Antiqua Print Gallery The Darial Gorge
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The Darial Gorge

The Darial Gorge (Ossetic: Dairany kom; Georgian: Darielis Kheoba) is the gorge on the border between Russia and Georgia. It is at the east base of Mount Kazbek, pierced by the river Terek for a distance of 8 metres between vertical walls of rock (1800 m/5900 ft).

Nomenclature

The name Darial originates from Dār-e Alān meaning Gate of the Alans in Persian. The gorge, alternatively known as the Iberian Gates or the Caucasian Gates, is mentioned in the Georgian annals under the names of Ralani, Dargani, Darialani; Strabo calls it Porta Caucasica and Porta Cumana; Ptolemy, Fortes Sarmatica; it was sometimes known as Porta Caucasica and Portae Caspiae (a name bestowed also on the "gate" or pass beside the Caspian Sea at Derbent); and the Tatars call it Darioly.

Importance

Darial was historically important as the only available passage across the Caucasus and has been long fortified — at least since 150 BC. Ruins of an ancient fortress are still visible. The Russian fort, Darial, which guarded this section of the Georgian Military Road, was built at the northern end of the gorge, at an altitude of 1447 m (4746 ft).
The gorge has been immortalized in Russian poetry, notably by Lermontov in The Demon; it has become known as one of the most romantic places in the Caucasus.

(Source Wikipedia)