Stavropol Krai covers 66,500 square kilometers (25,700 square miles), is home to about 2.7 million people and has a population density of 42 people per square kilometer. About 57 percent of the population live in urban areas. The city of Stavropol is the capital and largest city, with about 400,000 people.Most state-like entities in Russia are oblasts (regions). A krai was a type of geographical administrative division in the Russian Empire and modern hin the U.S.S.R. and is one of the types of the federal subjects of modern Russia. Website: Tourist Information Center of the Stavropol Territory:

Stavropol Krai embraces parts of the Kuban River and Kuban steppe and is traditional homeland of the Kuban Cossacks The Caucasus mineral waters resorts of Pyatigorsk, Zheleznovodsk, Yessentuki, and Kislovodsk have been famous since ancient times. Their thermal waters, therapeutic springs and mud have rejuvenated millions of people. Among the first Russians to be treated with these waters were soldiers of the Caucasus line. The first Caucasus mineral sanatorium was built in 1803.

Stavropol Krai has more to offer than Cossacks and health resorts. Archeologists have discovered 20 settlements and towns here, some of which are more than three thousand years old. The traditional life in Stavropol is associated with vine growing and wine making. On the slopes of the Mashuk hill is a modest monument commemorating the duel fought by the writer Mikhail Lermontov.

Stavropol is a land of mountains, ancient fortresses, the first Russian resorts and Cossack villages spread out at the bottom of the former Sarmatian sea. The first Cossacks — Terek and Kuban — settled in the Stavropol region in the second half of the 18th century without the approval of state authorities, as was the way of the Cossacks.

Stavropol means “cross”. The name is explained in different ways. According to one story, a cruciform stone was dug up during the construction of the fortress that would bear the Stavropol name. According to another story, the fortress was marked on a map with a cross to distinguish it from other forts on the Azov-Mozdok line. In any case, an image of the cross is now on Stavropol’s flag and coat of arms.

Tourism in Stavropol

Accommodation: here are 122 sanatoriums and more than 400 hotels of various levels in Stavropol. A sanatorium course in Yessentuki costs 1672 rubles per day. A single “standard” room at the Hotel “Intourist-Stavropol” goes for 2600 rubles a night. Apartments in Stavropol cost 2000-2300 rubles per day.

Transport in the Region: Buses are the main way of getting around Stavropol krai. To get by bus from Stavropol to Pyatigorsk costs 1100 rubles, to Yessentuki-1350 rubles, to Kislovodsk-1300 rubles (all prices are for one adult round-trip).

Getting There: By Air: : Mineralnye Vody international airport is the main airport in the region. Stavropol Shpakovskoye Airport is located 13 kilometers northeast of Stavropol. If you are heading to the resort, it is preferable to use Mineralnye Vody airport, Many of the of resort the towns are only 30-40 minutes away by car. Flights from Moscow to Mineralnye Vody takes a little more than two hours and tickets start at 4,000 to 7,000 rubles (per adult round-trip).

By Train: Rail links connect some of the resort towns of the Caucasus with destinations in Russia and the former Soviet Union. From Moscow the travel time is about 22 hours The cost of a seat or a berth in a compartment starts at around 5,000s rubles for an adult.

By Car: Motorists have praised the roads of Stavropol are for being smooth, and durable. There are reasonable good links to neighboring regions of the North Caucasus and southern Federal districts.

Kuban Steppe

Kuban Steppe refers to a large are of cultivated steppe in southeastern Russia situated roughly between the Caucasus mountains, the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea and the Volga and Don Rivers. It is a rich agricultural area and the traditional home of the Kuban Cossack group. Many people died here during the forced collectivization in the 1920s and 1930s.

The Kuban steppe is one of the major steppes in Europe, located in between the city of Rostov on Don and the Caucasus Mountains. It is named after Kuban River which flows through it. The Kuban flows mostly through Krasnodar Krai for 660 kilometers (410 miles) but also in the Karachay–Cherkess Republic, Stavropol Krai and the Republic of Adygea. The Kuban flows 870 kilometers (540 mi) north and west from its source near Mount Elbrus in the Caucasus Mountains, eventually reaching Temryuk Bay in the Sea of Azov.

The Kuabn Steppe is part of the Great Eurasian steppe that stretches from Mongolia and the Great Wall of China in the east to Hungary and the Danube River in the west. It is bounded by the taiga forest of Russia to the north and by desert and mountains to the south. It is located at about same latitude as the American plains and embraces a dozen countries, including Russia, China, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrzgzstan and several other former Soviet Republics.

