 km
2. Continue onto ploshtad Orlov most/площад Орлов мост - 51 m
3. Continue onto bulevard Tsarigradsko shose/булевард Цариградско шосе - 11.4 km
4. Continue onto Route 8 - 400 m
5. Continue onto A1 - 207 km
6. At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto Route 5 heading to Стара Загора/Stara Zagora - 6.2 km
7. Take the 66/E773 ramp to Богомилово/Чирпан - 210 m
8. Keep right at the fork, follow signs for Бургас/Burgas and merge onto Route 5/Route 66/E773   
Continue to follow Route 5 - 9.4 km
9. Take the ramp to Казанлък/Габрово/Pyce/Ruse - 500 m
10. Merge onto Route 5 - 11.7 km
11. Take the exit toward Ягода/Yagoda - 350 m
12. Continue straight - 14.2 km
13. Turn right toward Route 6 - 9.0 km
14. Turn left onto the ramp to Route 6 - 83 m
15. Turn right onto Route 6 - 75.3 km
16. Continue straight onto Route 6/E773 (signs for Бургас/Burgas) - 51 m
17. Turn right onto Route 7 - 100 m
18. Keep right at the fork, follow signs for Градец/Gradets/Котел/Kotel/7/Шумен/Shumen - 15.5 km
19. Turn right to stay on Route 7 (signs for Бероново/Beronovo) - 102 km
20. Merge onto Route 2 via the ramp to Варна - 500 m
21. Continue onto A2 - 74.1 km
22. Take the exit - 400 m
23. At the roundabout, take the 4th exit onto Route 29 - 7.1 km
24. Slight right toward Route 902 - 13.3 km
25. Turn left onto Route 902 - 16.4 km
26. Turn left onto Route 9   
Go through 2 roundabouts - 32.6 km
27. Turn right onto Route 901 - 1.1 km
28. Turn left to stay on Route 901 - 96 m
29. Turn right to stay on Route 901 - 12.8 km
Nos Kaliakra   

3.    A2- 540 km, 7 hours 34 mins


Sofia, Bulgaria   
1. Head northwest on bulevard Tsar Osvoboditel/булевард Цар Освободител toward ulitsa Knyaz Aleksandar I/улица Княз Александър І - 180 m
2. Turn right toward bulevard Knyaz Aleksandar Dondukov/булевард Княз Александър Дондуков - 34 m
3. Turn right onto bulevard Knyaz Aleksandar Dondukov/булевард Княз Александър Дондуков - 1.7 km
4. Continue onto ulitsa Chereshovo topche/улица Черешово топче - 500 m
5. Continue onto bulevard Vladimir Vazov/булевард Владимир Вазов - 4.9 km
6. Take the ramp to bulevard Botevgradsko shose/булевард Ботевградско шосе - 290 m
7. Slight right onto bulevard Botevgradsko shose/булевард Ботевградско шосе - 3.4 km
8. Continue onto E79 - 8.0 km
9. Continue onto Route 1 - 550 m
10. Continue onto A2 (signs for Варна/Varna) - 73.1 km
11. Continue straight onto Route 3 (signs for Pyce/Ruse/Варна/Varna) - 1.4 km
12. Merge onto Route 4/E772 via the ramp to Sevlievo - 9.2 km
13. Turn left onto Route 305 (signs for Плевен/Pleven) - 20.4 km
14. Continue straight to stay on Route 305 - 31.4 km
15. Continue onto Route 3 - 97.3 km
16. Turn left onto Route 5 (signs for Ruse) - 7.1 km
17. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Route 51 - 49.1 km
18. Turn left to stay on Route 51 - 650 m
19. Turn right to stay on Route 51 - 1.7 km
20. Take the 1st right to stay on Route 51 - 48.5 km
21. Turn right onto Route 2 - 22.2 km
22. Continue onto A2 - 74.1 km
23. Take the exit - 400 m
24. At the roundabout, take the 4th exit onto Route 29 - 7.1 km
25. Slight right toward Route 902 - 13.3 km
26. Turn left onto Route 902 - 16.4 km
27. Turn left onto Route 9   
Go through 2 roundabouts - 32.6 km
28. Turn right onto Route 901 - 1.1 km
29. Turn left to stay on Route 901 - 96 m
30. Turn right to stay on Route 901 - 12.8 km
Nos Kaliakra

