Karachay-Cherkessia Republic is a federal subject of Russia located in the northern part of the Greater Caucasus, to the east and north of Mount Elbrus, part of the North Caucasian Federal District. Cherkessk is the capital city of the region.
The population of Karachay-Cherkessia is about 467,000 (2015), the area - 14,277 sq. km.
The territory of Karachay-Cherkessia was inhabited as early as the Paleolithic era. At the end of the first millennium AD, this region was part of the state of the Alans.
Since the first half of the 19th century (in accordance with the Treaty of Adrianople signed between Russia and Turkey in 1828), the territory of present Karachai-Cherkessia became part of the Russian Empire as Batalpashinsky district of the Kuban region.
January 12, 1922, Karachay-Cherkess Autonomous Oblast was formed. April 26, 1926, it was divided into Karachay Autonomous Region, Cherkess National District, Batalpashinsky and Zelenchuksky districts.
More historical facts…
October 12, 1943, Karachay Autonomous Region was abolished. November 2, 1943, Karachays were deported to Central Asia and Kazakhstan as “accomplices” of Nazi Germany. The southern part of Karachay oblast became part of Georgia (as Kluhorsky district), and the remaining large part was joined to the Stavropol krai.
January 12, 1957, after rehabilitation of Karachays, Cherkess Autonomous Oblast was transformed into Karachay-Cherkessia Autonomous Region of the Stavropol krai. April 21, 1992, it became a separate Karachay-Cherkessia Republic of the Russian Federation.
Magnificent nature of Karachay-Cherkessia
Mountainous landscape of Karachay-Cherkessia
Rapid mountain stream in Karachay-Cherkessia
Glacier in the mountains of Karachay-Cherkessia
Karachay-Cherkessia is located in the foothills of the northwestern Caucasus. Most of the republic (about 80%) is located in the highlands. Mount Elbrus, the highest mountain in Europe, is situated on the border with Kabardino-Balkaria. You can see the image of this mountain on the flag and coat of arms of the republic.
The climate is moderately warm, winters are short, summers are warm and long. The average temperature in January is minus 3.2 degrees Celsius, in July - plus 20.6 degrees Celsius. The length of Karachay-Cherkessia from north to south is 140 km, from west to east - 170 km.
There are four towns in the republic: Cherkessk (124,000), Ust-Dzheguta (30,000), Karachaevsk (21,000) and Teberda (8,700). Karachay-Cherkessia is a multinational republic. The national composition according to the 2010 census: Karachays (41%), Russians (31.6%), Circassians (11.9%), Abaza (7.8%), Nogai (3.3%).
There is an abundance of water resources in the republic: about 130 alpine lakes and a lot of mountain waterfalls and hot springs. The region is rich in such natural resources as coal, granite, marble, various ores and clays.
Karachay-Cherkessia is an industrial and agrarian republic. In the north, chemical industry, machine building and light industry are more developed, in the south - mining and wood industry, livestock.
Also tourism, mountaineering (in the south of the region) and resort activities (Dombay, Arkhyz, Teberda and other resorts) are of great importance for the region. On the territory of the republic there are several specially protected areas, including the Teberda reserve and part of the Caucasus Nature Reserve.
Green slopes of Karachay-Cherkessia
In the mountains of Karachay-Cherkessia
The nature of Karachay-Cherkessia is known for its unique attractions: mountains, lakes, glaciers, caves, and forests. This is a great place for active tourism: mountain climbing, mountaineering, skiing, hang-gliding, trekking, picking mushrooms, berries and medicinal plants). In recent years, horse riding is also being developed in the republic as well as rafting, cycling and other outdoor activities.
The resort villages of Karachay-Cherkessia have a lot of hotels, inns, hostels, and lodges. In winter, hotels in Dombay (the largest ski resort) are especially popular. In summer, Arkhyz resort is the most visited place.
Karachay-Cherkessia places of interest
Teberda State Nature Reserve - a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the basin of the Teberda River. Dozens of glaciers cover about 10% of its territory. Dombay Polyana in the southern part of the reserve offers exceptional views of beautiful peaks and glaciers.
Ski resort Dombay - one of the most popular and well-known Russian ski resorts. This urban village is located in the heart of the Teberda Reserve. Steady snow cover lies on the slopes from mid-November to early April.
Four seasons resort Arkhyz. The ski slopes of this resort are more suitable for beginners and have a small length.
Special Astrophysical Observatory - the most powerful astronomical observatory in Russia located in the area of Nizhny Arkhyz at an altitude of over 2,000 meters above sea level.
Nizhny Arkhyz Historical and Architectural Complex in the village of Nizhny Arkhyz.
Sentinsky Historical and Architectural Complex - an open-air museum located in the depths of the Teberda Gorge, near the village of Nizhnyaya Teberda.
Shoaninsky Historical and Architectural Complex. Shoana temple of the 10th century is located on the edge of a rocky ridge towering above the valley of the Kuban River. It is clearly visible from the federal highway Cherkessk-Dombay.
Khumarinskoye ancient settlement located over the village of Khumara on the right bank of the Kuban River, 11 km north of Karachaevsk.
Adiyuh tower and the site of an ancient settlement of the 8th-12th centuries in Khabezsky district, 5 km south-west of Khabez village, on the high bank of the Maliy Zelenchuk River.