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FLASHBACK FRIDAY – THE CRUSADER FORTRESS IN THE CAUCASUS

This is the fortress town of Shatili in an extremely remote Caucasus region in Georgia called Khevsureti. It was built by the Crusaders 1,000 years ago. The Khevsur people who live here trace their ancestry back to these Crusaders and until the 1930s still wore chain mail in feud-battles with other towns. I took this picture in 1991.

American traveler Richard Halliburton (1900–1939) saw and recorded the customs of the Khevsurs in 1935. The Khevsur men, dressed in chain mail and armed with broadswords, wore garments full of decoration made up of crosses and icons.  They don’t do that anymore, but they proudly retain their Crusader Christian heritage – for Georgia adopted Christianity in the 4th century AD.  (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #85 photo ©Jack Wheeler)