Makhachkala is a city in southern Russia, the capital of Dagestan Republic, located on the shore of the Caspian Sea. It is a cultural, economic, scientific, and tourist center of the region.
The population of Makhachkala is about 583,000 (2015), the area - 468 sq. km.
The phone code - +7 8722, the postal codes - 367000-367921.
In the Middle Ages, the Huns, Persians, Arabs were fighting for the possession of “Dagestani Passage”. Tarki village, located on the territory of present Makhachkala, played an important role in the history of this struggle.
In 966, the town was destroyed by the Russian Prince Svyatoslav Igorevich. From the 15th century, Tarki was known as a trading center, one of the stops on the caravan route to the town of Derbent - one of the oldest towns in the world.
During the Persian campaign of 1722, the Russian Emperor Peter I spent some time on Anzhi-Arka Hill. Due to this fact, the settlement, founded on this spot in 1844, received the name Petrovskoye. The settlement became a town and received a new name Petrovsk-Port in 1857. In 1870, an artificial harbor and a port were constructed.
In 1894-1896, the town was connected by railway with Vladikavkaz and Baku. Freight turnover increased greatly. The first plant, built in 1876, was a beer brewing one. In 1878, the first printing house was built. Later, two tobacco plants were constructed.
More Historical Facts…
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the town began to grow rapidly. Rostov-on-Don - Baku railway was constructed and trains ran as far as Port-Petrovsk. In 1897, the population of the town was about 8,700.
In 1914, a small oil processing plant was constructed. The population grew and was over 24,000. It was the first among Dagestan towns both in population and economic importance.
In 1921, the city was renamed after the Dagestani revolutionary Makhach Dakhadayev (1882-1918). The new name is composed of two words “Makhach” and “kala” (“kala” means “fortress”). Later, Makhachkala became the capital of Dagestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.
In Soviet times, the capital of Dagestan developed rapidly. From the 1930s till the 1980s, the city’s population increased by ten times. Makhachkala suffered heavy earthquake on May 14, 1970.
In the 1990s, the industrial output of Makhachkala was decreasing. The early 21st century changed the structure of local industry. In the 2000s, the reconstruction of the historical part of the city was finished.
A lot of new streets, alleys, boulevards were built, including an embankment, Central and University squares, and a new park Ak-Gel.
Makhachkala is located near the foothills of the Greater Caucasus, on a narrow strip of lowland plains of the western coast of the Caspian Sea between Mount Tarki-Tau and the sea, which in the distant past was called “Dagestani Passage.”
The climate is temperate continental. Summers are hot, winters are very mild. The average temperature in January is plus 1.2 degrees Celsius, in July - plus 24.7 degrees C.
Makhachkala is a major tourist and health center. Thanks to the warm climate and favorable geomagnetic environment, a large number of resorts and treatment centers can be found near the city.
“Uytash” international airport, located about 12 km from the city, is the main airport of Dagestan Republic. The airport offers flights to Moscow, St. Petersburg, Krasnodar, Mineralnye Vody, Rostov-on-Don, Surgut.
Makhachkala industrial plants are specialized in wood processing, metal working, electronic, fish processing.
Makhachkala National Composition…
Today, Makhachkala is home to more than 60 nationalities. According to the 2010 census, the population consisted of:
- Avars (26.15%),
- Dargins (15.48%),
- Kumyks (15.12%),
- Lezgins (14.77%),
- Laks (13.97%),
- Russians (6.28%),
- Tabasarans (2.28% ),
- Rutuls (1.41%),
- Aguls (1.04%),
- Azerbaijanis (1.03%),
- Tsakhurs (0.45%),
- Tatars (0.36%),
- Armenians (0.26%),
- Nogai (0.22%), Chechens (0.19%).
Most of the population (about 90%) is Sunni Muslim. The Central Juma mosque is located on Imam Shamil Avenue. The city also has an Orthodox church - Holy Assumption Cathedral on Ordzhonikidze Street, which is the cathedral of the Diocese of Makhachkala.
Makhachkala places of interest
Tarki settlement, located about 5.5 km from Makhachkala on Tarki-Tau mountain, is one of the most interesting places of interest. According to the legend, in the 7th-10th centuries, a Khazar town Semender was located there, which was the capital of the Khazar kingdom till the year of 723. Later, it was a small village Tarki with three mosques. Near it, there was a fortress Burnaya (till 1821). The remnants of it can still be seen there.
The central mosque of Makhachkala (Imam Shamil Avenue) is one of the biggest mosques in Europe. It is similar to the famous “Blue mosque” located in Istanbul. The mosque is becoming larger every year retaining however its proportions and harmony. Originally the mosque was meant for 6,000-7,000 people. As it was expanded, 17,000 people can stay inside at the same time.
Another sight of Makhachkala is Holy Assumption Cathedral founded in 1906 (Ordzhonikidze Street).
Makhachkala Museums and Theaters…
Makhachkala museums and art galleries
- Dagestan State Historical and Architectural Museum named after A. Tahoe Godi (Lenin Square, 53),
- Dagestan Museum of Fine Arts named after P.S.Gamzatova (Gorky Street, 8),
- Museum of Military Glory (Lenin Komsomol Park),
- Museum of the History of Dagestan Theaters (Lenin Street, 38),
- Reserve-Museum - the Ethnographic Complex “Dagestan village” (Gamzatov Avenue, 12b),
- Museum of the City of Makhachkala (Peter I Avenue, Ak-Gel park),
- Museum of the History of the Fishing Industry of Dagestan (Pushkin Street, 37),
- Exhibition Hall of the Artists Union of the Republic of Dagestan,
- Museum of Musical Culture of Dagestan.
Makhachkala state theaters
- Avar Music and Drama Theater named after Gamzat Tsadas (Pushkin Street, 1),
- Russian State Music and Drama Theater named after A.M.Gorky (Gamzatov Avenue, 46),
- Kumyk State Music and Drama Theater named after A.P.Salavatov (Buynaksky Street, 10),
- Lak State Music and Drama Theater named after E. Kapiev (Gamzatov Avenue, 38),
- Dagestan State Puppet Theater (Gamzatov Avenue, 40),
- Dagestan State Opera and Ballet Theater (Gamzatov Avenue, 38),
- Republican Center of Culture (Lenin Square, 2),
- State Theater of Song “Djislam” (Buynaksky Street, 10).