Nalchik is a city in the south of Russia, the capital of Kabardino-Balkaria Republic. The word “nalchik” means “horseshoe” in local dialects, as the city is located inside a semicircle of mountains resembling a horseshoe. The latter became the symbol of the city.
The population of Nalchik is about 239,000 (2015), the area - 67 sq. km.
The phone code - +7 8662, the postal code - 360000.
Nalchik fortress was founded by General Yermolov in 1818 (or in 1822). Also, according to some sources, the first information about the settlement is related to 1724. Later, in 1838, a military settlement with a population of about 2,300 people was founded nearby. In 1863, the population of Nalchik was 3,500 people.
During World War II, Nalchik, occupied by German troops from October 28, 1942, till January 3, 1943, was badly damaged. Today, the city has a memorial (the Eternal flame) located in the city park commemorating those perished during the war.
More Historical Facts…
Returning to peaceful life was overshadowed by tragic events in the history of Balkar people. On March 8, 1944, by order of Stalin, forced deportation of Balkar people began. They were sent to perpetual exile in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
After the war, Nalchik received a regular street network with a lot of blocks of flats and administrative buildings constructed within the 1950ies and the 1970ies. In the 1960ies, a new general plan was adopted according to which the city began to develop as a resort city.
The distinctive feature of Nalchik is the presence of blocks of private houses, a lot of them were constructed even before the Revolution of 1917. They are “hidden” between high-rise buildings.
In 1991, Nalchik became the capital of Kabardino-Balkaria Republic. Since the beginning of the 1990ies, marked by the collapse of the Soviet Union, perhaps the most difficult times for Nalchik began. However, by the end of the 1990ies, the city began to develop again and became a resort of federal significance in 1999.
In October 2005, Nalchik was attacked by Islamist militants. Another smaller attack on the city occurred in February 2011.
Nalchik is located in the central (piedmont) part of the republic. The city stands on the Nalchik River, in a picturesque place at the foot of the Main Caucasian ridge, at an altitude of 390-600 meters (490 meters in the center) above sea level. The average temperature in January is minus 3 degrees Celsius, in July - plus 22 degrees Celsius.
The city has various industries: machine-building (truck equipment for geological survey and mining), electronics, metal-working, plants producing artificial leather and waterproof cloths.
There is an international airport (regular flights to Moscow) and a train station in the city. But the main railway hub of Kabardino-Balkaria is located not in Nalchik but in the town of Prohladny. Also, there is a wine-making plant which, in particular, produces gas water “Nalchik” from mineral springs situated in the city.
The federal highway Rostov-on-Don - Baku (Azerbaijan) passes through the city. Public transport consists mainly of buses and mini buses. Also, taxi service is well developed.
Rainbow after the rain in Nalchik
Sosruko restaurant in Nalchik
Nalchik as a resort city
Nalchik is a balneological and mountain skiing resort. Almost a quarter of the city is a resort area; private cars are not allowed to ride there. In the resort part of Nalchik and near it, there are about 40 sanatoriums of all kinds. Balneological treatment can include therapeutic mud-baths.
Among the main attractions of Nalchik are four artificial lakes, mineral springs, a rope-way, a huge park named after Atazhukin (one of the largest in Europe), a zoo, and a hippodrome. The scenic mountains around the city are favorable for tourism (hiking and mountaineering).
On Malaya Kizilovka mountain, just opposite the resort part of Nalchik, there is a restaurant complex “Sosruko” (Dolinsk) and observation platforms. You can see the entire city from them, its closest and far neighborhoods and mountain ranges.
Nalchik Museums and Theaters…
- National Museum of the Kabardino-Balkar Republic (Gorky Street, 62),
- Museum of Fine Arts of the Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria (Lenina Avenue, 35),
- Literary Museum (Dolinsk, sanatorium “Elbrus”),
- House Museum of the Kabardian poet and writer A.Shogentsukov (Gorky Street, 35),
- House Museum of M.Vovchok, the only one in Russia museum of the famous Ukrainian writer (Dolinsk, M. Vovchok Street),
- Several exhibition galleries.
- Kabardian State Drama Theater named after A.Shogentsukov (Shogentsukova Avenue, 2),
- Balkar State Drama Theatrr named after K.Kuliev (Balkarskaya Street, 2),
- State Russian Drama Theater named after M.Gorky (400-letiya Square),
- State Musical Theater (400-letiya Square),
- Green Theater (an open-air amphitheater in the city park),
- Puppet Theater (Keshokova Street, 60),
- State Concert Hall (Shogentsukova Avenue, 28).