Gori Travel Guide

  • Stalin Museum
    Stalin Museum
    by lotharscheer
  • Stalin Square
    Stalin Square
    by lotharscheer
  • Gori Theatre
    Gori Theatre
    by lotharscheer

Gori Things to Do

  • Stalin personal train

    If you are in Gori, one of the best visits to make is to the Museum of Stalin.But do not forget to have a look at the patio, where the train that he used to travel around the Soviet Union is exposed.You are not allowed to enter inside of the train, only to have a look at it from a certain distance, unless you pay an extra fee.

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  • Stalin’s armored train

    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!

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  • Stalin’s death mask

    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.

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  • Museum level

    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)...

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  • Impressive staircase

    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...

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  • Stalin’s museum building

    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...

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  • Stalin’s birth house

    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...

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  • Stalin’s wandering statue

    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...

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  • The park in front of Stalin’s museum

    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!

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  • Stalin museum

    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...

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  • See the Soviet Braunau!

    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!

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  • King Vakhtang Gorgasali Statue/Vegetable...

    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.

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  • Gori Fortress

    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.

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  • Stalin's train railway-carriage

    Stalin was afraid to fly and made all his journeys by rail. This carriage he used from 1941 until his death 1953. It stands next to the museum and is included in the tour.

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  • Stalin's birth house

    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.

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Gori Restaurants

  • Rustic Georgian Restaurant with Stuffed...

    Restaurant "Hunter" is located at 6 Stalin Avenue (It may have previously been named "Atrium"). From the stuffed animals in the front window to the skins and trophy heads on the walls inside, this restaurant screams the hunter motif. Despite what all the game might suggest, this a typical Georgian restaurant serving the standard menu of khinkali,...

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  • Intourist restaurant

    On the side of Stalin’s museum stands a large building, the Intourist Hotel and Restaurant. It has a distinctive Stalin architecture look and the inside has the same look. We came into a large dining room, with a tall ceiling, with no other customers. The temperature was almost the same than outside (4°C) but it was not windy and it did not rain...

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  • Places to eat in Gori

    In Gori there are not many restaurants in the city center.We ended in a small restaurant with good local kitchen.The drinks are served cold.The meals are quite good.But don't expect to much it is a normal small local restaurant. Sausages and cold beer

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Gori Transportation

  • Bus to T'bilisi

    Minibus to T'bilisi is 4 Lori, 1,5 hours, a shared Taxi is 5 Lori and1 hour.The bus terminal is on Chavchavadze av. about 700 meter west of Stalin av. / Stalin Square (town hall) past the theater and a big white modern building.

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  • Bus from Tbilisi

    Many busses are running between Tbilisi and Gori. The trip takes one and a half to two hours and the cost is about 4 Lari.

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  • sometimes you need a car, and nerves

    While it is perfectly possible to reach Gori by public transportation - be it by train, bus or minivan - if you want to get off the beaten path and visit Saint George Gori Jvari church you'll definitely need a taxi, a good driver and strong nerves.... because what theey call a road leafing up the mountain - well, it's far from being a road. It's a...

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Gori Local Customs

  • call_me_rhia's Profile Photo

    by call_me_rhia Written Aug 19, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In Gori the cult of Stalin i very much alive and kicking... it's not that people are not aware of his killikgs and purges, but they prefer to focus on his successes. Why? Because he belongs to them, which is better than nothing. Gori's Stalin avenue is very likely one of the few Stalin's avenues in the world.

    About his successes heintroduced collective farming, he managed to halt Hitler's march and gave the USSR the first modern industries and industrial progress.

    Extravaganzas. Did you know that...
    - at one point he had studied for priesthood?
    - ho contracted smallpox when he was seven?
    - he wa afraid of flying and only travelled by train?
    - he, too, was exiled in Siberia?
    - he was the ruler who had ruled longer in the USSR?

    stalin avenue
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    • Backpacking

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Gori Warnings and Dangers

  • by eponymousone Written Aug 25, 2004

    We were told by the Georgians traveling with us that Stalin is still quite revered in his hometown, and it would be inappropriate to criticize him or make light of him while visiting Gori. So, whatever you may feel about Stalin's legacy, it's probably best to keep it to yourself among the native residents.

    One person in our group had trouble sleeping and decided to go for a walk late at night. While he didn't encounter any criminal elements, he did feel uneasy about the number of wild dogs running through the streets. Incidentally, I encountered the same problem in a residential area of Tbilisi one night.

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Gori Tourist Traps

  • jankenpon's Profile Photo

    by jankenpon Updated Mar 6, 2007

    The museum tour was very quick, look theres a picture and another picture of Stalin and his associates, wives, et cetera. The maps of the campaign were the most interesting part of the museum tour. His childhood home was an eye opener to the cramped living conditions of families during his era. His train cart was also interesting, but I saw that in all the pictures I've seen of Gori - so it seemed like deja vu to me. Mostly I went because it seemed a required trip while staying in this country - with most of the roads northward probably being impassable due to the time of year.

    Unique Suggestions: The tour cost 15 larri (GEL) per foreigner and included an english speaking guide. The guide was very soft spokened and talked really fast, a bad combination. Seeing as our group consisted of native Georgian speakers we really could have done just as well reading the notes on things for ourselves - and even then a lot of the pieces of Stalin's possessions had english on the description cards as well.

    Fun Alternatives: Spend more time at the Gori fortress and in Gori in general - just next to the Gori fortress is a church you could go see - and on the other side is a vegetable market. Plus the statue of Tbilisi's founder on a lion near the market is also neat looking and makes a great photo-op.

    Inside Stalin's Museum
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    • Museum Visits

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Gori Off The Beaten Path

  • Church of Ateni Sioni

    The Church of Ateni Sioni stands on a shelf, between the villages of Patara Sioni (Little Sioni) and Didi Sioni (Great Sioni). It was built at the beginning of the VIIth century. The main paintings inside were painted in 1080. I will build a page on Church of Ateni Sioni and will put here a link.

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  • Uplistikhe (the fortress of Uppli)

    The troglodytic city of Uplistikhe stands ten kilometers away from Gori. I will build a page on Uplistikhe and will put here a link.When we visited, in April, it was windy, raining and the temperature was between 2 and 4°C. Not the best time to visit!

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  • Saint George Gori Jvari

    Saint George Gori Jvari is a little church perched on top of a mountain overlooking Gori town, from where you can have great views - so great that Gori would look charming. Getting there is half the fun, as the road is a dirt rack where you can meet all sorts of animals (especially pigs and cows).The church was closed, unfortunately, so we could...

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Gori Favorites

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  • Wounded warriors

    At the feet of Goris Tsikhe, on a shelf stand an amazing assembly. Seven wounded Middle-Ages warrior, twice man size, sit on rocks. They are actually VERY wounded : broken chests , at least missing hands or arms,! One of them has lost both arms anf half of his skull. Another one has lost both arms, both legs and his head. That certainly refers to a...

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  • St Mary’s Church

    Saint Mary’s church was built as a Catholic church in the XVIIth. At that time, there was an important catholic community in Gori. Local named it “French Church”, “French” meaning “catholic”. In the 90s, it was turned into an Orthodox church. The rain was too strong and I did not visit it, just took a photo from the wounded warriors assembly....

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  • Goris Tsikhe under the rain

    It was raining cats and dogs, therefore, we gave up to walk to Goris Tsikhe. One of the main interests of Goris Tsikhe is the view on the Caucasus mountains. It was built in the late Middle Ages on the remains of a former fort that was already mentioned in 65 BC.

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Stalin museum
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Stalin's train carriage
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Stalin's birth house
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