Gori (Georgian: გორი) is a city in eastern Georgia, which serves as the regional capital of Shida Kartli and the centre of the homonymous administrative district. The name is from Georgian gora (გორა), that is, "heap", or "hill". As of 2002, it had a population of 49,500.
Gori was an important military stronghold in the Middle Ages and maintains a strategic importance due to its location on the principal highway connecting eastern and western parts of Georgia. In the course of its history, Gori has been invaded by the armies of regional powers several times. The city was occupied by Russian troops during the 2008 Russia–Georgia war.
Gori is also known as the birthplace of the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, ballistic missile designer Alexander Nadiradze and philosopher Merab Mamardashvili.
Gori is located 76 kilometers (47 mi) west of Georgia's capital Tbilisi, at the confluence of the rivers Mtkvari andGreater Liakhvi, 588 meters (1,929 ft) above sea level. The climate is transitional from moderately warm steppe to moderately humid. Summer is usually hot. The average annual temperature is 10.9 °C (51.6 °F), minimal in January (−1.2 °C or 29.8 °F) and maximal in August (22.5 °C or 72.5 °F). The maximum precipitation falls in May (76 mm or 3.0 in) and minimum in August (34 mm or 1.3 in) and January (30 mm or 1.2 in).