Describing the steppes, Polish Nobel laureate Henry Sienkiewicz wrote in With Fire and Sword, "The steppes are wholly desolate and unpeopled yet filled living menace. Silent and still yet seething with hidden violence, peaceful in their immensity yet infinitely dangerous, these boundless spaces were a masterless, untamed country created foe ruthless men who acknowledge no one as their overlord." Steppes are covered mostly by sparse grass or grasses and shrubs such as saxual. Trees are often stunted. Large trunks, branches and leaves require a lot of water to maintain. When the steppes meet the foot foothills, you can find wild poppies, even wild opium poppies.

Stavropol City

Stavropol (430 kilometers southeast of Rostov-on-Don) is a city of 300,000 with historic ruins from the 10th and 11th century as well as a magnificent forest preserve and botanical gardens. Located on a broad plateau, it was used as military supply depot for the Russian military campaigns in Caucasus and is the traditional home of the Kurban Cossacks.

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev was born in a village of Privolnoe, about 150 kilometers (90 miles) from Stavropol was educated and rose through the Communist party ranks in Stavropol. Sights include the 19th-century St. Andrew's Cathedral and the Regional Museums, with Cossack uniforms, weapons and memorabilia, and an art museum.

Stavropol began as small fortress on the Azov-Mazdokskoy defensive line built in 1777 on the orders of Catherine the Great the Great to protect the southern borders from attacks of Tatars and Turks and become one of the major political centers of the North Caucasus. Among its early residents were Khoperskaya Cossacks, builders of the fortress’s stone cross.

Stavropol is located on the 45 degree latitude line and is thus equal distance from the North Pole and the Equator. It is said if you make a wish on a clear moonlit night at "Pirogov" and "45 parallel" street your wish will come true. Stavropol is said to be one of the greenest cities in Russia. One of the first thing that strikes visitors is an incredible amount of greenery and flowers found throughout the city. Parks and public gardens are common sights It is said over 800,000 flowering plants are planted annually. The city is home to the largest botanical garden in southern Russia.

Sights in Stavropol

Stavropol is a a historical city, there are more than 200 historical cultural and architectural monuments. Castle Mountain is in the historic center of city. In addition to historical monuments, there is a musical fountain. Nearby is the Memorial Fire Eternal Glory. It has a memorial panel that reads: "We won!" and the names of 10,000 heroes who defended the Motherland during World War II.

In the center of the city is located the Alexander area, or, which locals, call "Angel Square" because of a monument located there. In the old days, the area was home to the largest market in Stavropol, where farmers from neighboring villages came to sell their products. The German bridge was built in tsarist times. The largest archaeological site, Ciscaucasia, lies in an area of old-growth forest near Stavropol.

Stavropol State Circus is housed in a building equipped with a modern theater and circus facilities. It hosts circus performances and well as theater events and concerts. Famous Russian stars such as Philip Kirkorov, Vladimir Kuzmin, Irina Allegrova, Sofia Rotaru, Valeriy Meladze and Tatyana Bulanov have appeared as has the singer Maxim and the group Boney M. The building itself looks like like a UFO.

Tatar Settlement (near Stavropol) is an archaeological site covering an area of about 200 hectares with artifacts and remains from different eras. According to archaeologists, Scythians, Sarmatians, Khazars and other groups lived here consistently from the 8th century B.C. to the 10th century. In the crypts and ruins of the ancient fortress archaeologist have found antique ceramics and household items. According to stories, there are unexplained energy failures: cell phones stop working, compasses show the wrong direction, people lose orientation.

Stavropol Cossack Song and Dance Ensemble

The Stavropol Cossack Song and Dance Ensemble has an international reputation. The history of the ensemble starts with 1981 when choreographer Anatoly Pavlovich Brunilin and musical director, composer Viktor Kamyshnikov combined their talents and recruited leading educators, choreographers, musicians, creative young people and students from Stavropol city schools.

