Goris is the city is Syunik Province, in southern part of Armenia. The city is located in the picturesque valley of Goris river 254 km away from Yerevan. It has been known under different names: Kores, Goryak, Goristsa; the name translates as “a rocky place”. Though, the area of Gori city has rich history that dates back to the Bronze Age, when it was first inhabited, no major events took place in the surroundings of the city. It suffered from invasions of the Mongols and the Seljuks, was the center of Armenian liberation movement against the Persians in 18th century. After becoming a part of the Russian Empire, Goris city experienced rapid development in economic and cultural aspects. The city even managed to be the capital of self-proclaimed Republic of Mountainous Armenia for a few months in 1921.
It might seem that Goris is just another average Armenian city, but don’t get fooled; the city has some extraordinary sightseeing destinations. Constantly blowing winds created unique natural phenomenon – the Stone Forest; it’s a labyrinth of rocks that are shaped like bizarre colorful figures, pyramids, cones, towers, and columns. These columns create unforgettable expression any time of the day. Another major monument near Goris city is ancient cave settlement in Khndzoresk. Natural caves were enlarged by people and used as dwellings. Monastery of Tatev used to be cultural and educational center of medieval Armenia. In 10th century its population was around 1,000 people; the monastery collected taxes from 680 surrounding villages.
The city, also, has ethnographic and archaeological museums, monument “Seven springs”, ruins of a church and a graveyard. Today Goris is a well-planned city with population of 20,000 people. The city is built with two-storied houses and sinks in greenery.