The resort region Caucasian Mineral Waters with an area of more than 5 thousand square kilometers. known far beyond the borders of Russia. The main resort towns of KMV are located on the territory of the Stavropol Territory. Lake Tambukan, famous for its healing mud, and the equally popular Narzan Valley, also included in the Caucasian Mineral Waters, are located in Kabardino-Balkaria. The area where many mineral springs originate should be sought in Karachay-Cherkessia. The zone of the Caucasian Mineral Waters can be called the Caucasus. From the south, it is bounded by the peaks of the Main Caucasian Range. Mount Elbrus rises just 20 km from the KMV region.
It is the Caucasus Mountains that form a special climate in the cities of the Caucasian Mineral Waters. They trap rain clouds forming over the Black Sea and provide dry and sunny weather. Kislovodsk, located in the south of the resort area at an altitude of 817-1063 meters above sea level, is a city where there is no sun for only a month a year or a little more. The northern resorts of the Caucasian Mineral Waters - Essentuki, Pyatigorsk and Zheleznovodsk - are known for their dry steppe climate. They are located much lower than Kislovodsk - at the level of 500-650 meters.
The main wealth of the resorts of the Caucasian Mineral Waters is a variety of springs, the water of which helps in the treatment of numerous diseases. Mineral springs are formed high in the mountains as a result of the passage of atmospheric precipitation through granites, limestones, sandstones. In the depths of the mountains, moisture is saturated with minerals and gases and finds a way out in steep slopes.
The most famous resort in the region is called Pyatigorsk. In the city and its environs, about 40 springs with healing water have been discovered, which is used to eliminate problems with the stomach, joints and bones, lungs, nerves, and thyroid gland. Help at the resort and patients suffering from improper metabolism and immunity disorders. So that the guests of the resort can easily have access to the mineral water springs, pump rooms and special galleries have been created for them, where you can hide from the sun and wind. There are medical complexes in Pyatigorsk, where patients are offered treatment with mud and radon water. There are also comfortable sanatoriums with qualified personnel at the guests' service.
People lived at the foot of Mount Beshtau with five peaks, in honor of which Pyatigorsk got its name, many centuries ago. They knew very well about hot springs and even hollowed out baths in the rock, where water came directly from the springs. At the end of the 18th century, a defensive structure of Constantinogorsk appeared here, which became the center of the future city. Soon the fame of local mineral springs thundered throughout Russia. This was the reason for the organization of the village of Hot Waters, which in 1830 was named Pyatigorsk.
Who just did not come here "on the waters". Perhaps the most famous local vacationer was Mikhail Yurievich Lermontov. Now in Pyatigorsk they conduct excursions to the Lermontov places. Near Pyatigorsk, on Mount Mashuk, he died in a duel.
In general, Mount Mashuk is a well-known place for long, thoughtful walks. There are many attractions on it, which lead to special tourist routes. Among them are the gazebo "Aeolian Harp", an observation deck on the top of the mountain, "Lermontov's House", where the poet lived until his death. It is imperative to take a photo for memory against the background of the symbol of Pyatigorsk - a sculpture of an eagle with a snake in its claws. She can be found on Goryachaya Mountain. There is a Chinese gazebo behind the monument.
Kislovodsk is surrounded on almost all sides by mountain peaks that protect it from strong winds, therefore, when it snows in neighboring resorts, in Kislovodsk people bask in the sun, sunbathe and generally enjoy life.
The development of the resort was influenced by very famous personalities:
- Peter-Simon Pallas. This is a famous scientist, the first explorer of the local Narzan spring. He visited the Kislovodsk region in 1793;
- Irakli Morkov, who led the Russian army in the Caucasus and suffered from asthma. Morkov can be called the first patient who appreciated the miraculous effect of the Kislovodsk mineral water;
- the ruler of the Russian Empire, Alexander I, by whose decree the construction of a fortress began near the resort, where vacationers could take refuge in the event of an attack by the mountaineers. The local garrison was supposed to watch the surroundings around the clock. Some of the soldiers, whose service life had come to an end, settled near the fortification. This is how the first urban district, the Kislovodskaya Sloboda, was founded;
- Alexey Ermolov, general and builder of the Kislovodsk resort. It was he who founded the famous Spa Park, which is now a favorite vacation spot for all tourists arriving in the city.
