Joseph Stalin’s Hometown

I had limited time in Georgia, so I had to choose my day trips from Tbilisi wisely. When I told a local I wanted to go to Gori, the reaction was, “Why? There’s nothing there.”

True. There isn’t much to see in Gori itself.  But there is something unique to Gori that I won’t find anywhere else in the world – the Joseph Stalin Museum. Yes, Gori was the birthplace of Joseph Stalin, and many people don’t know he was Georgian. Seen as a terrible monster by some and a hero bt others, he is definitely one of the most fascinating figures in world history.

The Joseph Stalin Museum is located in a large building at one end of a park named after Stalin. When I arrived, it looked closed, but a guard motioned for me to enter. At the ticket booth, I was given an option of a ticket just to see the museum, or a combo ticket including Stalin’s personal rail carriage and birth house. I got the combo.

Joseph Stalin Museum in Gori, Georgia

Joseph Stalin Museum

Entrance at the Joseph Stalin Museum in Gori, Georgia

Entrance

A docent led me upstairs and turned on all the lights in the exhibit. It was fascinating. There were two very large halls dedicated to the life of Stalin from his birth to his death, with photographs, newspaper clippings, and memorabilia. All of it was in Georgian and Russian with enough in English to get the gist of everything.

Joseph Stalin Museum in Gori, Georgia

Joseph Stalin Museum

Joseph Stalin, Lenin, & Kalinin at the Joseph Stalin Museum in Gori, Georgia

Joseph Stalin, Lenin, & Kalinin

One of the last rooms was dedicated solely to Stalin’s death mask. The last corridor was full of cases of gifts from other countries to Stalin, the USSR, and the museum.

Stalin's death mask at the Joseph Stalin Museum in Gori, Georgia

Stalin’s death mask

A rug from Azerbaijan at the Joseph Stalin Museum in Gori, Georgia

A rug from Azerbaijan

Once I finished those sections of the museum, the docent led me into a room full of Stalin’s personal office furniture from the Kremlin. There was also a case with his clothes and uniform.

Stalin's furniture and desk at the Kremlin at the Joseph Stalin Museum in Gori, Georgia

Stalin’s furniture and desk at the Kremlin

Stalin's desk at the Kremlin at the Joseph Stalin Museum in Gori, Georgia

Stalin’s desk at the Kremlin

She then took me outside where I was shown the Stalin statue followed by his birth home. It was a very small house protected by a columned structure.

Stalin statue at the Joseph Stalin Museum in Gori, Georgia

Stalin statue

Stalin's birth home at the Joseph Stalin Museum in Gori, Georgia

Stalin’s birth home

Stalin's birth home at the Joseph Stalin Museum in Gori, Georgia

Stalin’s birth home

Stalin's birth home at the Joseph Stalin Museum in Gori, Georgia

Stalin’s birth home

On one side of the house lived the family of Joseph Stalin. It’s hard to imagine that one of the most powerful men in history was born in such a tiny room.

Stalin's birth home at the Joseph Stalin Museum in Gori, Georgia

Stalin’s birth home

Stalin's birth home at the Joseph Stalin Museum in Gori, Georgia

Stalin’s birth home

Finally, I was shown Stalin’s personal rail carriage. It took him to several important conferences, including Yalta. It didn’t look very comfortable and wasn’t as luxurious as I had imagined.

Stalin's rail carriage at the Joseph Stalin Museum in Gori, Georgia

Stalin’s rail carriage

Stalin's rail carriage at the Joseph Stalin Museum in Gori, Georgia

Stalin’s rail carriage

Stalin's rail carriage at the Joseph Stalin Museum in Gori, Georgia

Stalin’s rail carriage

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