Info for tourists

Related videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSLM2o9YaSE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EyYjHvnZkps

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFJi8Vk7rnM


Kazanlak Thracian Tomb (Bulgaria)

The Thracian tomb in Kazanlak is a brick-laid circular beehive tomb, located in Kazanlak, and it is part of a big necropolis, located near the ancient capital of the Odrysian Kingdom Seuthopolis. It dates to the end of the IV century B.C. – the beginning of the III century B.C. and is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1979.

The tomb belongs to the Thracian ruler Roygos. It was discovered accidentally during the excavations of one of the mounds in the Kazanlak Park “Tyulbe”, which looked like it had a natural end of a natural hill. The mound was 7m high, with a base diameter of 40 meters.

On April 19th, 1944, while making a gallery for air-bombing refuge, soldiers from the Air Force found the Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak. Their curiosity made them break in, after which they entered into a low and narrow hallway with a fallen granite plate, and from there they entered into a circular overarched area. They realized that they have discovered something important and called an archaeologist, who confirmed their suppositions. This is how the memorable monument from the Early-Hellenic era was discovered in Bulgaria.

In the burial chamber were found insignificant number of objects, a sign that the tomb was robbed in ancient times. The tomb is made of bricks. In the dromos they have rectangular form, and in the dome space they are sectorial (trapezodial). The sectorial bricks served for building premises with circular form. The bricks in the tomb are connected with plaster, made of lime and sand. In its architectural plan the tomb was an object of long studies by specialists and today we can say that it is one of the so called dome tombs . Its world fame the tomb owes to its unique murals in the hallway and in the dome space premises – some of the best preserved murals of antique paintings from the Early-Hellenic times. The walls of the dromos and the burial chamber are filled with artistic decorations, which take an area of 40 sq.m. It represents different moments of the earth, war and after life of the Thracian ruler laid in it. The results from the studies show that during the “colouring” of the tomb have been used two techniques at the same time – wet fresco and distemper. Widely used in the decoration is also the encaustic technique, at which the plaster gets a glossy, almost mirrored shine.

Exact location

Location: Kazanlak Municiplaity - 42°37′ N, 25°23′ E

Driving directions from Sofia to Kazanlak, Bulgaria

Suggested routes
1. A1 - 266 km, 2 hours 49 mins
2. A1 and Route 6 - 233 km, 2 hours 55 mins
3. A1 and Route 56 - 243 km, 3 hours 5 mins

A1 - 266 km, 2 hours 49 mins

Sofia, Bulgaria    
1. Head southeast on bulevard Tsar Osvoboditel/булевард Цар Освободител toward ulitsa Dyakon Ignatiy/улица Дякон Игнатий - 1.1 km
2. Continue onto ploshtad Orlov most/площад Орлов мост - 51 m
3. Continue onto bulevard Tsarigradsko shose/булевард Цариградско шосе - 11.4 km
4. Continue onto Route 8  - 400 m
5. Continue onto A1 - 207 km
6. At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto Route 5 heading to Стара Загора/Stara Zagora - 6.2 km
7. Take the 66/E773 ramp to Богомилово/Чирпан - 210 m
8. Keep right at the fork, follow signs for Бургас/Burgas and merge onto Route 5/Route 66/E773   
Continue to follow Route 5 - 9.4 km
9. Take the ramp to Казанлък/Габрово/Pyce/Ruse - 500 m
10. Merge onto Route 5 - 26.6 km
11. Take the ramp to Казанлък/Kazanlak - 350 m
12. Merge onto Route 5 - 2.2 km
13. Continue onto bulevard Knyaz Al. Batenberg/булевард Княз Ал. Батенберг - 140 m
Kazanlak

