Stephantsminda (Kazbegi), Georgia

The town closest to the Russian Border on the Georgian Military Road is Stephantsminda.  Most people still call it Kazbegi.  The town itself is not particularly pretty with rundown buildings, jumbles of electric wires and a jungle gym of above ground natural gas pipes typical of old Soviet towns. The natural setting makes up for the open infrastructure.  It sits at the foot of Mt. Kazbeg which rises to 16,512 feet.  However the town’s main attraction is not the mountain but the 14th century Gergetis Sameba (Gergeti Trinity) walled monastery that sits above the town and below the big mountain at 7120 feet above sea level – and reflects light from a glacier that hangs 2,800 feet above the monastery.  (Pictures of the Monastery are featured in the next post.)

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