Vladikavkaz, Russia


Description of Vladikavkaz

Vladikavkaz (Oset. Dzudzhikhyu (inf.) - village Dzauga) - a city in southern Russia, in the central part of the North Caucasus. It is the capital of the Republic of North Ossetia is Alania. It forms the urban district of the city of Vladikavkaz. In 2007, Vladikavkaz was awarded the honorary title of the City of Military Glory. Here, a wonderful location at the foot of high mountains on the banks of the turbulent Terek connects with a well-preserved pre-revolutionary architecture, and the Caucasian flavor - with a cosmopolitan atmosphere, from which a distinctive and undoubtedly city has its own face. On top of that, Vladikavkaz stands as a gate on the way to Georgia, to the Ossetian mountains, or to uncharted Chechnya and Ingushetia.


Getting here

By plane
The easiest way is to fly to Vladikavkaz from Moscow, there are several flights a day in this direction. A couple of times a week you can fly to St. Petersburg, occasionally there are flights to somewhere else. There are similar regional airports in neighboring Nalchik and Nazran: the first one is noticeably further away, but you can get there by public transport.

From somewhere far away, you will have to transfer in Moscow or fly to Mineralnye Vody (200 km from Vladikavkaz) and go further by land transport.

1 Vladikavkaz Airport (Beslan) (IATA:OGZ) (25 km north of Vladikavkaz, on the eastern outskirts of the city of Beslan). The airport is a classic Soviet "glass". In the common area on the second floor there is a good pizzeria and a coffee shop. The departure hall is small, with a smaller coffee shop of the same size.
Public transport does not go to the airport, taxi drivers can break any price, but you need to count on 350-400 rubles. (2016). If you are not in a hurry, you can save money by taking a taxi to Beslan itself, where you can transfer to a minibus to Vladikavkaz (depart from the station).

By train
Vladikavkaz is connected by direct long-distance trains to Moscow (daily, 1.5 days on the way), St. Petersburg (every other day, 2 days), Novorossiysk (every other day, 18 hours) and Sochi (every other day, 17 hours). To Rostov-on-Don overnight on the Moscow train. A suburban train runs to Mineralnye Vody (4.5 hours) via Georgievsk.

2 Station, Markova Street, 24. 6:30–20:00. Located on the eastern border of the city center, it is easy to get there either by tram or minibus, or on foot. The station building is still pre-revolutionary construction, inside there should be, among other things, lockers and a rest room. At the station square, don't miss an interesting panel from the Soviet era (see Sights). Next to it are minibuses to Beslan and Mozdok, as well as taxi drivers ready to go there. If you missed the train, they will help you: all trains stop in Beslan for a long time, making it more than realistic.

By car
20 km north of Vladikavkaz, through Beslan, passes the route "Kavkaz" R217 / M29 - the main transport artery of the North Caucasus. To the east, towards Nazran and Grozny, it is most convenient to get to it through Chermen. There is an impressive checkpoint on the border of the republics, where inspection is possible, especially in case of instability in Ingushetia. To the west, towards Nalchik and Caucasian Mineralnye Vody, you can shorten the path somewhat if you go towards Ardon, where you turn onto Kardzhin located on the highway.

The Georgian Military Highway A161 / P301 leads to Georgia and the Dzheyrakhsky region of Ingushetia. Due to bad weather, the Upper Lars border crossing and the segment adjacent to it on the Georgian side are often closed on it. There are no other border crossings to Georgia from Russia; in the event of a long closure of the road, the only possible way is to bypass the entire Caucasian ridge through Dagestan to Azerbaijan, and from there to Georgia.

The road to the city of Alagir then leads to TransKAM A164 / P297, leading to South Ossetia. The same road leads to the mountainous part of the republic, to the Kurtatinsky and Alagirsky gorges, but to Digorsky you need to go through the already mentioned Ardon.

By bus
The entire North Caucasus, large cities of the South of Russia (Krasnodar, Stavropol, Volgograd, etc.), as well as South Ossetia, Armenia and Georgia, have bus connections with Vladikavkaz.

Buses across Russia and Tskhinval depart from one of the two city bus stations: to Ingushetia, Chechnya and Dagestan - from the second, and the rest - from the first. The most frequent flights are to Nazran (where it is convenient to transfer to Grozny), Nalchik, Pyatigorsk, Mineralnye Vody and Tskhinval. Suburban buses across the republic also depart from bus stations.

The situation with buses to Armenia and Georgia is somewhat more complicated. There are many flights there, but almost all of them are passing, so you need to contact the bus companies in advance and discuss the possibility of landing, which may not take place at the bus station at all, but where it is convenient for the driver. Of the direct flights, it is worth noting the buses to Tbilisi (via Stepantsminda-Kazbegi and Gudauri), twice a day from the city and once from the airport, schedule.

