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"200th Anniversary of the birth of Mikhail Lermontov"
Issue date: 15th October 2014

Russian Post issued a special commemorative stamp celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Mikhail Lermontov (1814-1841). He was a famous Russian writer, poet and painter. During his life Mikhail Lermontov was exiled to a regiment stationed in the Caucasus and is sometimes known as "the poet of the Caucasus".

The stamp shows a portrait of Mikhail Lermontov by K. A. Gorbunov (1883) and the drawing of Mikhail Lermontov "View of Cross mountain from gorge near Kobi" (1837). The title of this artwork was given by M. Lermontov himself.

In 1839-1840 M. Lermontov published the novel "A Heroe of Our Time", Chapter I of Part I of it entitled "Bela" contains descriptions of a travel through Cross Pass from south (Tbilisi) to north (Vladikavkaz) along Georgian Military Road. Kobi village is the only named one among anonymous villages near the Cross Pass. The Kobi village (Georgia/42°33′41″ N, 44°30′50″ E/altitude 1'987 m) is located 11km north of the Cross Pass in the hollow where 4 gorges (canyons) meet: Hevi gorge from north, Truss gorge from west, Ukhati gorge from east and Baydari gorge from south.

Tourist guide G.I.Anokhin Vostochniy Kavkaz (East Caucasus) - Moscow:Fizkultura i sport, 1978, page 27 reads: In 1824 a cross was built to mark the highest point 2'379 m of Gudauri Pass. It is located at the old track 300m to the east of today's Georgian Military Road. After this cross Gudauri Pass was named as Cross Pass (Krestowy perewal) (42°30′00″ N, 44°27′11″ E), the nearest peak to the east of the old track - a Cross Mountain (Krestowaja Gora) ( 42°29'59"N, 44°27'26"E).

In Georgia the Cross pass is named as Jvary Pass. The altitude of the Cross mountain is approximately 2'850 m. The peak is reachable after 2km of climbing along the steep and narrow ridge to the east from the cross. Gudauri, today a Georgian ski resort, is located (42°29′05″ N, 44°29′06″ E) 11km to the south from Cross Pass.

Lermatov miniaturesheet CaucasusuX

Translation of the text below the stamp:
Portrait of M.Yu.Lermontov by K.A.Gorbunov (1883).
M.Yu.Lermontov. View of Cross mountain from gorge near Kobi (1837).
Page of [long] poem "Sashka" (draft) (1830ies).
Institute of Russian Literature of Russia Academy of Sciences (IRLI RAN).

All 3 items listed are owned by IRLI RAN (Pushkin House, St.Petersburg). 

Russia
Recent Issues
2014
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