Makhachkala (also spelled Mahachkala) is the administrative center of Dagestan Republic located in the southern part of Russia on the shore of the Caspian Sea.
The city is a cultural, economic and scientific center of the southern Russia. In the city there is the Dagestan scientific center of Russian Academy of Science and about 20 research institutes. Makhachkala has a lot of various health resorts.
Airport “Uytash” located in the city is the main airport of Dagestan Republic. The industrial plants of Makhachkala are specialized in wood processing, metal working, electronic, fish processing and others.
Makhachkala population is about 574,000 (2012), land area - 468 sq. km.
The phone code is +7 8722, postal codes - 367000-367999.
During Persian campaign of 1722, Russian tsar 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 received town status and new name Petrovsk-Port in 1857. In 1870, an artificial harbor and a port were constructed.
In 1894-1896, the city was connected by railway with Vladikavkaz and Baku. Freight turnover greatly increased. The first plant built in 1876 was beer brewing one. In 1878, the first printing house was built. Later 2 tobacco plants were constructed.
At the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries, the city started intense growing. A railway Rostov-on-Don - Baku was constructed and trains ran as far as Port-Petrovsk. By 1897, the population was four times more and was over 8,700.
In 1914, a small oil processing plant was constructed. The population grew and was over 24,000, the city was the first among Dagestan cities both in population and economic importance.
In 1921, the city was renamed after Dagestan revolution participant Makhach Dakhadayev (1882-1918). The new word is composed of two words “Makhach” and “kala” (“kala” means fortress). Later Makhachkala became the capital of Dagestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.
In Soviet time the capital of Dagestan rapidly developed, from 1930s till 1980s, the population turned over 10 times more, main industries were founded as well as modern system of education. The city suffered heavy earthquake on May 14, 1970.
In 1990s, the industrial output of Makhachkala was decreasing. The early 21st century changed the structure of industry. During past 5 years the reconstruction of historical part of the city was finished.
A lot of new streets, alleys, boulevards were built including the embankment, Central and University squares and a new park Ak-Gel.
Makhachkala places of interest
Among the most interesting places of Makhachkala is the settlement of Tarki located about 5.5 km from the city on Tarki-Tau mountain.
According to the legend, in the 7th-10th centuries it was a Khazar town Semender there which was the capital of Khazar kingdom till the year of 723. Then it was a village Tarki with 3 mosques, near it there was fortress Burnaya (till 1821) the remnants of which can still be seen.
Central mosque of Makhachkala. Downtown of Makhachkala one of the biggest mosques in Europe is located. It is similar to famous “Blue mosque” 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 Saint Assumption cathedral founded in 1906.