Georgia/Russia (2,535 m) – Sacred Pagan Site
Mount Kazbek is one of the great mountains of the Caucasus region, and among the tallest mountains in both Russia and the nation of Georgia. It is associated with the local mythology of the area, and may be related to Greek legends as well. Although its name means “glacier”, the glacial coverage on the mountain is minimal due to the steep slopes, with more snow patches.
The region of Kazbek has been inhabited since ancient times. According to local legend, the god Amirani was chained to the mountain for having made fire available to humans. This may have been a basis for the very similar legend of Prometheus in Greek mythology, or vice versa. During the Christian era the mountain was the site of a monastery which may have once housed important religious artifacts in a cave. Kazbek was first scaled in 1868.
Mount Kazbek stands right on the border of Georgia and Russia, with the peak standing just barely on the Georgian side. Although several major roads run through the area, the closest sizeable town is Vladikavkaz twenty miles to the north in Russia, while Tblisi is more than 80 miles away to Georgia in the south. The mountain and its vicinity is now a designated nature preserve in both countries.