Nestled in the foothills of the Greater Caucasus mountains, the Giant Stone Head Sculptures in Sno represent one man’s vision to immortalize the giants of Georgian history, art, and literature.
Sometimes referred to as “Georgia’s Easter Island,” the site consists of half a dozen monolithic heads carved from granite. Set on a rolling hill at the entrance to Sno village, a short detour off the Georgian Military Highway, these massive works of art are impossible to miss.
The sculptures are the work of artist Merab Piranishvili, who graduated from the Tbilisi Art Academy in 1977 before returning to his home village to embark on his magnum opus. Piranishvili’s first and largest sculpture, a portrait of St. George, was completed in 1984.
Six more stone heads have since been added to this collection, each one depicting a different figure from Georgian history or the arts: Shota Rustaveli, Ilia Chavchavadze, Akaki Tsereteli, Vazha Pshavela, Alexandre Kazbegi. The newest member of the lineup is Jesus Christ.
Each head is carved from a single block of granite. The stone was locally sourced and relocated to Sno.
Chins tilted skywards towards the mountains beyond, the stone heads cut a striking figure. Piranishvili’s goal is to carve 500 heads in total for his open-air museum. He hopes it will attract more tourists to visit Sno on their way to Stepantsminda and Gergeti Trinity Church.
Know Before You Go
Sno village is located 90 miles north of Tbilisi along the Georgian Military Highway. To find the sculptures, take the turnoff before Stepantsminda towards Achkhoti and Juta Valley. The heads are located two miles off the main highway. Entrance to the area is free.
While you’re there, cross the small river to visit the 16th-century Sno Castle.