Hovhannes Tumanyan Museum


This museum celebrates the life and work of the extraordinary writer, translator and humanist who is often described as Armenia’s greatest poet. The museum includes exhibits about his works, photographs and letters documenting his life, as well as a six-room reconstruction of his apartment in Tbilisi. Armenians clearly find the museum intriguing, but those that don't speak the language may struggle to get the same impression due to a lack of English or foreign-language signage.

Born in 1869 in the village of Dsegh in the Lori region, Tumanyan was a handsome and charismatic man who received his education in Tiflis (now Tbilisi) and was based in that city for most of his life. There, he hosted a circle of intellectuals in the garret of his house that included Avetik Isahakyan, Ghazaros Aghayan and Derenik Demirchian. Known as the ‘Vernatoun’, they were artistically prolific and socially progressive. Tumanyan’s most famous works are the libretto for Armen Tigranian’s opera Anoush (1912), his poem ‘The Conquest of Tmkaberd’ and his novel David of Sassoun. In 1921, Tumanyan travelled to Constantinople to garner support and funds for Armenian refugees. Returning from that stressful trip, he fell ill in Tbilisi and was eventually transferred to Moscow for treatment. He died there in 1923 at age 54.