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A Visit to the Tumanyan Matchbox Label Museum

If you are traveling across the Lori region and looking for something special, something different, then this museum in Tumanyan town is for you. Here, you can find a cozy museum of matchbox labels and a unique café named Flying Samovar.

Nestled amidst the lush landscapes of Armenia's Lori Province lies the tiny town of Tumanyan. While seemingly unassuming at first glance, Tumanyan boasts unique architecture and a museum that sparks the imagination and ignites a sense of nostalgia: the Tumanyan Matchbox Label Museum.


Raffi, the founder of the museum, says that when he first came to Tumanyan, he was impressed by the combination of architecture and nature. This one-of-a-kind museum, established in 2021, proudly displays a collection exceeding 10,000 matchbox labels, each a miniature window into a bygone era.

The trees conceal one of the most amazing museums of its kind

The "Development of Innovative Tourism and Technologies for Armenia" program of the EU4Business initiative supported the establishment of the museum.

While there are many Soviet labels, the museum includes labels from around the world, from Europe to India, as well as Japan and Australia. Countless themes are covered throughout the museum, although the collection seems to highlight labels related to public education campaigns, crafts, flags and coats of arms, space, humor, puzzles, and match-themed labels.

For collectors, the museum provides a treasure trove. The oldest label proudly displayed dates back to 1920, a testament to the long and fascinating history of matchbox label design.


Exploring Tumanyan Matchbox Label Museum

The museum boasts an extensive collection of matchbox labels featuring famous individuals, including a unique series with drawings by Alexander Pushkin. Additionally, there are labels depicting the various nations of the USSR, as well as numerous labels themed around cosmonautics.


This charming museum houses thousands of matchbox labels, showcasing a diverse array of national costumes and seals, educational themes, space imagery, and various symbolic motifs. It offers a unique and enriching experience for visitors.

Matchboxes were truly a reflection of a given country and period. So, if you are familiar with the culture, history, public manners, and customs of a particular country, you will immediately distinguish which country the matchbox is from.


Coffee break at "Flying Samovar Café," located just across from the museum

Countries presented their sporting achievements, culture, customs, cities, and animal and plant diversity through matchbox labels. There is a very unique series that represents the history of aeromodelling, from the simplest helicopter to the modern airplane.


After your tour, I also suggest you visit the “Flying Samovar Café” on the opposite side of the museum, where you can enjoy a cup of coffee with nice arched windows creating a panoramic view. You can also see rare posters and a small collection of clocks and typewriters.


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