Gori, 80km west of Tbilisi, has long been synonymous with just one man: this is the town where Stalin was born and went to school. The large museum devoted to Stalin, opened in Soviet times, is still Gori’s best known attraction, but there are also several intriguing older historical attractions close by.
In the 2008 war over South Ossetia (whose border is 30km north of Gori), Gori was bombed by Russia, with at least 20 civilians killed, and most of the population fled before the town fell under Russian control for 10 days. Rows of single-storey refugee houses visible from the Tbilisi–Gori highway, and from the road into Gori from the highway, are reminders of that war.
The centre of town is the wide Stalinis moedani (Stalin Sq). The main street, Stalinis gamziri (Stalin Ave), runs 600m north from here to the large Stalin Museum, and 700m south to a bridge over the Mtkvari River.