The Russian Caucasus is immense. These are, first of all, the famous resorts of Mineralnye Vody, where the best society has been resting for 200 years. These are magnificent landscapes, snowy mountains, beautiful parks. But besides nature, there is something to see here - ancient fortresses, new temples, interesting museums - there are many attractions in every region and in every city.
Top 10 sights of the Russian Caucasus
To visit the Caucasus and not see the famous Pyatigorsk failure? No. Moreover, this is the only attraction, the entrance to which simply cannot be paid - the whole country will laugh. At the entrance to the hole there is a monument to the famous Ostap Bender, the hero of the novel "The Twelve Chairs", who thought of selling tickets here.
Failure is a deep lake-cave on the slope of Mashuk Mountain; it became an attraction as soon as a resort was formed here. It has long been considered a volcano crater, but in reality it simply formed from groundwater in a deep karst crevice of the mountain. The depth of the lake is 41 meters, the level and composition of the water changes depending on the season. Its basis is a hot mineral spring, but in spring fresh water also gets here.
Since 1837, they began to equip the lake: first, a wooden platform was arranged over it, then a tunnel was made in the mountain, then an icon was consecrated and placed in a niche. Already in Soviet times, the entrance to the Proval was finally completed - lion statues were placed on the sides, and the entrance itself was decorated with hewn slabs.
Address. Pyatigorsk, blvd Gagarin
The fortress was built at the very beginning of the 19th century as a Russian outpost in the Caucasus. It was a typical fortification of this time - a pentagonal fortress with bastions. A garrison of married soldiers lived here, the fortress took part in the Caucasian wars, then it became an infirmary, and in Soviet times it became a museum. Now it is protected by the state.
The main gate has been preserved, which is now the symbol of Kislovodsk. There are commemorative plaques on them - A. Pushkin and M. Lermontov were in the fortress. A round tower has survived, which now houses a museum exhibition in three halls. An exhibition of Soviet military equipment is located nearby. Part of the territory is still occupied by the sanatorium.
Address. Kislovodsk, Prospect Mira, 9.
Armenian Church in Vladikavkaz
One of the most beautiful and original churches in Vladikavkaz was built by a large Armenian community in 1868 on the banks of the Terek. It is dedicated to the first Armenian Bishop George the Illuminator. Inside the church, in the altar, there is a small wooden structure - this is the altar of the previous small wooden church that stood on this place. The temple was painted in the style of classicism by Italian artists, and its architectural forms are traditional for Caucasian churches.
Not far from this temple, the famous director Yevgeny Vakhtangov lived - the same one after whom one of the most famous theaters is named. His house has survived, a monument to him has been erected not far from the temple, and a commemorative plaque hangs on the temple itself.
An extensive Armenian necropolis was formed near the temple in the 19th-20th centuries, it was damaged in the Soviet years, but the grave of Kosta Khetagurov, who is considered the founder of Ossetian literature, has survived. Already in the 21st year, a khachkar appeared on the wall of the Armenian church - a carved cross in memory of the Armenian genocide in 1915 in Turkey.
Address. Vladikavkaz, st. Armenian, 1
The face of Christ and the Lower Arkhyz temples
One of the most unusual and interesting shrines in the Caucasus is the face of Christ, a fresco painted right on a rock and considered not made by hands. A staircase with several hundred steps now leads to the image and ends at the observation deck. The length of the stairs is 345 meters. From the height, not only the fresco itself opens up, but also a magnificent view of the surrounding mountains.
At the foot of the stairs is a small new Church of the Savior Not Made by Hands.
And not so far away is a complex of three temples, which dates back to the X century. They are located on the site of the ancient city of Meuse, the capital of the Alanian kingdom, near the village of Nizhny Arkhyz. One of these temples is officially considered the oldest church in Russia.
Some clerks believe that the face of Christ carved on the rock is the same age as these temples, but others will think that it was made not so long ago. One of the temples is in operation, two have been restored, but are deserted. There is also a megalithic circle of stones nearby - most likely, this is a prehistoric calendar.
Resort park Essentuki
Essentuki is one of the oldest Caucasian resorts, along with Pyatigorsk and Kislovodsk. The mineral waters themselves in this area were explored by the famous "holy doctor" F. Haas in 1811, in 1825 a Cossack village appeared here, and since 1839 baths.
