Hotels, motels and where to sleep
Restaurant, taverns and where to eat
Cultural (and not so cultural) events
Interesting information and useful tips
Description of Makhachkala
Makhachkala is a city in southern Russia, in the
Caucasus, located on the shores of the Caspian Sea. It is the
capital of the Republic of Dagestan and the third largest city in
the North Caucasus region and the largest city in the North Caucasus
Federal District. It forms urban district the city of Makhachkala.
It is the core of the almost million-strong Makhachkala-Caspian
Travel Destinations in Makhachkala
Many streets of Makhachkala were renamed in the
post-Soviet time, but, like in Central Asia, for example, some of
the old names turned out to be very tenacious, and are preserved in
people's memory, in bus routes and even on some maps: be careful.
History of Makhachkala
Makhachkala's historic predecessor was the town of Tarki, now a
nearby suburb, whose history goes back to the 15th century and
possibly much earlier. The modern city of Makhachkala was founded in
1844 as a fortress; town status was granted in 1857. The Russian
name of the city was Petrovskoye (Петро́вское)—after the Russian
Tsar Peter the Great who visited the region in 1722 during his
Persian Campaign. However, among the local Kumyks it was known as
Anzhi-Qala, The Pearl Fortress (Qala means fortress, while Anzhi
means pearl in Kumyk). After gaining city status, the Petrovskoye
fortress was renamed Petrovsk-Port (Петро́вск-Порт) in 1857,
sometimes simply Petrovsk. In 1894, a railway line linked the city
to Vladikavkaz (in present-day North Ossetia-Alania) and Baku (in
present-day Azerbaijan), yet a report from 1904 detailed the spread
of malaria and unsuitable drinking water in the city.
January 1919, during the Russian Civil War, the British No. 221
Squadron Royal Air Force based themselves at Petrovsk. In March they
were joined by No. 266 Squadron and both squadrons were involved in
bombing operations against Bolshevik forces in Astrakhan and
elsewhere. In August 1919 both squadrons were withdrawn from
Petrovsk. The city was invaded by the Red Army in Spring 1920.
As part of the Soviet revolution, place names relating to
monarchy or religion were changed, and thus on 14 May 1921, Petrovsk
was renamed Makhachkala, after Dagestani revolutionary Magomed-Ali
'Makhach' Dakhadaev. On the same day, it became capital of the newly
formed Dagestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. The city
incurred major damage during an earthquake on 14 May 1970.
The area was used as a Soviet-era naval testing station, leaving
behind a curious sea fort off nearby Kaspiysk.
A report of
the International Crisis Group from 2013 describes the city as being
"a city of almost one million and gained spectacular economic
resources due to a construction boom, skyrocketing land prices,
substantial federal funds for reconstruction, infrastructure,
transport, housing, courts and administrative services. But even a
short visit revealed acute problems, including dirty streets,
dilapidated buildings, inadequate utilities, hectic construction,
lack of planning and poorly organized public transport".