translated by Tinatin Bujiashvili
Gori is situated in the heart of Kartli. Since ancient times it has been located on the principal highway connecting eastern and western parts of Georgia. It also connected highways on the bank of the river Didi Liakhvi and Patara Liakhvi from northern part of Georgia and from south the highway was on the bank of the river Mejuda, which lied in Tana gorge. Gori is a mountainous place. The town and the fortress are on a rocky hill. Highways are seen well from here and the enemy always had difficulties to enter the town in secret. The fortress controlled major strategic and economic routes and accommodated a large garrison. Invasion of the fortress meant political domination on Shida Kartli.
The walls of the fortress go down to the river Liakhvi. The river Liakhvi, which flows far from the fortress today, flowed on the eastern side of the fortress in old time. The natural location was used by the builders and built the walls of the fortress on the bank of the river. An Italian missioner Christopher Castel drew the plan of Gori Fortress in 1633.
The best preserved structure is the wall on the western slope. It is called Tskhra-kara by the local people. The wall is damaged too. The walls on the top of the fortress were significantly damaged by the last earthquake. There is no upper part there. The walls of Tskhra-kara go down to the river and join there in semi circular. There are 6 walls with the width of 12-13m. Beside a good location which had a function of defence, the fortress was supplied with water. A tunnel went down to the bank of the river. Water was kept in the pool in the last part of Tskhrakara and in the reservoir in the middle of Citadel. In historical chronics Gori was first appeared in VII century. It was said, that Erthaoz, who was the son of Stephanoz Erismtavari buried the part of inherited treasure in Gori. According to historian Juansheri the hiding place was called Tontio, which meant “ColdenMountain”.
According to some historical sources Gori was founded by David the Builder early XII century. We meet more information about Gori from late XII century. Georgia declined after the Mongol invasion. Osetian, living in Caucasus Mountains grew bolder and invaded Gori. Although Georgian fought against them Osetians settled there by supporting Mongolians. Gori returned to Georgian control under the king George V “Brilliant” in 1420s. Georgians were able to conquer the fortress after the three years siege.
In XVII century Gori was the next place in magnitude and importance to Tbilisi and beside its own fortress it was surrounded by the wall. The wall had three gates. That time they were lower. In XIX century the wall was destroyed.
Gori Fortress lost its importance in XIX century and the fortifications went defunct.
Gori Fortress had a good geographical location and was always a place of interest for people to settle there. Correspondingly, a beautiful medieval town was built there. Its importance was growing little by little. In XIX century Gori was changed and today it is one of the most important towns of our country.
Gori fortress is very picturesque. At the foot of the fortress hill there stands a big and beautiful cathedral of Virgin Mary’s Birth. There is a church of The Annunciation nearby the fortress. They are as interesting for tourists as the fortress.
You will meet foreign and local tourists here, though more tourists are foreigners. Besides these sightseeing they are interested in visiting the Museum of Stalin. The hut, one of the most powerful leaders of the word was born in and his personal railway carriage are always tourists attraction place.