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Georgian Military Highway

Long before the first people settled in Georgia, travelers and traders were making their way through the Caucasus Mountains, following rivers through valleys that lay between the steep mountains. The route was especially important to the kings of Iberia, a kingdom founded in the eastern part of present-day Georgia, between the sixth and fourth centuries, that was allied to the Romans.

Their capital, Mtskheta, was at the southern end of the route. The journey was not easy; it took three days, and at times people had to walk single file. A chain of stone watchtowers was built along the route so an alarm could be passed when invaders were coming. In 1803, Russian general Yermolov began to construct a bigger road on the same route. Today it is called the Georgian Military Highway. Although rail and air routes have supplanted its strategic importance, it was still used as an important military artery during both the first and second world wars.


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