Alongside with top-notch mineral water, important archeological findings, ancient monasteries, and fascinating views, Georgia is known for being a motherland to one of the most powerful rulers in history – Joseph Stalin. Soviet ruler was born in Gori city. It’s located 86 km away from Tbilisi, where Greater Liakhvi and Mtkvari rivers merge. Gori is one of the oldest cities in Georgia; it was named after the fortress in the middle of the city – Goris-Tsikhe. Although, Georgian chronicles say that the city was founded by King David IV in the beginning of 12th century, Goris-Tsikhe fortress was constructed in 7th century BC.
Archeological excavations indicate existence of a settlement in the early Bronze Age. Many ceramics, vessels for wine, burials, and jewelry of that era were found near the fortress. Gori city is full of monuments that represent different eras. There’s Uplistsikhe – an ancient town and the oldest settlement in Georgia. It’s comprised of 700 caves with secret tunnels and water system. Today it’s an archaeological object and a symbol of Georgian culture.
The symbol of Uplistsikhe is “Tamar’s Hall”. This breathtaking room reminds of a specious hall; rulers of Gori would govern from there. 10 km away from the city there’s Ateni Sioni Church, which was built in 7th century and has examples of earliest Georgian alphabet. Gori city is one of few that still has a statue of Stalin. The statue is located in front of a large, gothic palace; the palace is Joseph Stalin Museum and the main sightseeing place of the city. It’s build near the house where Stalin was born. Despite controversy around Father of Nation, his fellow countrymen love and praise him till these days. Although, Stalin himself didn’t like to mention Gori or visit it, the city remembers him and treasures his legacy.