Georgian Military Road

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Georgian Military Road,

highway, SE European Russia and Georgia. It is c.135 mi (220 km) long and crosses the Greater Caucasus Mts. Starting from its northern terminus at VladikavkazVladikavkaz
, city (1989 pop. 300,000), capital of North Ossetia-Alania, SE European Russia, on the Terek River and at the northern foot of the Caucasus. It is the starting point of the Georgian Military Road as well as an industrial center with an electric zinc smelter, lead
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, the road winds upward through the Daryal gorge. Skirting Mt. Kazbek, it crosses the Caucasus at an altitude of 7,815 ft (2,382 m), descends through the Krestovy Pass, and cuts through forests and villages to its southern terminus at TbilisiTbilisi
or Tiflis
, city (1989 pop. 1,259,682), capital of Georgia, SW Asia, on the Kura River and the Transcaucasian RR and at the southern end of the Georgian Military Road.
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. Following an ancient route used by traders and invaders, it was started by the Russians in 1799 and completed in 1863. The road was protected by military outposts in the 19th cent., during fighting between Russian troops and Caucasian mountaineers.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Georgian Military Road


the historic name of a road across the main Caucasian range (Krestovyi Pass, 2,384 m) connecting the city of Ordzhonikidze (Severnaia Osetiia ASSR) with the city of Tbilisi in the Georgian SSR. The road is 208 km long. It runs in the valley of the Terek, across the Skalistyi Range along the Dar’ial gorge, and then along the gorge of the Baidarka River to the pass, from which it descends to the valley of the Belaia Aragvi River and reaches Tbilisi along the right bank of the Kura River.

The Georgian Military Road was built by Russian troops. Regular transportation was initiated in 1799. After Georgia joined Russia in 1801, the construction of the new improved Georgian Military Road began. In 1863 the roadway was paved.

The Georgian Military Road played a great role in the development of economic relations between Russia and Transcaucasia. During the years of Soviet power the road was reconstructed, and there is now regular motor vehicle traffic on it. All along the road are ancient Georgian monuments, such as cathedrals, fortresses, and watchtowers. Located on the Georgian Military Road are the city of Mtskheta, which was a capital of Georgia in ancient times and which has an 11th-century cathedral; the Dzhvari church-monastery of the late sixth and early seventh centuries; and the Lenin Zemo Avchaly Hydroelectric Power Plant (1927). The road is beautiful, and tourism has developed.


Ardzhevanidze, I. A. Voenno-gruzinskaia doroga. Tbilisi, 1954.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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