The Tbilisi History Museum
The Tbilisi History Museum ( www.museum.ge 11am-5pm Tue-Sun), housed in an old caravanserai, includes some wonderfully evocative photographs of pre-Soviet Tbilisi and montages of old artisans’ workshops.
The 19th-century caravanserai was built on the site of a 17th-century building that served the same purpose but was destroyed by Agha Mohammed Khan during his invasion. European in exterior design, the building conforms to the Middle Eastern requirements for the interior of such a structure: a large inner courtyard with a fountain is surrounded by three tiers of galleries.
The basement area, which had housed stables and warehouses, is now lined with small shops, a cafe, and a historical exhibition. The museum on the other two floors contains more than 50,000 items that represent a vast, well-displayed overview of the city's history from its founding to the present. Coins, weapons, clothing, domestic implements, portraits, furniture, carpets, tools, and musical instruments provide great insights into the daily lives of the Georgian people in general and the citizens of Tbilisi in particular.