Many famous writers chose Kislovodsk for health improvement: A. Pushkin, L. Tolstoy, A. Chekhov have been here. The latter wrote the story "The Lady with the Dog" in Kislovodsk.
Kislovodsk is the first of the cities of the Caucasian Mineral Waters, where special "health paths" have appeared, laid along the outskirts of the resort. Walks along these routes, called terrenkury, are prescribed to patients in Kislovodsk along with taking mineral water and various procedures in sanatoriums. The resort welcomes guests suffering from diseases of the cardiovascular, digestive and nervous systems.
In addition to the already mentioned Kurortny Park, among the sights of Kislovodsk, one should note the dolphinarium, which will especially appeal to children of different ages, the Philharmonic Society, where concerts of classical music are often held, the fortress, which now houses the Historical and Natural History Museum, and the relatively new Cathedral of St. Nicholas.
Essentuki is no less popular resort of the Caucasian Mineral Waters than Pyatigorsk and Kislovodsk. Patients with diseases of the stomach, liver and metabolic disorders come here.
The first village on the site of the present resort was founded by the soldiers of Catherine II, whose task was to protect the state border in the south of the country. After 27 years, Cossacks from the Volga Regiment and their households were transferred here. A temple was erected for them, more like a fortress. The attacks of the mountaineers were not uncommon here, so the place for prayer had to be protected especially carefully.
Several years earlier, the local mineral springs, of which there were 23, were investigated by a professor from St. Petersburg - Alexander Nelyubin. And Essentuki gradually acquired the fame of a balneological resort. It is interesting that the first guests, hoping for a speedy recovery, drank mineral water in unlimited quantities. Taking baths with miraculous water was also considered useful. They were equipped right next to the springs so that the tourists of that time did not have to go far. The first equipped baths appeared in Essentuki in 1839.
Visitors in those days were called "coursework", since they arrived for a certain period, the so-called course, necessary for the cure. In the middle of the 19th century, Essentuki received a new impetus for development. Count Vorontsov ordered the establishment of the Resort Park here, which can be seen even now.
The construction of boarding houses, sanatoriums and private dachas began in the second half of the 19th century, when a railway line was laid to the resort. Many private mansions of that time have now become the attractions of the resort. These include the "Eagle's Nest" villa, which once belonged to a rich man named Zimin. It now houses a library. It is worth seeing both the mansion of the doctor Lebedev and the house of Puginov. The building of the local mud baths, erected in 1915, evokes admiration. From the outside, it looks more like an ancient sanctuary with statues of ancient gods and figures of lions. Any guest of Essentuki will sooner or later find himself in the huge drinking gallery "Five-thousanders", which can accommodate 5 thousand people. 3 sources are brought into it.
Zheleznovodsk is another city from the group of resorts of the Caucasian Mineral Waters. It is 19 km away from Pyatigorsk, 21 km from Mineralnye Vody, where the airport is located. This small town is sometimes referred to as the local Switzerland. It occupies a miniature valley formed by the peaks Beshtau and Zheleznaya. A relict forest grows around the city quarters, which provides a unique microclimate similar to the alpine.
Both adults and children are accepted in Zheleznovodsk. Separate sanatoriums have been built for the younger generation. The local mineral water is saturated with iron, calcium and sodium. It helps with diseases of the heart, spine and bones, lungs, stomach. The local hospitals actively use mud from Lake Tambukan.
6 springs with healing water are located in the Spa Park on the slope of one of the main local attractions - Iron Mountain. The park was founded in 1825 and is still used for recreation and walks for the guests of the resort. In the park there is a cascade staircase that used to be used to drain mineral water. Now it is just a beautiful structure with picturesque areas, sculptures and fountains.
Many holiday-makers know the Ostrovsky Baths health resort, named after the co-author of the building project - a relative of the famous writer. It was built at the end of the 19th century.
Another famous architectural monument of the resort is the Pushkin Gallery, where theatrical performances, art exhibitions, poetry meetings are often held. Each visitor is shown a real palace, which in the past belonged to the Bukhara emir. Now it is part of a famous sanatorium.
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