Vladikavkaz is a city located in the south of Russia, in the middle of the North Caucasus. It is the capital of the Republic of North Ossetia (Alania), a large industrial, scientific, cultural, and educational center. In Soviet times, it was called Ordzhonikidze (1931-1944, 1954-1990) and Dzaudzhikau (1944-1954).
The population of Vladikavkaz is about 307,000 (2015), the area - 291 sq. km.
The phone code - +7 8672, the postal codes - 362000-362911.
Vladikavkaz was founded near the Osetin settlement of Dzaudzhikau in 1784. Originally it was a fortress closing the passage in the Darial Gorge, also known as the Iberian Gates or the Caucasian Gates. The name “Vladikavkaz” meaning “the town holding the Caucasus” was given to the fortress by P.S. Potemkin, a Russian military leader and statesman.
Construction of the fortress began in connection with the signing of the Treaty of Georgievsk between the Russian Empire and Georgia and the beginning of construction of the Georgian Military Road.
Since the mid-19th century, the fortress began to take on ever-increasing trade, economic and political importance, in connection with the discovery of a single, short and easy path in the Caucasus for trade and economic cooperation. The Georgian Military Road, crossing the main Caucasus range, as today, was of great strategic and economic importance for Russia. In 1860, Vladikavkaz received the status of a town.
More Historical Facts…
Life and work of the great Ossetian poet, artist and public figure Kosta Khetagurov was connected with Vladikavkaz. The prominent Ossetian cultural figures S. Gadiev, A. Kotsoev, E. Britaev, M. Tuganov and others lived and worked in this town. Such great figures of Russian culture as A. Griboedov, A. Pushkin, M. Lermontov, L. Tolstoy, A. Ostrovsky, A. Chekhov, F. Chaliapin and others visited Vladikavkaz.
In 1931, the city was renamed Ordzhonikidze, a well-known Georgian Bolshevik and a prominent Soviet state and party leader, revolutionary. By the end of the 1980s, the city had a powerful industrial base: machine building and metalworking, electronics, instrumentation, radio industry, repairs of machinery and equipment, non-ferrous and chemical industry, wood processing, construction industry.
In 1990, the historical name was returned to Vladikavkaz. In 2007, it received the honorary title of “City of Military Glory.”
On the street in Vladikavkaz
The lions on the bridge in Vladikavkaz
Vladikavkaz tram and old architecture
The city is located in the north Caucasus, on the banks of the Terek River, 30 km from the Darial Gorge, where the Georgian Military Road begins. This road connects Russia and Georgia.
Vladikavkaz lies in the temperate zone. Winters are mild, summers are long, but not dry. The average temperature in January - minus 1.1 degrees Celsius, in July - plus 21.5 degrees Celsius.
The ethnic composition of the local population according to the 2010 census: Osetins - 63,9%, Russians - 24,5%, Armenians - 3,5%, Georgians - 2,2%, Ingush (1,1%).
Vladikavkaz is connected by railway with the town of Beslan, a large railway hub on the line Rostov-on-Don - Baku. Regular trains to Moscow, Adler, Anapa, Novorossiysk, and St. Petersburg are available. Local electric trains run to Beslan and Mineralnye Vody. Vladikavkaz International Airport is located on the outskirts of Beslan, there are regular flights to Moscow.
Public transport consists of trams, buses and minibuses. The main local industries are food processing, light industry, mechanical engineering, non-ferrous metallurgy.
The embankment of the Terek River in Vladikavkaz
Monument to Dzaug Bugulov - the founder of the Ossetian settlement of Dzaudzhikau
Vladikavkaz places of interest
The main sights of Vladikavkaz include the following:
- Mira Avenue (former Alexandrovsky Avenue) is a historical and cultural center of Vladikavkaz, it is a pedestrian street;
- Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary or simply Osetinskaya Church (1824) - the only surviving building located on the territory of the fortress and the oldest Orthodox church in Vladikavkaz (Voykova Street, 22);
- Armenian Church of St. Gregory the Enlightener (1868) (Chermena Bayeva Street);
- Mukhtarov Mosque or simply Sunni Mosque (1900-1908) - a Sunni mosque standing on the left bank of the Terek River, one of the symbols of Vladikavkaz, an architectural monument of federal importance (Kotsoyeva Street, 62);
- Park of Culture and Rest named after K.L. Khetagurov - one of the oldest parks in the North Caucasus;
- The embankment of the Terek River;
- Vladikavkaz Arboretum;
- Memorial of Glory - an architectural and sculptural complex dedicated to the Second World War (Krasnogvardeyskaya Street);
- Small North Caucasus Railway named after Valentina Tereshkova - the children’s railway located in the southern outskirts of Vladikavkaz;
- Children’s park named after Zhukovsky;
- Part of an old fortress wall built in the 18th century (Pushkina Square);
- numerous two and three-storey brick houses built in the late 19th - early 20th centuries.
Memorial to Soviet soldiers who died in Afghanistan war
Memorial of Glory in Vladikavkaz
Lenin monument in Vladikavkaz
- National Museum of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania (Mira Avenue, 11),
- North Ossetian State Art Museum named after M.S. Tuganov (Mira Avenue, 12),
- North Osetia Museum of Modern History and Culture (Kirova Street, 48),
- North Ossetian Theater Museum named after V.V. Thapsaev (Karla Marksa Street, 77),
- House Museum of K.L. Khetagurov (Butyrina Street, 19),
- Museum of Ethnology (Lenina Street, 19),
- Postal Services Museum (Kosta Avenue, 134),
- Alanya Museum of Antiquities in North Ossetian State University.
Vladikavkaz theaters and other cultural institutions
- North Ossetian State Academic Theater named after V.V. Thapsaev (Karla Marksa Street, 77),
- Republican State Academic Russian Theater named after E.B. Vakhtangov (Lenina Square, 3),
- North Ossetian State Opera and Ballet Theater (Thapsaeva Street, 1),
- North Ossetian State Philharmonic (Millera Street, 34),
- North Ossetian State Digor Theater (Kosta Avenue, 38),
- State Theater of Young Spectators “Sabi” (Titova Street, 13),
- Vladikavkaz Zoo (Kosta Avenue).