Ermak Travel Guide

 

Nalchik

Nalchik

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Description of Nalchik

Nalchikis a city in the south of Russia, the capital of the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic. It is included in the municipality "City District Nalchik." It bears the honorary title of "City of Military Glory." Being in itself a rather large city, Nalchik is also a resort similar to the cities of the Caucasian Mineral Waters, as well as an important intermediate point on the way to mountain attractions such as Elbrus region.

Perhaps there are no first-class sights in Nalchik, although some examples of Stalinist and modern architecture, a large and pleasant park for walking, silhouettes of high mountains on the horizon and a noticeable Caucasian flavor are of some interest.

 

 

 

History of Nalchik

The territory of modern-day Nalchik was formerly known as Slabada. It was inhabited by native Kabardians, Balkars, Chechens, Adeki, and Cherkese, until around 1743: groups occasionally clashed over and dispute their claims to the land. The modern city dates from the early 19th century when the expanding Russian Empire built a fort there together with settling Mountain Jews in 1818; this date is seen at the top of the city's coat of arms. With the founding of the city of Nalchik, the disputes among the native groups calmed and life improved for the people in the region.

In 1838, a Russian military settlement was founded in the city, and after the Russian Revolution of 1917, in the year 1921, Nalchik was given the status of administrative center of Kabardin Autonomous Oblast.

The word "Nalchik" literally means "small horseshoe" in Kabardian (or Circassian, a Northwest Caucasian language) and Karachay-Balkar (a Turkic language). It is a diminutive of na'l, a common Middle Eastern word (Arabic, Persian, Turkish) for "horseshoe", possibly from the ancient Scythian, 'nalak" (horseshoe). The city of Nalchik was named this way because of how it is shaped as surrounded by the mountains of the land, and the Nalchik River is named after the city it runs across.

During World War II, on 2 November 1942, Nalchik was occupied by Romanian mountain troops (Vânători de munte) under the command of Brigadier General Ioan Dumitrache. Nalchik was the farthest point of Axis advance into the Caucasus, its capture earning the Romanian General the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. The city was heavily damaged during the conflict. Nalchik's Jewish population, mostly Mountain Jews, suffered brutal beatings and tremendous harm at the hands of the Romanians under Nazi orders. However, the Jewish People of Nalchik were able to survive the invasion because they were able to, somewhat, blend in with their neighbors. The Jews and Muslims of Nalchik have supported and protected each other from the tyranny of the Nazis and their allies, who've advanced their forces at the time into the city. Subsequently, due to the harsh treatment of Jewish People by the Soviet Union, there has been a mass exodus of Jews from Nalchik over the decades, reducing the population that is left to a small percentage of what once was.

Nalchik was chosen the "second cleanest city of Russia" in 2003.

On October 13, 2005, Nalchik was attacked by a large group of Yarmuk Jamaat militants led by Shamil Basayev and Anzor Astemirov. Buildings associated with the Russian security forces were targeted, killing at least 14 civilians and wounding 115. Thirty-five policemen were killed in the fighting and eighty-nine militants, including prominent leader Ilias Gorchkhanov, were killed while another fifty-nine were arrested.

 

 

 

 


 

Transportation

 

 

Hotels, motels and where to sleep

 

 

Restaurant, taverns and where to eat

 

 

Cultural (and not so cultural) events

 

 

Interesting information and useful tips