The museum is named after outstanding Georgian academic Giorgi Chitaia and opened in 1966. This great scientist built a foundation for Georgian ethnology by the 1930s. The museum itself takes visitors from the Bronze Age all the way through to 20th-century Georgia.
In the museum, visitors can explore original buildings brought and reassembled here from every part of Georgia, such as Kartli, Samegrelo, Ajara, Apkhazeti (Abkhazia), Svaneti, Khevsureti, Kakheti, Meskheti, Javakheti, Guria, Imereti, Racha, Lechkhumi, and Samachablo in the open air.
At the museum, there are as many as seventy buildings made using various techniques, as well as real village yards with wine cellars, sheds, corn silos, and horse stables. A guide will greet you at every house, telling you the history of that specific building, about unique aspects of life in that region, and the purpose of each object kept within.
Another area is set aside for ancient monuments, including a 2nd-millennium BCE tomb from Apkhazeti (Abkhazia) and the 5th-6th-century Sioni Basilica.
It truly is a fascinating whirlwind tour of Georgia from the comfort of the nation’s capital.