The Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria is a federal subject of Russia located in the northern part of the Greater Caucasus on Kabardinskaya plain. It is part of the North Caucasian Federal District. Nalchik is the capital of the region.
The population of Kabardino-Balkaria is about 862,000 (2015), the area - 12,470 sq. km.
Before the founding of Kabardino-Balkaria, two historical regions were located within its territory - Kabarda and Balkaria.
Kabarda consisted of two principalities - Bolshaya (Large) Kabarda and Malaya (Small) Kabarda that occupied the plains and foothills of the present republic, as well as the mountain and alpine area in the upper reaches of the Malka River and its tributaries. Balkaria, divided into five mountain communities, occupied mainly mountainous and highland areas of the present republic.
In 1557, Kabarda formed an alliance with Russia. In 1561, Ivan IV the Terrible married the daughter of the famous Kabardian Prince Temryuk Idarov.
More historical facts…
In 1774, according to the Treaty of Kucuk Kaynarca between the Russian Empire and the Ottoman Empire, the land of Bolshaya Kabarda formally ceded to Russia. In 1827, Balkaria also became part of Russia.
After the Civil War in Russia, Kabarda and Balkaria became the administrative districts of Gorsky Autonomous Socialist Republic. In 1922, Kabardino-Balkar Autonomous Oblast was formed. In 1936, it received a new status - Kabardino-Balkar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.
In 1942, most of the republic including the city of Nalchik was occupied by the Germans during the Second World War. In January 1943, Kabardino-Balkaria was liberated.
In 1944, the deportation of the Balkars in Central Asia and Kazakhstan was organized by the Soviet authorities. It was a punishment for “collaboration” with the Germans during the occupation. The republic was renamed in Kabardian ASSR. In 1957, the Balkars began to return to their homeland and the republic received its old name - Kabardino-Balkar ASSR.
In 1992, it became an independent republic of the Russian Federation.
Beautiful nature of Kabardino-Balkaria
Mountain stream in Kabardino-Balkaria
Mountain waterfalls in Kabardino-Balkaria
On the coat of arms and flag of Kabardino-Balkaria, you can see a two-headed mountain - Mount Elbrus, which is the main natural attractions of the republic. Mount Elbrus (5,642 m) is the highest point of Russia, the Caucasus and Europe.
The maximum length of Kabardino-Balkaria from north to south - 167 km, from east to west - 123 km. The republic’s territory is divided into three main areas - mountainous, foothill and plain. The mountainous and foothill areas occupy a large part of the territory. The plain area is located in the north-eastern part of the region. The main rivers are the Terek, Malka, Baksan, Cherek, Chegem. Forests cover one tenth of the territory.
The climate in the republic is diverse: humid continental climate (plains and foothills), alpine (highlands) and subarctic (mountains). The average temperature in January is from -3 degrees Celsius on the plains to -12 degrees Celsius in the mountains, in July - from +24 degrees Celsius to +5 degrees Celsius respectively.
The national composition of the Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria according to the 2010 census: Kabardians (57.2%), Russians (22.5%), Balkars (12.7%), Turks (1.6%), Ossetians (1.1%). The official languages ??are Kabardian, Balkar and Russian.
The republic’s economy is based on tourism and agriculture: grain crops (wheat, corn, millet), industrial crops (sunflower, hemp), livestock (dairy and beef).
Kabardino-Balkaria is a region of tourism, mountaineering and skiing. There are tourist centers, climbing camps and comfortable hotels. An important part of the republic’s economic potential is its recreational complex, based on curative mineral springs and unique natural environment.
Horses in the mountains of Kabardino-Balkaria
Snowy peaks of Kabardino-Balkaria
Majestic mountains of Kabardino-Balkar Republic
The unique natural wealth and scenic mountain landscapes of Kabardino-Balkaria, the area around Mount Elbrus in particular, attract travelers from all over the world. You can reach Nalchik, the capital of Kabardino-Balkaria, by plane or train from Moscow.
Kabardino-Balkaria is known as one of the main centers of mountaineering in Russia. Six of the seven peaks above 5,000 meters in the Caucasus are located in the territory of the republic: Elbrus (5,642 m), Dykh-tau (5,204 m), Koshtan-tau (5,152 m), Shkhara (5,068 m), Jangi-Tau (5,058 m), and Pushkin Peak (5,033 m).
The main places of interest in Kabardino-Balkaria
Aushigerskiye thermal springs. Therapeutic mineral water beats straight out of the ground and forms a large warm lake.
Chegem Gorge - one of the most popular tourist destinations. It is rich in historic monuments and spectacular landscapes. Chegem waterfalls are the jewel of the gorge. Streams of water cascade down from a height of 50-60 meters forming numerous rainbows. “Chegem” is translated as “broken land.”
Golubyye (Blue) Lakes. Five unique natural lakes are located in Chereksky district of Kabardino-Balkaria: Nizhneye Goluboye or Lower Blue (Chirik-Kel), Sekretnoye, Sukhoye and two Verkhneye Goluboye or Upper Blue. Lower Blue Lake is of particular interest. It is a huge artesian well with a consistently low temperature at all depths.
Mount Cheget. One of the most difficult ski resort tracks in the world known as a venue for national and international competitions in alpine skiing and freeride.
The National Park “Prielbrusye” and Kabardino-Balkaria mountain reserve.