The development of Essentuki is connected, like much in the Crimea and the Caucasus, with the name of M. Vorontsov - it was under him that the construction of the gallery and the drainage of the surrounding swamps began. And with him, a beautiful park is being broken, the layout of which has come down to his time. Acacias and poplars were planted. The gallery in the Moorish style, loved by Vorontsov, was finally completed in 1856. Above the regular "Vorontsov" park, another one appeared - the upper one. This is where all the main sources are found. And then, with the construction of the Panteleimon Church in 1896, the park was laid out and around it - this is the youngest part of the resort. Now this church, built in the neo-Byzantine style, is active again, and there are many attractions and other entertainment in the park.
Dagestan Museum of Fine Arts
One of the largest art museums in the Caucasus, the foundation of which dates back to A. Taho-Godi, a Dagestan revolutionary leader. Thanks to his efforts, a significant part of the art treasures from Moscow and St. Petersburg ended up in Dagestan.
There is a lot of Western European and Russian painting: I. Aivazovsky, I. Kramskoy, I. Levitan, V. Surikov, V. Vasnetsov. A separate room is dedicated to the theme of the Caucasus in Russian painting. The art collection of Prince Alexander Baryatinsky, the Caucasian governor in the 1860s, as well as the early Caucasian works of F. Roubaud came to the same museum. In addition, there is a huge collection of Dagestan's own decorative and applied art.
Address. Makhachkala, st. Maxim Gorky, 8.
The most famous mountain in the Caucasus is the magnificent Elbrus, the highest mountain in Europe. Its height is 5642 meters, and at the top there are snow and glaciers. Once this mountain was a grandiose volcano, but it last erupted about a thousand years ago. Some scientists believe that he has not yet fallen asleep, and there is a danger of new eruptions.
Now it is a huge tourist attraction. On the slopes of the mountain there is the Elbrus National Park, in which ski resorts are located: here you can ski from November to May. There are cantata lifts, trails of varying difficulty are equipped.
You can relax here not only in winter, but also in summer - there is, for example, trekking bikes for rent, horse rides, etc. There are several routes for climbers to two mountain peaks, guest houses and shelters are equipped for them - in a word, this is the best place for active recreation in the Caucasus.
Museum of the history of the Cossacks in Stavropol
The Cossack army has been in the tsarist service since the 16th century and defended the southern borders of Russia. It has developed its own culture, traditions, and customs. The Tsarevich was considered the main Cossack ataman since 1827. Now the Cossack culture is actively reviving.
In 2000, a museum dedicated to the history of the Cossacks, primarily the Terek Cossack army, appeared in Stavropol. It tells in detail about the military service of the Cossacks as part of the Russian troops: military uniforms of different regiments, edged weapons, military awards, horse harness are collected. The collection contains old icons and household items, interiors have been recreated. The exposition tells in detail about the history of the Cossacks both before the revolution and after, without hiding problematic and unpopular topics. And its center is a large impressive diorama telling about the life of the Cossack village of the 18th century, which will be especially interesting for children.
Address. Stavropol, st. Vokzalnaya, 24a
Mosque "Heart of Chechnya" in Grozny
The largest mosque in Russia and one of the largest in the world is located in Grozny. It was built in 2008. The mosque is quite traditional in architecture: a wide dome with four minarets, the main mosque of Istanbul was taken as a model. It is designed so that 5000 people can pray in it at the same time. The height of the minarets is 63 meters. The mosque is decorated with several types of marble, quotes from the Koran that adorn its walls are filled with gold plating, and it is also decorated with traditional Chechen ornaments. In the evening, the entire Islamic complex is beautifully illuminated.
There is a huge park with fountains around the main mosque. The mosque is named after Mufti Akhmat-Khadzhi Kadyrov, father of the current President of Chechnya, Ramazan Kadyrov.
Address. Grozny, Khusein Isaev ave., 90.
Fortress in Derbent
The ancient fortifications of the Dagestan city of Derbent are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List - it has existed since the 6th century BC. Once the fortress was part of the huge "Mountain Wall" - a whole system of walls and fortresses that controlled all mountain passes and roads. Those walls and towers that have survived to our time were built in the 6th century A. D. in a strategically important place, in the only possible transition between the sea and inaccessible mountain cliffs.
The fortress was built complex and very solid. The citadel of Narym-Kala, two walls extending from the citadel along the coast and the remains of transverse walls have now survived from it. The most impressive is the almost completely preserved Northern Sea Wall with 43 towers, up to 8 meters high and up to 3, 5. It is one and a half thousand years old, but time has hardly touched it. The southern wall, built on the basis of old fortifications in the 19th century, is much worse preserved. The most interesting thing is the citadel on a high hillside - it has 4 levels. Several gates, water storage facilities, the khan's baths of the 18th century and the ruins of the khan's palace itself, the remains of a Christian temple of the 4th century and a prison have survived.