Outside the museum stands Stalin’s train. It is heavily armored and has eight pairs of wheels to because of its heavy weight !It was in this train that he went to the famous meetings in Yalta and Potsdam. You must pay an additional fee to visit the train. As I felt that I had already enough of Stalin, I skipped the visit of the inside of his train!
At first, I felt that this was Stalin’s grave but actually, it is standing in Moscow. The impressive display shows only Stalin’s death mask, on a small pedestal. It represents Stalin as a shining sun, with beams standing all around, kind of center of the world.
The ground level of the museum is not open for visits and seems to host the administration of the museum. At the first level three very large rooms allow to displays various items.
In the first room, documents from the youth of Joseph Djugachvili and of his early political activities. Photo 2 shows the young Joseph Djugachvili (20 years old or so) that looks like some hooligan or even a local gang leader !
The second room displays gifts from comrades from allover the world
The third room displays the part taken by Stalin in WW2 and opens into a spiral ramp winding around Stalin’s death mask
Stalin’s museum is by far not a modern museum but it is a must see for those that visit Gori as it gives a fair example of what were museums under Stalin.
Inside, the feeling of grandeur is even greater with a straight staircase that leads to the first level with a statue of the Great Man about twice actual size ! Since it is on top of the staircase and that visitors come from downstairs, it looks even bigger ! Sure that visitors feel that they are worms compared with the Great Man ! That was the goal !
Stalin’s museum itself is a massive two levels building framed by a vaulted gallery with pillars standing in an almost Romanesque style. It looks somehow like the cloister of a seminar, may be a reminding that Stalin was taught several years in a seminar. It was built in 1957, after his death in a genuine Stalin period style!
The entrance into the museum costs 10 lari (1 lari for Georgians)
Actually, the Greek mausoleum is a shelter for a one story poor brick and wood house. It is not allowed to walk into the porch but two posts, one in Georgian (and in Georgian script), the other in Russian (and in Cyrillic script) tell that this is the house where Stalin was born in 1879.
The house stood among numerous other small houses of the same type, making a poor district of Gori. Under the lead of Beria, all other houses around were putdown in order to let it alone, in the middle of nothing. The mausoleum was built in 1939, again by Beria to protect the house and to enhance it’s importance while Stalin was still living.
Stalin’s statue was standing in front of the town hall. After the beginning of the destalinization process, there was a lot of controversy: should it be removed, as it was everywhere in the USSR or left as he was a “local”. Finally, in June 2010 the Georgian government decided to remove it from the town hall square but to move it in front of Stalin’s museum. Therefore, when we visited, in March 2011, it was there.
The people in Gori are proud of Stalin, without any political meaning: he was born in the city and died as a world leader. No other citizen of Gori had such a destiny.
The park in front of Stalin’s museum is a long stretch of what looks more like a meadow than a lawn. In the middle, a ditch seems to have been designed to receive water but though it was raining, there was none inside. It was obvious that the place had been in better condition some time in the past. This is not really a big surprise!
In Gori there is the only museum for Stalin.
History of the museum: An old general wrote in his testament that his heritage should be spent to built up a museum for Stalin!
There are many nice pictures and personal possessions.
The wagon in which Stalin travelled to "Potsdamer Konferenz" stands in front of the museum. Next to it there is a reconstruction of Stalins birth house.
Some things are very funny.
Some things are very interesting.
The historical things are demonstated in an interesting way.
German frontlines are painted with a small pencial.
Russian are painted with a big red marker!
Don't expect neutral or objective facts.
The whole museum is a glorification for Stalin!
You can get real good impression about the mythos ...
This is the birthplace of the other mass murder of the 20th century. But other than in Braunau am Inn the memory is still kept alive in an almost quasi-religious manner, reminding more of Napoleon or Tamerlan than of Hitler.
Some details even on the website of the Georgian parliament!
The statue of King Vakhtang Gorgasali - Tbilisi's founder, is located on the North side of the Gori fortress, just down the street (west) of the statue is a large vegetable and assorted produce market also worth taking a look at. There are not many restaurants in Gori so that might be your best bet for a snack if your hungry.
Located in the center of Gori, this fortress is elevated and gives a great view over all of Gori. Find the path on the south side of the fortress and it will lead you up through an opening to the top where you can go inside of it. Well worth the 5 minute walk up the steps to the top.
The house where Stalin was born in 1878 is now in-built in a pavilion in front of the Stalin museum. The guide tour of the museum also includes entrance to the single room where Iosif lived his first years.
It might be the only Stalin museum left in the world so don't miss it!
The Italian inspired building was constructed 1950-57. Inside it mainly consists of photographs of Stalin himself and the people around him and a collection of gifts he received from communist parties in other countries. I especially liked the Dutch contribution of a pair of wooden shoes with socialist slogans!
Stalin museum occupies a large building that from the distance might nearly be taken for a religious building. There are English-speaking guides to take you around the museum (10 lari, including entrance), which is divided into three main sections.
The first section displays Stalin's photos from his childhood/youth to his time as a Ruler, including the famous retouched photos in which the enemies he had killed had been deleted.
The second section contains presents given to Stalin from both politicians and sympathizers worldwide. Be sure to let the guide know where you are from, and she'll show you your country's presents... for the recod there were none from Switzerland.
The last section, dimly lit, deals with Stalin's death in 1953, and you can see the plaster copy of Stalin's death mask, as well as his Moscow resting places (he had more than one).