Today the group receives funding from Stavropol Ministry of Culture and employs more than 150 people and is comprised of three main creative groups: orchestra, choir and ballet. Honored Artist of Russia Ivan Gromakov has headed the group since the early 1990s. Stavropol enseemble the only professional creative team in Russia that weaves together folk traditions of the Cossack Kuban groups with traditions from the Don, the Volga, Ukraine, North Caucasus, the Central Russian Plains

The ensemble’s programs are structured to tell dance and song stories of Stavropol’s past and present. Themes and inspiration for the musical and choreographic narrative includes Cossack exercises, violent "duels", training and recruiting. Some works feature weapons with the spirited calls harmonics blows and hot youthful dancing. Others have highland harmonics and incorporate Circassian, Ossetian and Karachay dances. Among the audience favorites are fire dances, Cossack pereplyas, charming stanitsa quadrille dances and games with top-instigators.

Spas of the Central Caucasus

Spas of the Central Caucasus ar located among groups of extinct volcanos located where the Kurban steppes rises into the northern Caucasus mountains. The spas have been visited since the 18th century when the upper classes used them to seek relief from variety of ailments and host balls and seek suitable spouses. Today they are visited mostly by middle class holidaymakers and workers who still have Soviet-era holiday privileges.

Known in Russian as Kavkazskie Mineralnye Vody (Caucasus Mineral waters), the region boasts 130 hot and cold mineral springs and the luxurious spas, elegant hotels, parks, gardens and recreation facilities that accompany them.

There are four main spa towns —Kislovodsk, Yessentuki, Pyatigorsk and Zhelznovodsk, each with its own Intourist hotel — plus the transportation hub and industrial town of Mineralnye Vody. The whole area is associated with Romantic writer Mikhail Lemontov who set some of his stories here and was killed in a duel in Pyatigorsk in 1841. He is regarded as Russia’s second greatest poet after Pushkin.

Generally, each spa is associated with a different ailment. In most cases you are supposed to drink the water rather than bath in it to receive its benefits. In some cases you can walk in off the street and enter a building called an “istochnik” ("spring") and drink the water, but in most cases you need a pass which is only given to those staying at the sanatoria. The most famous spas are Narzan Baths at Kislovodsk and the Lemontov Baths at Pyatigorsk. The spas around Lake Tambukan offer silt mud baths. In Stavropol Krai there are more than 120 sources of natural balneal and drinking mineral water. There are mud springs with therapeutic mud.


Pyatigorsk (160 kilometers southeast of Stavropol) is regarded as the capital of the spa region. Located at an elevation of 550 meters and sitting below 993-meter high Mt. Mashuk and 1,401-meter-high Beshtau, it was founded in 1780 and is home to 110,000 people. Pyatigorsk is a pleasant place full of trees and fine views of mountains. Many of the springs are warm (over 60 degrees C) and have a relatively high sulfur content. There are lots of hiking, skiing and mountaineering opportunities. Horse races are held twice a week and classical music concerts are regularly held.

Activities and attractions include the cable car ride to the conical summit of Mt. Mashuk; the Aeolian Harp preservation point; Lemontov's Grotto, a small cave visited by the writer; the Academic Art Galley,; the Spa Exhibition; and Prival, a cave open to the sky where a couple used to dance on a bridge above a pond. A monument marks the spot where Lermontov died in the duel. The Central Flower Park contains the glass-and-metal Lermontov Gallery, a small artificial cave called Diana's Grotto, an eagle sculpture and Chinese pavilion. Elsewhere in town you can find the Spa Research Institute, the Regional Museum and the Lermontov Statue and Museum.

Eagle Sculpture is a famous symbol of the Caucasus Mineral Waters. The bronze eagle with a snake in its claws represents health-improving qualities of the waters. After having been bitten by the poisonous snake, the dying eagle falls into a mineral spring and is brought back to life.

Aeolian Harp (“Eolova Arfa”): An Aeolian harp (also wind harp) is a musical instrument that is played by the wind. Named for Aeolus, the ancient Greek god of the wind, the traditional Aeolian harp is essentially a wooden box including a sounding board, with strings stretched lengthwise across two bridges. The one in Pyatigorsk was built on Mashuk mountain and has a round arbor with columns. Designed by the Bernardazzi brothers architects at the beginning of the 1830s, the harp consists of a wooden case with two harps and stone floor. Under the influence of a wind the vane rotates and produces musical sounds. Now the Aeolian harp is equipped with an electromusical instrument.

Cossack Farmstead Tourist Ethnographic Center (in the village Borgustanskaya 40 kilometers west of the Stavropol) created with the goal of introducing visitors and locals alike to the Cossack culture, life and traditions. It contains a Cossack hut, watchtower and Cossack fortification. There are also theater performances by folklore groups and workshops featuring Cossack crafts.

