Queen Tamar, 1184-1213 The first woman to rule the nation of Georgia in her own right, Queen Tamar is honored by both her nation and her church. By any account, she was a remarkable woman and an enlightened, successful ruler who managed to hold her throne, despite opposition from her own nobles, and brought her nation into a Golden Age. Tamar was born in 1160 to George III and his consort Burdukhan.
Gergeti Trinity Church, Georgia Near the 16,512ft (5,033m) Mount Kazbegi in the Caucasus, this 14th-century church occupies the top of a hill and is accessible by trail as well as a rough jeep track. Photo:uzi yachin