Welcome to Gori


In the 2008 war over South Ossetia (whose border reaches within 13km 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 at Tserovani on the Tbilisi–Gori highway, and on Gori's northern edge, 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. The bus station is 500m west of Stalinis moedani, along Chavchavadze.


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$29 Cultural & Theme Tours

Mtskheta-Jvari Gori-Uplistsikhe

ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this productStop At: Jvari Church, Mtskheta, Mtskheta-Mtianeti RegionJvari monastic temple immortalized by Michael Lermontov (“Mtsyri”poem) is the most ancient cult monument constructed in the beginning of Georgian Christianity in the 6th century (585- 604). The name Jvari means “cross” in Georgian language. It explains the ancient legend which says that it was there that St. Nino of Kappadokia put the Sacred Cross symbolizing the acceptance of Christianity by Georgia. Later over the cross the Temple of the Sacred Cross was built. It is worth mentioning that Small Jvari temple was built first (lying in ruins next to the main temple), and Big Jvari was erected afterwards for the purpose of preservation of the Sacred Cross relic. According to the ancient records the Cross was open to be seen from afar and was the object of worship until the 6 th century.“The columns of the brought down gate, the towers, and the church arch...” – that was how Lermontov saw Jvari. Today Jvari looks the same as during the visit of Russian classic poet. The brought down stone walls with arch entrance and the temple itself seem majestic and strict. Its ascetic beauty is expressed in ideal proportions of the halls and the dome, in strict and straight lines, in smoothness of the external walls which do not bear any unnecessary decorative elements except the reliefs on their facades. Outwardly the temple looks like a big octahedral drum crowned by hexahedral cross-topped dome. Four premises adjoin the temple from two sides.Jvari interior is no less harmonious: pure, sound and complete classics enchants with its perfection. From the inside the church is decorated by a mosaic which has survived only in fragments. In the temple's centre one can see the foundation on which the Sacred Cross brought by St. Nino of Kappadokia used to be fixed to.Jvari is standing on the edge of a high rock and is in wonderful harmony with the severe but extremely picturesque nature of this area. Below, at the foot noisy Kura and Aragvi, two most known rivers in Georgia, are flowing by. Right across lies the extensive panorama of Mtskheta. On the windy slopes near Jvari grows the Tree of Wishes. The pilgrims come there to fasten ribbons with the hopes that their wishes will be granted.In 1996 Jvari monastery reopened.Duration: 30 minutesStop At: Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, Mtskheta, Mtskheta-Mtianeti RegionSvetitskoveli Cathedral- he first wooden church was built in the time of King Mirian, the Vakhtang Gorgasali built basilica of large stone church, at the end of V century. In the XI century here was built current large Svetitskoveli by an architect named Arsukidze led by Catholicos Melchizedek.Duration: 1 hourStop At: Stalin Museum, Gori, Shida Kartli RegionThe museum makes no serious attempt to present a balanced account of Stalin's career or deeds. It remains, much as when it opened in 1957, a reverent homage to the Gori boy who became a key figure of 20th-century world history – although guides do now at least refer to the purges, the Gulag and his 1939 pact with Hitler. As well as the halls of memorabilia, the visit includes the tiny wood-and-mudbrick house where Stalin lived for the first four years of his life.The house, where Stalin's parents rented a single room, stands in front of the main museum building, under its own temple-like superstructure.The museum charts Stalin’s journey from the Gori church school to leadership of the USSR, the Yalta Conference at the end of WWII and his death in 1953. The first hall upstairs covers his childhood and adolescence, including his rather cringeworthy pastoral poetry, and then his early revolutionary activities in Georgia, his seven jail terms under the tsarist authorities (six of them in Siberia), the revolution of 1917 and Lenin’s death in 1924. The text of Lenin’s 1922 political testament that described Stalin as too coarse and power-hungry, advising Communist Party members to remove him from post of General Secretary, is on display.One room is devoted to a bronze copy of Stalin’s eerie death mask, lying in state. The next has a large collection of gifts from world leaders and other Bolsheviks. Off the staircase is a reconstruction of his first office in the Kremlin, plus personal memorabilia such as his pipes, glasses, cigars and slide rule. One small two-room section beside the foot of the stairs deals with political repression under Stalin.To one side of the museum is Stalin’s train carriage, in which he travelled to Yalta in 1945 (he didn’t like flying). Apparently bulletproof, its elegant interior includes a bathtub and a primitive air-conditioning system.Duration: 1 hourStop At: Uplistsiche Cave Town, Gori, Shida Kartli RegionLocated in Eastern Georgia, Uplistsikhe (literally “Lord’s Fortress“) is an abandoned rock-hewn town, which once have played an important role in Georgian history. The place was founded in the late Bronze Age, around 1000 BC, and continued to be inhabited until 13th century AD. Between the 6th century BC and the 11st century AD, Uplistsikhe was one of the most important political and religious centers of pre-Christian Kartli – one of the predecessors of the Georgian state.Archaeologists have unearthed numerous temples and findings relating to a sun goddess, worshipped prior to the arrival of Christianity. When Christianity arrived in Georgia, the city lost importance in favor of the new centers of Christian culture, most notably Mtskheta and Tbilisi. Nevertheless, life continued in Uplistsikhe, Christian structures have been built, and for a short time, Christianity and the old faith coexisted in the city.After the Arab conquest of the royal city of Tbilisi, the town’s second heyday began, when Uplistsikhe became the residence of the kings of Kartli, during which the town grew to a size of around 20,000 people, evolving into an important caravan trading post. When Tbilisi was recaptured in 1122, Uplistsikhe faced an immediate and rapid decline, culminated by the destruction of large parts of the city during the Mongol conquest in the 13th century, and the subsequent abandonment of the rest of the town.The cave town can be divided into a lower, a central and an upper area, covering an area of almost 40,000 square meters. The central area, which contains most of the rock-cut structures, is connected to the lower area by narrow tunnel. Most of the rock-cut structures are without any decorative elements, aside from some of the larger structures, which contain some stone carvings.At the top of the complex is a Christian stone basilica, dating from the 10th century. The rock-cut structures include a large hall, called Tamaris Darbazi, pagan places of sacrifice, dwellings, as well as functional buildings, like a pharmacy, a bakery, a prison, and even an amphitheater. The rock-cut structures are connected by tunnels, while other tunnels had the purpose of an emergency escape route.Uplistsikhe is remarkable for the unique combination of styles from rock-cut cultures of the region, most notably from Cappadocia (in modern Turkey) and Northern Iran. Most of the unearthed artifacts can be seen at the National Museum in TbilisiDuration: 1 hour