Place Associated with Mikhail Lermontov and His Death in a Duel

The famous Russian writer Mikhail Lermontov lived in Pyatigorsk and was killed in a duel there The Lermontov State Museum-reserve was founded in 1912. The Lermontov quarter contains houses preserved in their original form that the poet visited and lived in. The most famous is a house with a reed roof, where Lermontov lived the last two months of his life. Places mentioned Lermontov in his poetry include the “Princess Mary” gazebo “Aeolian harp” on mount Mashuk, Elizabethan spring (the present-day center of resort life), Lermontov Grotto (where the poet painted “View of Pyatigorsk”), Cave “Failure” with the famous lake and the rock on which the “Hero of Our Time” were shot by Grushnitsky and Pechorin and the place where Lermontov and Nikolai Martynov fought their duel. The “Tour of Lermontov places Pyatigorsk” stops at these places.

A monument marks the spot where Lermontov died in the duel with Martynov. After visiting Moscow, on May 9, 1841,Lermontov arrived to Stavropol, introduced himself to general Grabbe and asked for permission to stay in the town. Then, on a whim, he changed his course, found himself in Pyatigorsk and sent his seniors a letter informing them of his having fallen ill. The regiment's special commission recommended him treatment at Mineralnye Vody. What he did instead was embark upon the several weeks” spree. “In the mornings he was writing, but the more he worked, the more need he felt to unwind in the evenings,” Skabichevsky wrote. “I feel I'm left with very little of my life,” the poet confessed to his friend A.Merinsky on July 8, a week before his death.

In Pyatigorsk Lermontov enjoyed himself, feeding on his notoriety of a social misfit, his fame of a poet second only to Pushkin and his success with A Hero of Our Time. Meanwhile, in the same salons his Cadet school friend Nikolai Martynov, dressed as a native Circassian, wore a long sword, affected the manners of a romantic hero not unlike Lermontov's Grushnitsky character. Lermontov teased Martynov mercilessly until the latter couldn't stand it anymore. On July 25, 1841 Martynov challenged his offender to a duel. The fight took place two days later at the foot of Mashuk mountain. Lermontov allegedly made it known that he was going to shoot into the air. Martynov was the first to shoot and he aimed straight into the heart, killing his opponent on the spot. On July 30 Lermontov was buried, without military honours, thousands of people attending the ceremony.

Pyatigorsk Sanatoriums and Resorts

Zori Stavropol Sanatorium is located in the center of Pyatigorsk, near the park Flower Garden in its own landscaped grounds. Pyatigorye Sanatorium is near Lake Failure on the slopes of Mount Mashuk For more than half a century, it has welcomed guests. It has its own well-kept park. Lesnaya Polyana Sanatorium is the largest health resort of Pyatigorsk. It is also known as . Preventive clinic Trade Unions' Center for Regenerative Medicine sanatorium Forest Glade.

Don Sanatorium consists of four dormitories and other buildings, in close proximity to each other: the medical building, catering, club gymnastics hall, a swimming pool with sauna, spas and drinking well-room. Pyatigorskaya Balneogryazelechebnitsa is the largest balneological medical institution in the region. Pyatigorsk Clinic Institute of Spa is located in four-storey building located in the heart of of Pyatigorsk at the foot of Mashuk Mountain, just outside mineral water the pump-room.

Zori Stavropol Sanatorium is housed in single complex of buildings located in the city center, in its own protected landscaped area, where the price corresponds to quality spa services. Sanatorii 'Spread' is located in the center of the spa area in the immediate vicinity of the main sources of drinking mineral water in front and MY house museum Lermontov. The territory borders the medical park. Sanatorium Mashuk Boc has been operating throughout the year for more than a quarter of a century.


Kislovodsk (32 kilometers southeast of Pyatigorsk) is the second most popular spa area in the Caucasus. Located at an elevation of 822 meters, it is higher, greener and cooler than Pyatigorsk and is the birthplace of Alexandr Solzhenitsyn. The springs are known for their rich, carbonic waters.Narzan Spring is the most famous. It is housed in a building with a glass dome and Gothic gallery designed by a British architect.

Other attractions include Kurortby park, covering a large area and containing sculptures and exhibitions; the Local Lore Museum, the Culture Museum of Music and Theater; and the Art Museum. Among the hiking destinations are 1,376-meter-high Mt. Maie Sedio and 1,484-meter-high Maly Dzhinal.

