Tsinandali Palace

If you are a fan of culture or history or simply of pretty things, you’ll have to let the dreamy garden or museum of Tsinandali charm you. Upon arriving you will be greeted by rows of trees leading you to the house, which is not a huge mansion but displays wonderful Georgian architecture and taste. You can take a guided tour and learn about the Chavchavadze family that built the house and their exciting and inspiring lives. The furniture and letters are especially cute and it’s a pleasure to feel as though you were visiting a home preserved from the 19th century.

While the plants and pictures are very nice to look at, the history of this place is even more interesting. Alexandre Chavchavadze, the owner and aristocrat was a lover of European culture, poetry and art. He was a pioneer in this area, as he brought the first piano to Georgia, created poetry with Persian influences and organized meetings of poets he admired; even Tolstoy visited Tsinandali once. The guests were treated with the fine wines of the region and you can get this special treatment for yourself when taking a tour that includes wine-tasting.

Another lovely addition is the Tree of Wishes, on which you can tie a piece of fabric and make a wish. Furthermore, if you’re there with a lover, you should try to walk through the little tunnel covered with wine and other plants; if you make it through hand in hand while not opening your eyes, you will stay in love forever. It sure is fun to do as you will keep running into the metal bars but can be pretty romantic. What I found nice to imagine is that generations of young Georgian couples might have met up here, shyly and excitedly walking through the park or sitting on benches, enjoying the afternoon sun. (One secret tip from me: If the park is full and you’re in the mood for a kiss and don’t want anyone to see, just sneak into the little cave made from bamboo near the entrance.)

In case you simply want to relax, take a walk, admire the trees from all over the world and get lost in the wonderful park. You will see abandoned buildings and there is a little hidden church which you should absolutely not miss. I can of course not sufficiently describe the unique atmosphere Tsinandali is surrounded by, but I hope that I could inspire you to experience it yourself.