2. A1 and Route 6 - 233 km, 2 hours 55 mins

Sofia, Bulgaria   
1. Head southeast on bulevard Tsar Osvoboditel/булевард Цар Освободител toward ulitsa Dyakon Ignatiy/улица Дякон Игнатий - 1.1 km
2. Continue onto ploshtad Orlov most/площад Орлов мост - 51 m
3. Continue onto bulevard Tsarigradsko shose/булевард Цариградско шосе - 11.4 km
4. Continue onto Route 8 - 400 m
5. Continue onto A1 - 126 km
6. Exit onto Route 64 toward Хисаря/Hisarya/Karlovo/Карлово - 38.7 km
7. Turn right onto Route 641 - 9.2 km
8. Turn right onto Route 6 - 43.1 km
9. Take the exit - 240 m
10. Turn left toward bulevard 23-ti Pehoten shipchenski polk/булевард 23-ти Пехотен шипченски полк - 750 m
11. Slight right toward bulevard 23-ti Pehoten shipchenski polk/булевард 23-ти Пехотен шипченски полк - 350 m
12. Continue straight onto bulevard 23-ti Pehoten shipchenski polk/булевард 23-ти Пехотен шипченски полк - 1.4 km
Kazanlak   

3.A1 and Route 56 - 243 km, 3 hours 5 mins

Sofia, Bulgaria   
1. Head southeast on bulevard Tsar Osvoboditel/булевард Цар Освободител toward ulitsa Dyakon Ignatiy/улица Дякон Игнатий - 1.1 km
2. Continue onto ploshtad Orlov most/площад Орлов мост - 51 m
3. Continue onto bulevard Tsarigradsko shose/булевард Цариградско шосе - 11.4 km
4. Continue onto Route 8 - 400 m
5. Continue onto A1 - 133 km
6. Take the exit toward Раковски/Rakovski - 350 m
7. Merge onto Route 56 - 16.0 km
8. Turn left     10.5 km
9. Turn right toward Route 56 - 6.4 km
10. Turn left onto Route 56 - 41.8 km
11. Turn right - 2.1 km
12. Slight right toward Route 608 - 15.4 km
13. Turn left onto Route 608 - 3.4 km
14. Continue onto bulevard Rozova dolina/булевард Розова долина - 1.1 km
Kazanlak

Info for tourists

Related videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZnYv-GT9EY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3oasguz_3o
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofepVRzJz7U


Edirne Archaeology and Ethnography Museum (Turkey)

With a wide variety of artifacts that shed light on the history of Anatolia, the Edirne Archaeology and Ethnography Museum makes for an informative and enjoyable visit a short trip away from İstanbul. The museum hosts excavated pieces from sites nearby as well as valuables caught at customs as they were being smuggled out of the country.

The Edirne Museum, which in it current form dates back to 1971, is visited by thousands of people each year. Visitors, most of whom are students, are taken by much of what the museum -- one of Turkey's richest and most important -- has to offer.

The bridal gowns and tuxedos dating back to the 17th century on display in the museum's ethnographic section are easily a visitor favorite, showcasing the regal nature of weddings from a time past. The ethnography section has an interesting layout, complete with the bedding and clothing traditionally employed during circumcision ceremonies. The circumcision bed is set up like a throne and its woodcarvings bring unique beauty to a highly aesthetic display.

Also in the ethnography section there is a Gördes-style prayer rug that was laid out on the Eski Mosque's mihrab (altar) as well as the Siirt-made blanket used by Atatürk when visiting Edirne and Yavuz Sultan Selim's gift to the Selimiye Mosque, a copy of the Holy Quran.

The rich artistic heritage of the Ottoman Empire becomes evident, as white and blue İznik tiles adorn the museum walls and staff explain that they are among the earliest Ottoman ceramics in the Thrace region, while silver accessories and Şarköy kilims complete the ethnography section.

After wrapping up ethnography, visitors can then move on to the archaeology section, which takes people back centuries into the past. To the left side of the entrance is a journey back in history, while the right has been dedicated to the masterpieces of Enez, a town on the Turkish-Greek border historically known as Ainos. In the middle can be found Roman artifacts and a historic oven discovered near the city's monumental clock tower, which was built by the Ottomans in 1884.

Another section of the museum that grabs visitors' attention contains fossils of animals that lived here millions of years ago and finds from many burial mounds in Thrace, which demonstrate that human burial practices have been similar over time.