Kislovodsk State Circus of Caucasus Mineralnye Vody region is one of main non-spa attractions in the region. The circus has entertained many generations with its magic and produced many circus performers. For many years the circus was under the leadership of Gennady Trakhtenberg.

Ring Mountain is about 900 meters high and is located on the outskirts of Kislovodsk. Over the millennia, winds and rains have eroded an eight-meter-high circular passage through the wall. People like to watch the sunset through this stone ring, which was described by Lermontov. Legends about Ring mountain were told by ancient peoples. It was believed, for example, that a warrior who galloped through the gate in full armor, became invulnerable. Some tourists stand in the arch for good luck.

Museum of AI Solzhenitsyn

Museum of AI Solzhenitsyn honors Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn who born in Kislovodsk in 1918 and lived there during his childhood. The museum is housed in a the house of his aunt MZ Gorin, where the writer lived from 1920 to 1924. In 2008, Presidential Decree house recognized the house a a cultural heritage of federal importance and opened in 2014 as the Information and Cultural Center "AI Museum Solzhenitsyn "(ECC" Museum of Solzhenitsyn ").

The Museum of AI Solzhenitsyn hosts interactive programs, literary readings, art festivals and contests. Permanent exhibition center is connected with Stavropol and Solzhenitsyn’s early life. It has materials on the writer’s childhood and adolescence, the tragic events of war, followed by his development as a writer before the publication in 1962, the novel "One Day of Ivan Denisovich", which brought the author international recognition.

The Later life of Solzhenitsyn covers the writer as a prominent figure in diverse multimedia content. There is an information desk. Touch screens, video screens and tablets can be used took at materials, records, Solzhenitsyn works, interviews with the writer, and fragments of documentaries and feature films,

Multimedia form of organization and presentation of information do AI Museum Solzhenitsyn's most modern branch of the GLM, a kind of testing ground in the application and use of the latest museum technologies and information resources. In 2015, the museum planned to create an Astronomical Club in memory of Solzhenitsyn teaching astronomy at school.

Kislovodsk Spas and Sanatoriums

Narzan Baths is perhaps the most famous spa of the Central Caucasus resort area. Part of the complex is housed in a building with a glass dome and Gothic gallery designed by a British architect. Sanatorium Narzan is located in the historic center of the city near the medical park and railway station, It is The main building is one of the most beautiful in Kislovodsk. It was built in 1903 for the 100th anniversary of the resort. The Narzan Gallery is located at the end of Karl Marx Avenue, The interesting historical monument took ten years to build between 1848 and 1858.

Horizon Sanatorium is one of the most comfortable and well-equipped health centers in Kislovodsk. Sanatorium Zarya Russian President Administration is located in the southeastern part of Kislovodsk medical park. Sanatoriy Gina is located in Kislovodsk Dzhinalskogo at the foot of the ridge. Eight-piece housing accommodates 240 visitors. Sanatorium Narzanov is recognized as one of the best resorts for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Sanatorium. Gorky treats patients with diseases of the cardiovascular system, respiratory system, and musculoskeletal system

Sanatorium Fortress was built in the same place, the birthplace of Kislovodsk resort, next to the walls of the fortress, where there is a mineral water source used since in the middle of the nineteenth century. Sanatorium Sunny features European service and high-quality medical services. Sanatorium Samara offers effective treatment for diseases of the cardiovascular system, metabolic disorders, diseases of the respiratory system, the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system.

Sanatorium Victoria is situated in the central part of the Kislovodsk near the Zhelyabovsky pump-room, Sanatorium. GK Ordzhonikidze is part of the Federal Medical Center and Federal Property Management Agency, which also includes Health Hotel Orbita-2, Sanatorium Kolos is located in the historic center of town. There are also several children Sanatoria. Sanatorium Change of the Federal Medical and Biological Agency of Kislovodsk is located in the center, a few steps from the spa park.