$38 Private & Custom Tours

Full Day Private Tour in Mtskheta Gori Uplistsikhe

ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this productStop At: Tours2Georgia, TbilisiTours2Georgia Duration: 1 hourStop At: Jvari Church, Mtskheta, Mtskheta-Mtianeti Region6th Century Unesco Heritage Jvari MonasteryDuration: 1 hourStop At: Stalin Museum, Gori, Shida Kartli RegionStalin Museum Duration: 1 hourStop At: Uplistsiche Cave Town, Gori, Shida Kartli RegionOne Of The Oldest Settlement In The World. 11th Century Uplistikhe CavesDuration: 2 hoursStop At: Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, Mtskheta, Mtskheta-Mtianeti Region11th Century Svetitskhoveli CathedralDuration: 1 hour

$63 Private & Custom Tours

Full-Day Private Tour in Gori Uplistsikhe and Mtskheta

Highlights: - Main road of the town; - Main fortification; - Grand cellar - Dwellings - Church of Prince - “Apothecary’s” - Sacrificial Pits - Wine Presses - Wooden hat where Stalin was born - Stalin’s personal railway carriageUplistsikhe Uplistsikhe is an ancient rock-hewn town in eastern Georgia, some 62 miles (100 km) Western from Tbilisi. Uplistsikhe is identified by archaeologists as one of the oldest urban settlements in Georgia. The town's age and importance led medieval Georgian written tradition to ascribe its foundation to the mythical Uplos, son of Mtskhetos, and grandson of Kartlos. The central part of Upliscikhe is the largest, contains a bulk of the Uplistsikhe rock-cut structures, and is connected to the southern part via a narrow rock-cut pass and a tunnel. Narrow alleys and sometimes staircases radiate from the central "street" to the different structures. The Uplistsikhe cave complex has been on the tentative list for inclusion into the UNESCO World Heritage program since 2007.Joseph Stalin's Museum in Gori Joseph Stalin’s Museum in Gori establish in 1951 as a local history museum, but clearly intended to become a memorial to Stalin, who died in 1953. The main building of the complex is a large palace in Stalinist Gothic style. Enshrined within a Greco-Italianate pavilion is a small wooden hut, in which Stalin was born in 1878 and spent his first four years. The exhibition is divided into six halls in roughly chronological order, and contain many items actually or allegedly owned by Stalin, including some of his office furniture, his personal effects and gifts made to him over the years. There is also much illustration by way of documentation, photographs, paintings and newspaper articles. The display concludes with one of twelve copies of the death mask of Stalin taken shortly after his death.To one side of the museum is Stalin's personal railway carriage. The green Pullman carriage, which is armour plated and weighs 83 tons, was used by Stalin from 1941 onwards, including his attendances at the Yalta Conference and the Tehran Conference. It was sent to the museum on being recovered from the railway yards at Rostov on Donau in 1985.