The second part of the archeology section contains an extensive stonework and coin collection. Here, there are artifacts that have been gathered from archeological digs in Enez that started in 2008. Visitors will truly appreciate the historical significance of Enez after touring the museum.

Because Edirne has many border gates, artefacts from all over Turkey have been caught at the last minute before they were smuggled out of the country. These artefacts add to the museum's collection, making it possible to see pieces from a wide range of civilizations and regions in Anatolia, from the Urartu to the Hittite.

Roman-era artefacts made of marble and terracotta, gravestones, altars and gold and bronze artefacts are just some of the pieces that demonstrate the historical wealth on display at the museum.

The museum concentrates on services provided to primary public school students, and it holds photography, art, writing and painting competitions in addition to painting classes and various other activities, such as simulated excavations for children and guided tours.

Author: Kadri Kilic, Edirne,

Source: http://www.todayszaman.com/newsDetail_getNewsById.action?newsId=257364

Exact location

Location: 1 Yore Dergisi Sayi: 12, 22100 Edirne, Turkey - 41°40′N 26°34′E

Driving directions from  Ankara to Edirne, Turkey

Suggested route
O-4 and O-3 685 km, 6 hours 42 mins
This route has tolls.

Ankara, Turkey   
1. Head north on Kızılay Myd toward Ziya Gökalp Cd - 9 m
2. Continue onto Atatürk Blv - 1.9 km
3. Turn left onto İstanbul Cd - 850 m
4. Keep left at the fork - 1.2 km
5. Keep left at the fork - 270 m
6. Keep left at the fork and merge onto Fatih Sultan Mehmet Blv - 3.6 km
7. Continue onto Atatürk Orman Çiftliği Köprüsü (Fatih Sultan Mehmet Blv.)     550 m
8. Continue onto Fatih Sultan Mehmet Blv - 6.4 km
9. Continue onto Fatih Sultan Mehmet Blv (İstanbul Yolu) - 3.8 km
10. Continue onto Fatih Sultan Mehmet Blv - 5.5 km
11. Continue onto İstanbul Yolu - 2.1 km
12. Take the ramp on the left onto Ankara Çevre Yolu (Kuzey Çevre Yolu)/O-20/E90 - 1.6 km
13. Keep right at the fork and merge onto O-4
Partial toll road - 399 km
14. Continue onto İstanbul Çevre Yolu/E-80 - 3.3 km
15. Continue straight onto O1-O2 Çamlıca Bağlantısı - 3.2 km
16. Continue onto Çamlıca Girişi-K13 (İstanbul Çevre Yolu) - 3.6 km
17. Merge onto O-1 - 16.6 km
18. Continue onto O-3 - 9.1 km
19. Merge onto E-80
Partial toll road - 167 km
20. Slight left to stay on E-80
Partial toll road - 51.9 km
21. Exit onto Lalapaşa Yolu/D535 Continue to follow D535 - 2.7 km
22. Turn right onto Büyük Fırın Sk - 450 m
23. Turn left onto Muradiye Bayırı - 190 m
24. Slight left onto Mimar Sinan Cd - 69 m
25. Take the 1st right onto Saray Yolu - 40 m
Edirne/Edirne Province, Turkey

 

Driving directions from Edirne city centre to the Archaeological and Ethnographic Museum

Suggested route
Mimar Sinan Cd and D100 - 2.6 km, 5 mins

Saray Yolu, Edirne, Turkey
1. Head south on Saray Yolu toward Mimar Sinan Cd - 40 m
2. Slight right onto Mimar Sinan Cd - 750 m
3. At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto Talat Paşa Cd/D100
Continue to follow D100
Go through 1 roundabout - 1.8 km
4. Slight right - 41 m
Archaeological and Ethnographic Museum
1 Yore Dergisi Sayi: 12
22100 Edirne, Turkey

Info for tourists

Related video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7hU_wDI5iM

Videos about Edirne, Turkey:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_CSAHoviq0
http://www.mojoscooters.com/videos/video/vkNx6tS3IO0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-et8vxTy9f0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piNakxDNfxg


Georgian National Museum

Georgian National Museum (GNM), is the largest museum union in Georgia, composed of 10 existing museums, 4 house-museums and 2 research centers.