Yessentuki and Its Sanatoriums

Yessentuki (16 kilometers from Pyatigorsk) is the smallest of the Caucasus spa towns. It is home to 15,000 people and its waters are known for curing digestive and kidney ailments. Worth a look are the Art-Nouveau Muslim-style Tehlmann Sanatorium and the African-style Otsr Robsky Baths

Five Thousand Drinking Gallery Meters at Sanatorium Victoria is the largest drinking gallery in Europe, with 5000 visits per shift and three types of mineral water. Mineral Gallery No. 4 is located in the center of a resort zone of the city.Sanatorium Complex Rus is a respectable new resort complex located in the resort and park area of Yessentuki. Tsanderovskiy Institute Mechanotherapy has been conducting mechanotherapy for more than a hundred years. Medical Center Youth is a Children Sanatorium located in the center of Yessentuki, in close proximity to the park and the therapeutic mineral springs. Sanatorium Source is a new, modern versatile medical-health complex.

Sanatorium Miner is regarded as one of the better resorts of the North Caucasus. Sanatoriy Valley Narzanov is located in the heart of the city. Sanatorium Pearl of the Caucasus is situated in the Upper spa park, near the drinking gallery. Sanatorium Russia is the scientific and clinical branch of the Russian Scientific Center of Medical Rehabilitation and Health Resort Russian Ministry of Health. It offers services for health resort treatment and medical rehabilitation.

Sanatorium Kazakhstan is included in the Medical Center of Administrative Department of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan. State Budget Institution of Social Services' Regional socio-health center Caucasus has been functioning since 1996, is located in the southern part of the spa park area of Yessentuki.

Semashko Mud-Treatment Center

Semashko Mud-Treatment Center is regarded a one of the most beautiful spa buildings. It occupies half a block in the center of Yessentuki and is impressive for its austerity and unusual appearance. The greenery of the park that surrounds it provides a perfect background for it rusticated walls made of roughly finished Kislovodsk dolomite. A slender portico with two rows of Ionic columns is accessed ramps guarded by stone lions.

In 1911, the St. Petersburg Society of Architects announced a competition for the design of a mud bath clinic in Yessentuki, The winner — Evgeny Shretter and the Academy of Architecture — received a generous financial reward and created a true architectural masterpiece: a basically classical structure designed to accommodate the, balneology technology of its time.

The clinic started operating in 1915. Although it was constructed long ago, the mud therapy clinic has preserved its traditional functions while incorporating new state-of-the-art equipment. It is now a medical complex with well-coordinated engineering equipment, infrastructure, transfer equipment and facilities, support departments, and the technological process required for mud-bath treatment. The two-storey mud treatment clinic has a basement equipment level and consists of four buildings that have treatment places for 220 patients in 62 booths. The mud treatment clinic, built in the style of Roman baths, now provides treatment for about a thousand people a day.

Visitors can take a guided tour around the mud therapy clinic on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Your guide will tell you about the history of the construction and development of the mud baths. The group visits the rooms, the medical building, the equipment level, and learns about storage and use of Tambukan mud.

Zheleznovodsk and Its Spas and Sanatoriums

Zheleznovodsk (between Kislovodsk and Pyatigorsk) is regarded as the least appealing of Caucasus spa towns. It is home to 70,000 people and is best known for it mud baths.

Sanatorium Health is located in the medical park a 5-minute walk from the city's main sources of water: Slavyanovsky, Smirnovsky, Lermontov. It was founded in 1934. The sanatorium named after the 30th anniversary of the Victory specializes in urological health. It is one of the leading centers in the Caucasus Mineral Waters regions for the diagnosis and treatment urogynaecological diseases.

Sanatorium Mashuk Akva-term is located in the green zone. Sanatoriy Valley Narzanov is located at the foot of Beshtau mountain, five kilometers from Zheleznovodsk. Sanatorium Oak Grove Russian President Administration is a year-round balneological health resort that won a national contest

Mineral Baths of Ostrovsky were built at the end of 1893 and was described as one of the best buildings in Europe at that time. The candy-cane-striped facade of the building is decorated with tall windows with Moorish arches. A wide porch is topped by a colonnade. There are showers and offices equipped with the necessary adaptations. The baths introduced an innovative filling system in which the healing water in the baths was taken directly from wells.

Palace of the Emir of Bukhara

The palace of the Emir of Bukhara (in Zheleznovodsk) is one of the main landmarks of Zheleznovodsk. Its bizarre oriental-style forms give the town a special flair. The dome, minaret, balconies decorated with patterns, ceramics, and intricate carving appear to have emerged from the pages of 1001 Nights. The main entrance to the palace has an elegant stone staircase with several flights of stairs. Sculptures of lions that symbolize the power of the owner. The in Arabic greeting “Peace be upon you, those who enter here” is written on the arch of the palace.

