In the 19th century the German Prince, Constantine Oldenburg, came to Georgia and fell hopelessly in love with the wife of a Georgian nobleman. Oldenburg tried his hardest to win the heart of Agraphina Japaridze and eventually succeeded. After moving to Tbilisi, he commissioned the grand palace from the famous architect Paul Stern as a gift to his beloved.
Constructed over six months in 1882, the building became a symbol of this exciting love story.
Today, the palatial estate is a home to the Georgian State Museum of Theatre, Music, Cinema, and Cinematograpy, also called the Art Palace, and has been since 1989.
Within the palace-museum, visitors will find ten exhibition halls displaying a startling variety of objects. These include an antique marble mask found at the Vani archaeological sight, 17th-century Persian miniatures, Georgian theatre programmes printed on silk, collections of theatrical and decorative art, the personal archives of several famous artists, painted canvases, and more. In all, more than 300,000 objects are preserved within the museum, providing a wealth of information on the development of Georgian theatre, music, opera, and the ballet arts.
The exhibition halls of the Art Palace are open from 10:30 am to 6:00 pm every day.