The richest and diverse collection of the GNM offers a widest range of exhibits and the entire glimpse of the whole history of the country. Country’s most important archaeological findings are exposed in the S. Janashia Museum of Georgia. The precious artifacts of ancient metalwork from 3rd millennium BC- to the 4th century AD include: Martkopi and Bedeni discoveries, 23rd - 22nd century BC golden lion statuette, found in one of the kurgans in the Alazani Valley, examples of Trialeti culture, which are the 20th - 16th century BC valued metal items, golden beads, standards, a golden goblet decorated with precious stones, and a famous silver bucket and goblet, the latter of which is suppose to depict a vinous ceremony; the 14th - 7th century BC Colchian axe-heads, adorned with a peculiar style of graphic ornaments that demonstrate both advanced metallurgical skills and artistic values. Amongst the treasury of the museum are the precious metalwork from 6th BC and 3rd century AD the legendary `Colchis` (western Georgia), where the development of local goldsmithery was made possible by the rich resources of gold-bearing rivers. The ancient method of collecting gold using sheepskins as sieves, so that the gold grains would get caught in the fleece, still practiced in the mountainous region is reported by the Greek authors and can be considered as the possible inspiration for the Golden Fleece of Argonauts. Examples of Colchian gold work from the earliest 8th to 9th century BC include temple pendants, richly decorated with granulation and sculpted heads of predators. Gold granulation attained great variety and technical excellence in the 5th and early 4th century BC. Outstanding examples, discovered in Vani, include exquisitely crafted gold diadems, with braid-patterned holders, diamond-shaped plaques, adorned with repousse images of fighting animals: earrings; arm rings, temple pendants, lavish necklaces with miniature figures of birds and the heads of calves, goats, and rams – perhaps none more impressive than a gold necklace from Vani, which is composed of dozens of tiny granulation-adorned turtles. Amongst other striking artefacts of the museum are Akhalgori treasures and the rich treasury of Mtskheta, in which the use of multicoloured stone reached its highest level. On the fourth floor of S. Janashia Museum of Georgia is located the Soviet Occupation Hall. This exhibition represents seven decades of the Soviet rule in Georgia (1921-1991) and dedicated to the history of the anti-occupational, national-liberation movement of Georgia and to the victims of the Soviet political repression throughout this period. Here, the visitor can find unique personal files of the repressed people, orders to shoot or exile, and other artifacts representing Soviet-era in Georgia.

The artistic achievements of medieval Georgia are clearly reflected in the collection of GNM’s Museum of Fine Arts (Tbilisi), which preserves stone and metalwork  of mostly ecclesiastical objects, such as chancel screens crosses, icons, cups and manuscript covers from the 8th to 9th century AD through the early 19th century. Amongst many others the most remarkable objects of golden treasury are: the Icon of Transfiguration from Zarzma (886 AD), which is the earliest surviving monument of medieval metalwork, the renowned repoussé golden chalice of Bedia (999 AD), formed from one sheet of gold, a splendid processional cross from Martvili and the silver roundel of St. Mamai from Gelati, the 11th century pre-altar cross from Mestia, which depicts the earliest known cycle of the life of St. George and is distinguished for its refined reproduction of figures, motion and details. However, perhaps none are more impressive than the Khakuli Triptych of the Holy Virgin composed in 12th century, the largest medieval cloisonné enamel in the world combining a large number of medieval enamels from different times (8th-12th centuries) and origins (both Georgia and Byzantine) and the late 12th century Anchi Triptych of the Savior, executed by Beka Opizari, the famous Georgian goldsmith master. Alongside with artistic heritage of Middle Ages, the Museum of Fine Arts offers dynamic temporary exhibition programs.

National Gallery is one of the remarkable constitute parts of GNM network. It offers visitors the best collection of modern Georgian art. The temporary exhibition entitled The Masterpieces of Georgian Art: First Half of 20th century features breathtaking paintings, sculptures, and theater paintings by the most prominent Georgian artists such as: Niko Pirosmani, David Kakabadze, Lado Gudiashvili, Gigo Gabashvili, Ketevan Magalashvili, Elene Akhvlediani and more. By visiting this exhibition, you will appreciate a broad spectrum of the artistic styles of the late 19th century and of the European avant-garde of the 20th century.

