A Unique View of the Georgian Military Road
"Following its annexation of Georgia in 1801, Imperial Russia undertook the road’s improvement to facilitate its inexorable drive into the Caucasus. Prior to that, during the reign of Catherine the Great (1762-1796), the Russian Army had surveyed and upgraded a route along the major rivers for the transport of troops and arms, in the process establishing a military outpost and jumping off point at Vladikavkaz. Soon after, the Caucasus became a place of exile for poetic young dreamers who chafed under imperial authority — my favorite kind of people! — and, by early nineteenth century, the combined beauty and savagery of the region began to attract more than just soldiers...."