Vani is the site of a former city of Colchis and attracts world’s attention with its archeological excavations’ discoveries, which stated, that centuries ago, there was a cultural and economic center of Ancient Greek World. Vani is situated in Georgia, in the region of Imereti. Since 2007, Vani is in the list of UNESCO world cultural heritage.
In the ancient times, there was one of the most important towns of Antique era Colchis, which was in blossom in the III-I centuries BC. It was there, at the eastern end of the Black sea, that legendary Merea, the daughter of King Aeëtes, had a fatal attraction with Jason. With her help, Jason stole the kingdom’s great treasure.
When we talk about Vani, as a cultural center, we should note 2 periods: 1. VI-IV BC. and 2. The beginning of III century BC, to the middle ages of I century BC.
The first stage consists of wooden iconic and living settlements, shrines, as well as the sacrificial altars, diversity of ceramic cultural layers, rich burial grounds, graves with a real treasure in them. In those graves the archeologists found blacksmith’s figureheads adorned tiaras and diadems, variety of earrings, cute wristbands and bracelets, with animal sculptural emblems on them. But that’s not everything, one resident mentioned, that the rain used to bring magnificent ceramic wares and potteries, as well as metallic ones. That’s why archeologists interested in those places. Those things are the clear evidence, that there was a close, even strong trade-commercial and cultural relation with Greek.
Form the III century Vani becomes the religious centre. The fence walls, the main gate of the city architectural complex and round temple, buttress construction, seven-step altar and other cultural and social buildings belong to those periods. There was found magnificent Golden Lion, little bronze sculptures, which have local and Greek origin. The city destroyed in the middle of the I century BC.
So, in Vani, on the territory of the ancient town, you can see the active Vani Archeological Museum. The Museum is situated on a hill close to the town of Vani, in the western Georgia, on the left bank of the River Rioni.
Not far from here, in 10 km away from Vani there is a village Chkvishi, where you can see the House- Museum of worldwide famous Georgian poet Galaktion Tabidze, also the House- Museum of Titsian Tabidze.