In addition to these artworks visitors can enjoy bright building of the National Gallery. This is a great combination of the old and contemporary architecture linked through glass roof. The old building of the National Gallery was constructed in 1888. This new baroque style building was designed by the German architect Albert Salzmann. It is modeled on Pio Piacentini’s Exhibition Palace, built in Rome. 2007-11 National Gallery was renovated and new entrance building with more exhibition halls, museum shop, and cafe designed by the Portuguese Architect Company “Ainda Arquitectura” was added.

National Gallery has eight exhibition halls. Bathed in natural light streaming in through the glass roof 8 meters above the floor as well as large windows National Gallery is luminous, inviting space, unique venue not only in Tbilisi but in the whole region of south Caucasus.

Other important museums of GNM in Tbilisi are the Open Air Museum of Ethnography, founded in 1966 by the famous Georgian ethnographer George Chitaia, which displays the examples of folk architecture and craftwork, more than 8 thousand exhibits brought from various regions of the country and Tbilisi History Museum housed in the beautiful building of former Caravanserai, which displays the collection of archeological, ethnological and documental materials reflecting the history of Tbilisi.

The regional museums of GNM include:

Dmanisi Museum-Reserve located 85 kilometer south-east of Tbilisi, adjacent to Patara Dmanisi village. The Museum-Reserve comprises of two main sites: a medieval city with a church and a major archaeological site of international significance where human remains were excavated. These remains date back to 1.8 million years and represent the oldest known evidence of human existence as yet discovered outside of Africa. The collections of Dmanisi Museum-Reserve consist of objects discovered during excavations of the medieval town. The Site Interpretation Centre opened at Dmanisi Museum-Reserve in October 2009.

Svaneti Museum in Mestia, which preserves valuable archaeological and ethnographical materials, rich collection of the Georgian manuscripts, engraved and painted icons, armor, metalwork, wooden ethnographical objects, jewelry, silverware and textiles. Notable are the collections donated to Svaneti churches by Georgian kings. There are some items of foreign origin, like: Syrian, Sassanid, Persian, Byzantine and Venetian.

Signagi Museum, located in one of the most beautiful city of Eastern Georgia region exhibits archeological, ethnographic and medieval expositions together with 16 paintings by Niko Pirosmanashvili, which was born in nearby village of Mirzaani.

Samtskhe-Javakheti Museum in Akhaltsikhe (southern Georgia), established in 1923, which preserves over 25,000 objects including manuscripts and old printed books, photos, archaeological, numismatic, and ethnographic collections, etc. The Museum’s textile collection (rugs and carpets of the verge of 19th-20th century) as well as collection of ancient inscriptions cut on stone are of high importance. Of special note is the Mosque built by Ottomans in 1752 and Ruins of a medresa (Islamic school) that belongs to the Museum.

Text and Images: © Georgian National Museum

Exact location

Location: Tbilisi, Georgia - 41°43′0″N 44°47′0″E
3 Shota Rustaveli Ave, T'bilisi 0105,


Driving directions to Georgian National Museum from Freedom Monument Baratashvili Str., Tbilisi, Georgia

Suggested routes
Shota Rustaveli Ave - 300 m, 1 min
Or Walk - 5 mins


Freedom Monument, Baratashvili Str., Tbilisi, Georgia
1. Head west on Freedom Square toward Shota Rustaveli Ave - 87 m   
2. Continue onto Shota Rustaveli Ave
Destination will be on the right - 240 m
Georgian National Museum, 3 Shota Rustaveli Ave, T'bilisi 0105, Georgia

Info for tourists

Related video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1IZGDSv1sw

Video about Tbilisi, Georgia:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZ6j6jqU79M


The Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin, Armavir region, Vagharshapat (Armenia)

The Armenian Apostolic Church is the world's oldest National Church (301-303), is part of Oriental Orthodoxy, and is one of the most ancient Christian communities. Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity as its official religion in 301 AD, in establishing this church. The Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church traces its origins to the missions of Apostles Bartholomew and Thaddeus in the 1st century. The official name of the Church is the One Holy Universal Apostolic Orthodox Armenian Church. It is sometimes referred to as the Gregorian Church, but the latter name is not preferred by the Church, as it views the Apostles Bartholomew and Thaddeus as the founders, and St. Gregory the Illuminator as merely the first official governor of the Church.

