Abandoned ancient village in the mountains of Dagestan
Gamsutl is a picturesque Avar village located on top of Mount Gamsutlmeer, in Gunibsky district of Dagestan. This village is one of the oldest settlements on the territory of the republic.
Translated from the Avar, the word “gamsutl” means “at the foot of the khan’s fortress”, from what historians have concluded that once, in ancient times, Khan chose this place to build his fortress or tower. Gamsutl on Google Maps. Photos by: Olga Stanina.
Unfortunately, neither the name of Khan nor the exact date of the village’s founding were kept in the history.
The place for the fortress was not chosen by chance: the village is located on the very top of the mountain, at an altitude of about 1,500 meters above sea level. In addition, the village is surrounded by cliffs and steep slopes, so it is not easy to get here.
The population of Gamsutl grew and life was seething here even in the 20th century. There were shops, a school, a post office, a hospital and even a maternity hospital. Today, it is hard to believe, but once there was a road suitable for motor vehicles leading to the village.
However, over time more and more people began to leave the village and about forty years ago Gamsutl became completely empty. The reason was quite prosaic: people left for a better life, to study or work in towns or larger villages, and took their families with them.
Today, there are about 70 houses in the abandoned village, originally there were 300 houses.