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 Vladikavkaz, 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 Tbilisi. 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.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.