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Gori, the birthplace of Josef Stalin

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Gori, the birthplace of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin (1879-1953), is located 75 km west of Tbilisi. Goris-Tsikhe, a huge multi-tier medieval fortress, constructed during the reign of Georgia’s King David IV or David the Builder (1073 – January 24, 1125), stands on a hill in Gori’s center.

Gori, the birthplace of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin (1879-1953), is located 75 km west of Tbilisi. Goris-Tsikhe, a huge multi-tier medieval fortress, constructed during the reign of Georgia’s King David IV or David the Builder (1073 – January 24, 1125), stands on a hill in Gori’s center. 

© RIA Novosti . Besik Pipiya

Gori, the birthplace of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin (1879-1953), is located 75 km west of Tbilisi. Goris-Tsikhe, a huge multi-tier medieval fortress, constructed during the reign of Georgia’s King David IV or David the Builder (1073 – January 24, 1125), stands on a hill in Gori’s center.

Gori, the birthplace of Josef Stalin  - Sputnik International
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Gori, the birthplace of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin (1879-1953), is located 75 km west of Tbilisi. Goris-Tsikhe, a huge multi-tier medieval fortress, constructed during the reign of Georgia’s King David IV or David the Builder (1073 – January 24, 1125), stands on a hill in Gori’s center.

© RIA Novosti . Besik Pipiya

The fortress was constructed in the middle of the first millennium A. D. and rebuilt in the 17th and 18th centuries. Only its walls survive.

Gori, the birthplace of Josef Stalin  - Sputnik International
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The fortress was constructed in the middle of the first millennium A. D. and rebuilt in the 17th and 18th centuries. Only its walls survive.

© RIA Novosti . Besik Pipiya

A 14-meter-tall statue of Josef Stalin towers above the center of Gori.

Gori, the birthplace of Josef Stalin  - Sputnik International
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A 14-meter-tall statue of Josef Stalin towers above the center of Gori.

© RIA Novosti . Besik Pipiya

Georgian Soviet philosopher Merab Mamardashvili (1930-1990), dubbed “The Socrates of the 20th Century,” was also born in Gori. Sculptor Ernst Neizvestny created statue of Mamardashvili. The great thinker’s bust is a masterpiece associated with the torch of knowledge.

Gori, the birthplace of Josef Stalin  - Sputnik International
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Georgian Soviet philosopher Merab Mamardashvili (1930-1990), dubbed “The Socrates of the 20th Century,” was also born in Gori. Sculptor Ernst Neizvestny created statue of Mamardashvili. The great thinker’s bust is a masterpiece associated with the torch of knowledge.

© RIA Novosti . Besik Pipiya

The city’s main street is named after Josef Stalin.

Gori, the birthplace of Josef Stalin  - Sputnik International
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The city’s main street is named after Josef Stalin.

© RIA Novosti . Besik Pipiya

Stalin-era buses still ply the streets of Gori.

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Stalin-era buses still ply the streets of Gori.

© RIA Novosti . Besik Pipiya

Built in the volcanic cliffs of the Kvernaki mountain range, Uplistsikhe, literally The Lord's Fortress, one of the world’s rarest monuments, is located on the bank of the Kura River 10 km from Gori.

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Built in the volcanic cliffs of the Kvernaki mountain range, Uplistsikhe, literally The Lord's Fortress, one of the world’s rarest monuments, is located on the bank of the Kura River 10 km from Gori.

© RIA Novosti . Besik Pipiya

The Uplistsuli Basilica Christian church, built in the early Christian era, stands in the center of this cave city. Historians believe this was an ancient theater. In the Middle Ages, it was converted into a throne-room and is now called the Queen Tamara Hall. The first tsar of the Bagrationi Dynasty was crowned here.

Gori, the birthplace of Josef Stalin  - Sputnik International
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The Uplistsuli Basilica Christian church, built in the early Christian era, stands in the center of this cave city. Historians believe this was an ancient theater. In the Middle Ages, it was converted into a throne-room and is now called the Queen Tamara Hall. The first tsar of the Bagrationi Dynasty was crowned here.

© RIA Novosti . Besik Pipiya

The Sioni of Ateni (Assumption of Virgin Mary Cathedral), built in the early 7th century, features domes and crosses and is also famous for its frescoes.

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The Sioni of Ateni (Assumption of Virgin Mary Cathedral), built in the early 7th century, features domes and crosses and is also famous for its frescoes.

© RIA Novosti . Besik Pipiya

Outside, the church is decorated with stone ornaments.

Gori, the birthplace of Josef Stalin  - Sputnik International
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Outside, the church is decorated with stone ornaments.

© RIA Novosti . Besik Pipiya

The church interior is decorated with religious frescoes.

Gori, the birthplace of Josef Stalin  - Sputnik International
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The church interior is decorated with religious frescoes.

© RIA Novosti . Besik Pipiya

The Suram Fortress. Legend has it that Georgia’s enemies destroyed the fortress each time they invaded the country. One day, the most handsome local young man sealed himself alive inside one of its walls, and the fortress has remained intact through the ages.

Gori, the birthplace of Josef Stalin  - Sputnik International
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The Suram Fortress. Legend has it that Georgia’s enemies destroyed the fortress each time they invaded the country. One day, the most handsome local young man sealed himself alive inside one of its walls, and the fortress has remained intact through the ages.

© RIA Novosti . Besik Pipiya

In August 2008, Gori was affected by Russian-Georgian conflict. Hostilities encroached on Stalin Square near the Stalin monument in the center of Gori. Photo: Still from a film on the Russian-Georgian conflict, now being shot by Hollywood director Renny Harlin.

Gori, the birthplace of Josef Stalin  - Sputnik International
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In August 2008, Gori was affected by Russian-Georgian conflict. Hostilities encroached on Stalin Square near the Stalin monument in the center of Gori. Photo: Still from a film on the Russian-Georgian conflict, now being shot by Hollywood director Renny Harlin.

© RIA Novosti . Besik Pipiya

South Ossetian refugees live in these towns, emotionally referred to as “ghettos” by the opposition.

Gori, the birthplace of Josef Stalin  - Sputnik International
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South Ossetian refugees live in these towns, emotionally referred to as “ghettos” by the opposition.

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