Gori - A town in the central part of Kartli, one of the historical provinces of Georgia, at the confluence of the Liakhvi and Mtkvari rivers. At present, it is the administrative centre of Kartli. Archaeological excavations confirm that a fortress existed on a hill in the middle of the town as early as the Classical period. The name of the town derives from this rocky hill (goraki in Georgian). Some sources ascribe the foundation of the town to King David the Builder (beginning of the 12th c.). According to Jean Chardin, Gori was an important trading centre in the 17th c.
Gori played a significant role in the new political history of Georgia too - being the centre of the national-liberation movement in the 19th c. and that of the social-democratic movement in the 20th c. It is the town where Joseph Stalin (Jughashvili) was born and spent his youth. The Stalin Museum in Gori offers dramatic pages of Georgia's history.
Gori is famous for its theatre and music traditions. From 1845 performances of theatre lovers were put on the stage in the town. There also functioned a theological seminary. Gori Drama Theatre, with which Giorgi Eristavi, one of the founders of the Georgian theatre, cooperated in the 19th c., as well as the music college remain important cultural centres of the town to the present day.
Gori is the hometown of renowned Georgian composers - Aleksi Machavariani and Sulkhan Tsintsadze. It is also the place where Uzeir Hajibekov, a classic of Azerbaijanian music, and a Soviet composer Vano Gokieli, well-known in his time, were born and received primary education. The monument Mzechabuki (powerful knight) by famous Georgian sculptor Elguja Amashukeli, overlooking the neighbourhood from the Gori fortress, has turned into the symbol of the town.