After the defeat of the Emir's army in Bukhara in present-day Uzbekistan in 1875, the Bukhara Khanate became a vassal of Russia. The Emir lived in his khanate, in the small town of Kermine, but was listed in the Terek Cossack Army, and was given a high military rank by the Russian tsar. The emir came to the Caucasus regularly for his health, which is why he wanted to build his own summer residence here. The palace in the Moorish style was designed by architect V. N. Semenov.

In 1910, Seid Khan's son, Tyura-Jan-Mirza-Alim Khan, became the Emir of the Bukhara Khanate. He continued the construction of the palace, which he let the tsar's family use in 1913 on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty. In 1915, the palace of the Emir of Bukhara was turned into a hospital. After the Emir lost his power and the Soviet authorities took over in1920, all his property was nationalized. The palace was converted into the resort of the Central Administration for Social Insurance. After the war, the sanatorium was named after Comrade Ernst Thalmann, the deceased leader of the German Communist Party. In 1960, the health resort was renamed Udarnik (“Highly efficient worker”), but in the 1970s it once again became a part of the resort named after Thalmann.

The palace has a very sophisticated layout, with many passages, staircases, and corridors. The dome and the minaret feature a spiral staircase crowned with crescents. A prayer space is inside the palace. In its front part, there are richly decorated rooms for audiences, which still have their marvelous ceiling decorations. A huge Art Nouveau style fireplace, decorated with tiles, has also survived to the present day, too. In addition to the main building, there is another building, which housed the harem. It is connected with the palace with a flying wooden bridge.

Ethno Village of Nekrasov Cossacks and the Spiritual Molokans

Ethno Village of Nekrasov Cossacks and the Spiritual Molokans (150 kilometers east of Stavropol) is set up in an area settled by descendants of Nekrasov Cossacks who fled to Turkey after the defeat of the Bulavinsky uprising in 1708 and lived there for and two and a half centuries, preserving the language and traditions, and returned to Russia in 1962. Nekrasovtsy Cossacks are descendants of Don Cossacks rebels led by Kondrat Bulavin in 1707-1709.

Entrance to the ethnic village is 120 rubles for adults, 50 rubles for children. Activities including tea ceremonies, workshops on folk crafts-embroidery, clothing, beading, painting, making clay toys-concerts. The ensemble “Nekrasov Cossacks” performs centuries-old songs and dances. From Stavropol to Nowokunski buses. Fare-1400 rubles (per adult round-trip). Travel time 5 hours. Organizer: "Center of traditional Russian culture Nekrasov Cossacks and spiritual Molokans" (postal address:. 357965, Stavropol Territory, Levokumsky district, Novokumskits, Michurin st, 1B.).

Route "Heirs of Traditions" introduces visitors to the cultural and historical heritage Nekrasov Cossacks and spiritual Christians (Molokans). Tourists visit-Nekrasov Cossacks Museum, Old Believer church and the vineyards and wine cellars at JSC Levokumskij. During a visit to ethnovillage tourists get acquainted with the lifestyle, traditions, rituals, traditional crafts Nekrasov Cossacks and spiritual Molokans. Everyone will be able to try on traditional costumes of the Cossacks and spiritual Molokans, bake bread in a Russian stove, cook traditional dishes:. Threefold, plyaschindu, Kanysh with fist pyshechki etc. Compound spiritual Molokans is famous for its honey shop. Steppe grasses honey is said to be cure for colds and asthma. Visitors will also visit houses now occupied by Nekrasov Cossacks family and spiritual Molokans.

Molokans (from the Russian word for "dairy-eater") are members of various Christian sects that evolved from Eastern Christianity in the East Slavic lands. Their traditions — especially dairy consumption during Christian fasts — do not conform to those of the Russian Orthodox Church, and they were regarded as heretics (sektanty). There are almost as many different customs among Molokans as there are Molokans. Some built chapels for worship, kept sacraments, and revered saints and icons, while others (like Ikonobortsy, "icon-wrestlers") discarded these practices in the pursuit of individual approaches to scripture.

Image Sources: Wikimedia Commons

Text Sources: Federal Agency for Tourism of the Russian Federation (official Russia tourism website ), Russian government websites, UNESCO, Wikipedia, Lonely Planet guides, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, National Geographic, The New Yorker, Bloomberg, Reuters, Associated Press, AFP, Yomiuri Shimbun and various books and other publications.

Updated in September 2020

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