3  Bus station No. 1 (Arkhonsky), Arkhonskoye highway, 1 (departure from the city to the northwest). Far from the city center, and getting there on foot is impractical: you should use minibuses, taxis (to the city center - 70-90 rubles), and if you are light, you can walk half a kilometer and take the tram. Buses arriving in Vladikavkaz, as a rule, do not call at the bus station itself, disembarking passengers at the bus stop opposite it.
4  Bus station №2, st. Pushkinskaya, 49 (slightly east of the center). ☎ +7 (8672) 53-80-17. Also on the outskirts, although with a strong desire you can walk here: along the way there will be mostly old, but very nondescript houses. At the entrance - mandatory screening with translucence, people who come "for information" and wander aimlessly are not very fond of, and the schedule on the wall is incomplete.
5  Stop "Market". Convenient for boarding suburban buses to the Kurtatinsky Gorge and Upper Lars, departing from the second bus station.


Transport around

Urban transport is represented by trams, fixed-route taxis and buses, which are practically indistinguishable from minibuses. The fare in buses and trams is 13 rubles, and in minibuses - 15 rubles. (2016); after 20:00, the fare costs 5 rubles more, and the intensity drops significantly. Stops and routes are known by Yandex.Maps.

Trips around the city by taxi are more than justified and rarely cost more than 100 rubles. There are a large number of taxi companies in Vladikavkaz, Yandex.Taxi operates from mobile applications.



Prospekt Mira/ Peace Avenue

Prospekt Mira is the main street of the city and one of its symbols. This is a tram and pedestrian boulevard, leading its history from ancient times. Back in the era of the Vladikavkaz fortress, its commandant Pyotr Nesterov made efforts to improve the territory, including ordering to turn one of the streets into a boulevard, later named after him Nesterovsky. In 1871, in honor of the emperor's visit, the boulevard was renamed Aleksandrovsky and upgraded to a avenue. At the beginning of the 19th century, the current architectural ensemble took shape, somewhat affected only by the demolitions of the Soviet era. In 1961, the avenue gets its current name: the city says that around the same time cars were banned from entering it - in this case, this is one of the oldest pedestrian streets in Russia. Trams, however, remained on the avenue, and the old Tatras only add to its atmosphere.

Throughout its history, the avenue has been one of the favorite walking places for residents and guests of the city. Since pre-revolutionary times, almost exclusively public institutions have been located here: hotels, museums, restaurants, shops. As befits a pedestrian street, there is no shortage of antique benches and lanterns, and tastefully selected music (most often jazz) plays from loudspeakers. The length of the avenue is exactly one verst (slightly more than a kilometer).

Although officially the avenue runs from south to north, it is more interesting to move along it in the opposite direction because of the impressive view of Table Mountain (Madykhokh). It is located about 20 km from the city, its height is 3003 m, and the combination of pre-revolutionary Russian architecture with mountain views of such a height is very rare. On the avenue itself, almost every house is an architectural monument, in addition, all the buildings of the avenue are trying to create a “single facade”, albeit with some differences in height. The most interesting on the avenue, perhaps, are the building of the Imperial Hotel (building 19), the house of the Mutual Credit Society (building 15), the building of the Paris Hotel (building 10), as well as houses 31-35 (with unusually shaped decorations on the roof ) and 42 (with a bay window). Another facet of the avenue is urban sculpture, which later spread throughout the city. There are monuments here to abstract characters (for example, the policeman), outstanding figures of Ossetia and simply famous people somehow connected with the city (for example, Bulgakov, who began his literary experiments in Vladikavkaz).

From the southwest, the central city park adjoins the avenue. This is, in essence, an ordinary park with a pond, summer cafes, sculptures and other familiar attributes. One interesting architectural monument hid in the park - the eclectic 4th mansion of Baron Stengel, a relative of the owner of the Swallow's Nest.



From Mira Avenue in all directions (but mostly to the east) there are quarters of pre-revolutionary buildings with rare later inclusions. Often this development is simple and nondescript, but there are also enough interesting buildings there. There are no national motifs in architecture; one can note the love for unplastered red brick and the general “southern” flavor of streets and courtyards. Religious architecture is distinguished by a variety of denominations and religions (Orthodox churches survived the 1930s worse than others); only the Sunni mosque is truly an outstanding architectural monument, but the rest deserve attention. The Terek embankment is landscaped throughout its length and is good for walking.

Of the interesting urban details, one can note the figures of large cats standing on all the bridges (the leopard is a traditional symbol of Ossetia).

