Gori is an interesting and important city for Georgia in many ways, including, interesting for travelers. The first thing that usually come to everyone’s mind about Gori is Stalin Museum, but this amazing city is so much more that just that one museum. The city offers many other lesser-known but no less impressive places to travelers.
So, let’s begin
One of the most impressive places in the city is Gori Fortress and a memorial of Georgian warriors. The fortress first appears in records from the 13th century, but archaeological evidence shows that the area had already been fortified in the final centuries BCE. The fortress was of major strategic importance, given its dominant position guarding a regional trade route, and accommodated a large garrison. Gori Fortress was significantly damaged by an earthquake in 1920. The best preserved structure is Tskhra-kara (“the Nine-gated”), facing to the west and adjoined by supplementary walls on the south and east.
The memorial of Georgian warriors is Gori is no less impressive. The author of the 8 warrior statues sitting in a circle is sculptor Gogi Ochiauri. Below the memorial you will find the church garden, where you can walk in a green space and enjoy the area. It is said that this is one of the favorite gathering places of Gori youth.
Another place that you should definitely visit when you arrive in this city is the Gori Historical-Ethnographic Museum. Sergi Makalatia Museum in Gori was founded in 1935 and has up to 48,000 items. The museum preserves IV-III BC. Archaeological material, samples of numismatics, as well as ethnographic material of XVIII-XIX centuries: carpets, rugs (Georgian and Karabakh), Kirmanshals, gold-embroidered church garments, collection of weapons of XVII-XIX centuries. The collection of museum coins is especially interesting and impressive.
Walking in the streets of Gori is also interesting and pleasant. If you decide to stroll the streets below the Gori castle you will see the relatively old part of Gori. Some of the buildings have been relatively modernly restored, while some have retained a more authentic look. You can visit Gori Theater, the Church of the Mother of God, visit several small cafes on the way and drink coffee. While walking, you will definitely find that many cafes on Stalin Street have French names – “Champs – Elysees”, “L’Avenue” and others. As to why, only the owners can tell. You can enjoy a delicious meal in “Shin and Gori” and “Cafe 22”. You should definitely try the famous meatballs of Gori as well. Towards the center of Gori you can see the daily life of the city, what seems to be normal for everyone, shops, cafes, small booths, university, bank, House of Justice, theater, but if you look closely, you will notice a very heavy part of history on the walls of these buildings. The walls of Gori still show traces of the 2008 war.
After all this, if you still want to visit the Stalin Museum, you can head to #32 Stalin Avenue and see some of the belongings of Stalin, his workspace, carriage, sculptures and hear stories about him.
Apart from interesting places in the city, Gori is also famous for its surroundings and is interesting for traveling. The historic Uplistsikhe complex and Ateni Sioni are only a 20-30 minute drive from Gori. For more information about them you can read our article on the details of a 1 day tour of these places.