Since the adoption of Christianity the construction of churches, monasteries and Christian monuments has started. A lot of churches and chapels are spread all over Armenia. In every village and every town you will always find church or other religious place.

The Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin is the spiritual and administrative headquarters of the worldwide Armenian Church, the center of the faith of the Armenian nation – the Mother Cathedral of the Armenian Church. The Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin is a blend of the past, present and future of the worldwide Armenian Church. Preserving the past are the numerous museums, libraries and the Mother Cathedral itself, all holding a vast richness of history and treasures. The Mother See is responsible for the preservation of artifacts, both those created by the Church and those given to the church as gifts over time. Carrying on the work of the present and future are the innumerable departments and programs of the Armenian Church. The Mother Cathedral, founded by the Descent of Christ, has stood as a symbol against time of the Armenian faith, nation and people. The Cathedral is the most recognized landmark of the Armenian Church. Built and consecrated by St. Gregory the Illuminator and king Trdat in AD 303, the Cathedral is located in the city of Vagharshapat, Armenia. St. Gregory chose the location of the Cathedral in accordance with a vision that he had. In his dream he saw "Miatsin", the Only Begotten Son of God, with glittering light on his face descending from the Heavens and with a golden hammer striking the ground where the Cathedral was to be located. Hence comes the name "Echmiadzin", which translates literally to "the place" where the Only-Begotten Son of God descended. Apart from the Mother Cathedral, Vagharshapat contains other important Armenian churches and cathedrals.

The Cathedral of Echmiadzin, the Churches of Saint Hripsime, Saint Gayane and Saint Shoghakat, and the Archaeological Site of Zvartnots are listed among the UNESCO  World Heritage Sites.

Exact location

Location: Armavir region, Vagharshapat - 40°10′22″N 44°17′33″E

Driving directions from Yerevan, Armenia to Echmiadzin, Armavir, Armenia

Suggested route
M5 - 21.3 km, 22 mins

Yerevan, Armenia   
1. Head northwest on Tumanyan St toward Teryan St - 400 m
2. Turn left onto Mesrop Mashtots Avenue - 1.1 km
3. Take the ramp to Mesrop Mashtots Avenue - 45 m
4. Keep left at the fork to continue toward Mesrop Mashtots Avenue - 75 m
5. Keep right at the fork to continue toward Mesrop Mashtots Avenue - 41 m
6. Keep left at the fork to continue toward Mesrop Mashtots Avenue - 160 m
7. Keep left at the fork and merge onto Mesrop Mashtots Avenue - 290 m
8. Turn right onto Victory Bridge - 290 m
9. Turn left onto M5 - 16.5 km
10. Continue onto Mesrop Mashtots Street - 1.3 km
11. Turn right onto Spandaryan Street/M3 - 1.1 km
12. Turn right onto Vazgen Arajin Street - 130 m
Echmiadzin, Armenia

Info for tourists

Related video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zGghAUMrdM


Heathen temple of Garni, Kotayk (Armenia)

The fortress of Garni is situated in the village of the same name in the Kotayk District. That was a mighty fortress well known from chronicles (Cornelius Tacitus, Movses Khorenatsi, etc.). The structures of Garni combine elements of Hellenistic and national culture, which is an evidence of antique influences and the distinctive building traditions of the Armenian people. Artistic merits and uniqueness of its monuments place Garni among outstanding creations of architecture of world importance. The structures of the fortress of Garni are in perfect harmony with the surrounding nature. The fortress is situated in a picturesque mountain locality and commands a broad panorama of orchards, fields and mountain slopes covered with motley carpets of varicoloured grasses, of the jagged and precipitous canyon of the Azat River. Strategically, the place for building this fortress was very cleverly chosen. In very ancient times (the third millennium BC.) a cyclopic fortress existed there. According to a cuneiform record found on the territory of Garni, the fortress was conquered by Argishti I, the king of Urartu, in the first half of the 8th century B.C. In the epoch of the Armenian rulers of the Ervandids, Artashesids and Arshakids dynasties (since the third century B.C. to the fourth century AD). Garni was a summer residence of the kings and the place where their troops were stationed.

