In Middle Kartli where the Liakhvi flows into the Mtkvari a town of Gori is spread among the picturesque hills. Gori is one of the most ancient towns in Georgia. According to some historical records Gori was founded by King of Georgia David the Builder at the beginning of the 12th century. Nevertheless, archeological excavations discovered a township settlement dated from the end of ancient and down of new epochs. In 1946 the landslip of mountain slope revealed the cultural layer of the antique period. Ruins of clay-walls, thin-walled jugs, plane and gutter-shaped tiles painted in red, pieces of clay utensils burnt to red and glittering black appeared before the archaeologists' eyes.
The ancient Gori Fortress crowns the mountain rising up in the center of the town. Who knows how many attacks this constantly ruined fortress has repulsed. Who can enumerate those Georgian heroes who gave their lives for the independence of the fortress-town.
Gori is the administrative and cultural centre of a large agricultural region, an industrial town with population of more than 60,000. It has a railway station. Among its enterprises are a large textile mill, an instrument-marketing factory, a cannery, an institute of research into the automation of industrial processes and a fruit-and-vegetable selection station. The town also has a teachers' training college and several specialized secondary schools. Its cultural amenities include a theatre, the Museum of Martial Glory and the Stalin Museum.
Under a protective pavilion made of marble and glass is the small flat-bricked house where Stalin (Joseph Jugashvili) was born and spent his childhood. His name is closely associated with the history of former Soviet state, especially during the years of the Second World War.
A karavan route leading from the Black Sea coast into the depth of Asia passed here for many centuries and the town witnessed many fierce battles against various invaders. The medieval fortress of Goristsikhe, situated on a hill, dominates the locality. However, its top part is only the fortress's "head". Crenellated walls and towers, like the body of a huge dragon, go down the slope of the hill, forming several defence levels. No wonder Gori was the stronghold of Georgian Kings, and the Goristsikhe, a trusted guardian of Kartli's frontiers, one of the most impregnable fortresses in Central Kartli.
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