$80 Day Trips & Excursions

Full Day Private Tour in Mtskheta Gori Uplistsikhe

Our tour starts at 10:00am in the morning. Our English speaker driver/guide will pick you up from your accommodation in Tbilisi and we will go in ancient Mtskheta town which is previous capital of Georgia. Mtskheta is One of the oldest cities of Georgia. In Mtskheta we will walk in old city, after walking we will visit Svetitskhoveli Cathedral Svetitskhoveli is recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. It is currently the second largest church building in Georgia, after the Holy Trinity Cathedral. The present structure was completed in 1029 by the medieval Georgian architect Arsukisdze, although the site itself dates back to the early 4th century.Jvari Monastery is our second destination. Jvari Monastery is a sixth century Georgian Orthodox monastery near Mtskheta, eastern Georgia. Along with other historic structures of Mtskheta, it is listed as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. Jvari Monastery stands on the rocky mountaintop at the confluence of the Mtkvari and Aragvi rivers, overlooking the town of Mtskheta, which was formerly the capital of the Kingdom of Iberia. There will be very beautiful view of Mtskheta from Jvari monastery where we can take photos.After visiting incredible Mtskheta we will visit city Gori. In Gori we will see Joseph Stalin's Museum. Stalin was the leader of the Soviet Union, who was born in Gori.The museum has three sections, all located in the town's central square. It was officially dedicated to Stalin in 1957. With the downfall of the Soviet Union and independence movement of Georgia, the museum was closed in 1989, but has since been reopened, and is a popular tourist attraction.From Gori after 20 minutes driving we will go to Uplistsikhe (literally "the lord's fortress"). Uplistsikhe is an ancient rock-hewn town in Eastern Georgia, some 10 kilometers east of the town of Gori. Uplistsikhe is identified by archaeologists as one of the oldest urban settlements in Georgia. Strategically located in the heartland of ancient kingdom of Kartli.Built on a high rocky left bank of the Mtkvari River, it contains various structures dating from the Early Iron Age to the Late Middle Ages, and is notable for the unique combination of various styles of rock-cut cultures.after unforgettable tour in The Uplistsikhe cave complex we will go back in Tbilisi to your accommodation.

$60 Day Trips & Excursions

One Day Tour to Uplistsikhe Gori from Tbilisi: Private Tour

The trip will start from Tbilisi. First location to visit is Uplistsikhe. Uplistsikhe is the ancient town located in Kartli region of Georgia. Uplistsikhe is on the left side of river Mtkvari. Uplistsikhe contains structures from Iron age and Middle ages. Uplistsikhe is one of oldest settlements of Georgia, it is full of rock cut structures, caves and tunnels. The Christian church from 10th century stands on the top of summit. After Christianisation of Georgia the town has lost its importance. Our next destination is Gori. In Gori we will visit Gori Castle and several Museums. Gori Castle is 13th century fortified castle complex. It stands on top of mountain, watches over the city and Kartli.

$850 Multi-day & Extended Tours

8-Day Jeep Tour Caucasus Raid from Tbilisi

Day 1 Arrival to Tbilisi International Airport. Transfer to Hotel, resting for morning start of the trip.  Staying in Tbilisi.Day 2 Mtskheta, Tbilisi Surroundings - Didgori Battle Site. Briefing about trip, handing over the jeeps. The group heads to Trialeti Mountain Range. Arrival to Didgori Battle Site. See beautiful nature of Trialeri Range. Arrive at Mtskheta, Visit Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (the Living Pillar Cathedral). Stay at Mtskheta Hotel.Day 3 Ananuri - Kazbegi – Gergeti Trinity Church The first stop is Jinvali water reservoir, Ananuri Fortress complex. Second stop will be by the fascinating views from the top of Jvari(Cross) Pass. Soon the road will enter Kazbegi. The main attraction point in Kazbegi is Gergeti Trinity Church, located on the top of the mountain. Stay overnight in Kazbegi.Day 4 Uplistsikhe –Ateni Valley-Gori Castle Briefing. First location is Uplistikhe ancient rock cave town. After visiting Uplistsikhe, we will visit Ateni valley. Ateni was medieval city. Here is beautifull Gori castle. Staying in Gori.Day 5 Kareli-Kintsvisi-Gujareti-BakurianiBriefing. First stop Kintsvisi Monastery, consists of three churches, built in Golden age of Georgia 13th century.  After Kintvisi monastery long journey through valleys and forests will start. On the way there are several monasteries, beautiful views and rivers. Soon the road will pass by Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park territory. By the evening we will be in Bakuriani. Staying in Bakuriani.Day 6 Lake Tabatckuri-Vardzia-Khertvisi Fortress-Rabat Castle-BorjomiBriefing. The road will go through beautiful forests and reach Tabatckuri Lake. The lake is on the elevation of 1991 meters. After seeing the lake, you will come to Vardzia Cave Monastery Complex, has more than 3000 cave rooms. The road goes by Kertvisi Fortress, built in 2nd century BC. The road goes though rocky valleys to Akhaltsikhe, the group will see the Rabat Castle. Staying in Akhaltsikhe.Day 7 Abastumani Observatory – Sairme – Prometeus CaveBriefing. First destination is Abastumani located on  southern slopes of lesser Caucasus, it is famous of its nature. Here is Queen Tamar Arch Bridge. Next is Sairme Mineral Waters Resort. The road goes through beautiful forests. The last location is the Prometeus cave, its 1420 meters long, with incredible stalactites, stalagmites. Staying in Kutaisi.Day 8 Journey to Tbilisi, Shopping-Wine Gallery-AirportArrival to Tbilisi. Shopping in old Tbilisi. Visiting Wine Gallery, ancient Georgian wines tasting. Free time. Transfer to Tbilisi International Airport. The time and locations can vary depending on flight time.