The fortress of Garni stands on a triangular cape which dominates the locality and juts into the river. A deep gorge and steep mountain slopes serve as a natural impregnable obstacle, and therefore the fortress wall was put up only on the side of the plain. It was put together of large square-shaped slabs of basalt placed flat on top of each other without mortar and fastened together with iron cramps sealed with lead. The evenly spaced rectangular towers and the concave shape of the middle of the most vulnerable northern wall, which increased the effectiveness of flank shooting, added much to the defense capacity of the fortress and, at the same time, enhanced its artistic merits. The palace complex included several disconnected buildings: a temple, a presence chamber, a columned tall, a residential block, a bath-house, etc. They were situated around the vast main square of the fortress, in is southern part, away from the entranceway, where they formed all ensemble. In the northern part there probably were the premises of the service staff, the king’s guards and the garrison. The cape top was crowned with a temple which overlooked the square by its main northern facade. The temple, the artistic center of the complex, is on the central axis passing through the fortress’ gate. The temple was built in the second half of the first century B.C. and dedicated to a heathen god, probably to Mitra, the god of the sun, whose figure stood in the depth of the sanctuary. After Christianity had been proclaimed the state religion in Armenia in 301, the temple was probably used as a summer residence of the kings. A chronicle describes it as ‘‘a house of coolness‘‘. In its style, the temple, a six-column periptere, resembles similar structures in Asia Minor (Thermes, Sagala, Pergam), Syria (Baalbek) and Rome. Its architectural shapes are basically-Hellenistic but local traditions also show in it.

Exact location

Location: Garni, Kotayq - 40° 6′ 43.2″ N, 44° 43′ 44.4″ E

Driving directions from Yerevan, Armenia to Garni, Armenia

Suggested routes
1. H3 - 28.2 km, 39 min
2. Tigran Metz Ave and H3 - 32.3 km, 43 mins

1. H3 - 28.2 km, 39 mins

Yerevan, Armenia   
1. Head northwest on Tumanyan St toward Teryan St - 94 m
2. Turn right at Tumanyan - Teryan intersection onto Teryan St - 1.2 km
3. Turn right toward M-4 - 210 m
4. At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto M-4 - 3.2 km
5. Take the exit toward Gai Ave - 400 m
6. Keep right at the fork to continue toward Gai Ave - 280 m
7. Turn right onto Gai Ave - 1.4 km
8. Turn left onto Hovhannisian St - 1.4 km
9. Turn left at Tevosian St - 2.0 km
10. Continue straight onto H3 - 16.5 km
11. Continue onto Alekyan St - 500 m
12. Turn right onto Marzpetuni St - 200 m
13. Take the 1st left - 400 m
14. Turn right
Destination will be on the left    400 m
Garni Temple, Armenia   

2. Tigran Metz Ave and H3 - 32.3 km, 43 mins

Yerevan, Armenia   
1. Head southeast on Tumanyan St toward Abovyan St - 110 m
2. Take the 1st right onto Abovyan St - 650 m
3. At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto Tigran Metz Ave - 2.7 km
4. Continue onto Artsakh Ave - 500 m
5. Turn left onto Rostovian St - 1.1 km
6. Continue onto Davit-Bek St - 1.8 km
7. Turn right toward M-15 - 5.4 km
8. Turn left onto M-15 - 2.3 km
9. Take the exit toward H3 - 230 m
10. Turn right onto H3 - 16.0 km
11. Continue onto Alekyan St - 500 m
12. Turn right onto Marzpetuni St - 200 m
13. Take the 1st left - 400 m
14. Turn right Destination will be on the left - 400 m
Garni Temple, Armenia

Info for tourists

Related videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9M6G2DpWijA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scaoSkmMdbE

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