5 Armenian Church of St. Gregory the Illuminator, st. Chermena Bayeva, 13. Built in 1868 in a style reminiscent of ancient Armenian temples, but in red-brick design. Armenians in the city are still numerous, because the temple is active, and next to it you can see the traditional khachkar. Across the street from the church is the house where Yevgeny Vakhtangov grew up.
6 Ossetian Church (Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin on Ossetian Hill), st. Voykova, 22. The church dates back to 1823 - apparently, this is the oldest building in the city and the only one that remembers the Vladikavkaz fortress. As the name implies, the church is located on some elevation, from the observation deck offers the best view of Table Mountain in the center. Around it is a necropolis of prominent residents of Ossetia.
7  Monument to General Pliev. Cavalry General Issa Aleksandrovich Pliev, an Ossetian by nationality, was twice (in 1944 and 1945) awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union, and also commanded Soviet troops in Cuba during the Caribbean crisis. After the collapse of the USSR, his equestrian statue was placed on the banks of the Terek. In its style, it resembles images of Uastirdzhi, the most revered hero of the Ossetian epic, often (but not too correctly) identified with George the Victorious. The view of the monument against the backdrop of the mountains and the Terek is another of the postcard views of Vladikavkaz.
8 Sunni mosque (Mosque of Mukhtarov), st. Kotsoeva / Nalchikskaya st. (shore of the Terek). This is, of course, the most beautiful building in the city, in addition to its remarkable location on the Terek embankment. It was erected in 1900-1908 mainly at the expense of the Baku oilman and philanthropist Murtuza Mukhtarov and according to the project of his "court" architect, the Pole Joseph Ploshko. Vladikavkaz was not a stranger to Mukhtarov - this is the hometown of his wife, the Ossetian Elizaveta Tuganova (Orthodox by religion). In the 1930s, they tried to blow up the mosque, but the Tatar regiment prevented the execution of the order. Architecturally, this small and rather eclectic-looking mosque is usually referred to as the Cairo style. The overall composition, decorative elements, and interiors are good in it - it is usually possible to see the latter, although some travelers reported that for this you have to listen to a little religious propaganda. Unfortunately, the recently built high-rise building somewhat spoiled the classic for the city view of the mosque against the background of the mountains.
9 Vorobyov apartment house, 8 Lenina street / 7 Butyrina street. A three-story apartment building, one of the most impressive in the city. Note the stucco work, especially the black eagle with outstretched wings, as if holding a balcony.
10 Zamkovy's mansion, Ballaeva street, 7. A small modern mansion with an interesting history. The Zamkov family arrived in Vladikavkaz from Central Russia at the beginning of the 20th century with the intention of buying land and building a house on it, but they did not have enough money for this - they had to be content with the much less prestigious Grozny. The Grozny area turned out to be oil-bearing, and a few years later the wealthy Zamkovs triumphantly returned to Vladikavkaz, building their mansion in the very center.
11 Shiite mosque, st. Kirova, 14. In pre-revolutionary Vladikavkaz there was a noticeable Persian diaspora and even a Persian consulate, and at the end of the 19th century a mosque appeared. In Soviet times, a planetarium was located in its building, and now the former mosque is in an almost abandoned state.
12 Lutheran Church (philharmonic building), st. Miller, 34. A large neo-Gothic church built at the beginning of the 20th century. Such churches are quite common in provincial cities, but the architecture is nevertheless pleasant, and this is a rarity for the North Caucasus. Since Soviet times, the building houses the Philharmonic, in 2016 the building was reconstructed in the direction of returning its original appearance.
13 Noskov's apartment building, Revolution Street, 60 / Mayakovsky Street, 29. Pay attention to the corner bay window and the Atlantean sculptures supporting it.
14  House with a panel (Art College), Markova Street, 26 (station square). The wall of one of the Vladikavkaz mansions, now occupied by an art school, is decorated with a very funny mosaic panel dedicated to the establishment of Soviet power in the North Caucasus. Highlanders on horseback are accompanied by the text of the telegram to Lenin Ordzhonikidze about the peoples of the Caucasus, in a single impulse moving towards Soviet power.



15 Memorial of Glory, Kosta Avenue, former Krasnogvardeisky Park. The memorial is dedicated to those who died in the Great Patriotic War and conflicts in the Caucasus. For some reason, at the entrance there is a sculptural composition about the entry of Ossetia into Russia - Catherine II, receiving ambassadors.


What to do

The most logical pastime option, if not part of the "obligatory program" in Vladikavkaz, is trips to the mountains, especially since the choice is quite wide (see Vicinities). Behind the majestic mountains and ancient architectural monuments, it is worth driving several tens of kilometers to one of the gorges, despite the harsh name, almost everything interesting there is accessible by public transport, and even more so by car. If you don’t have much time, you can pay attention to the closest suburbs of the city, where there are also picturesque places.

In terms of how to get to the mountains, there are also many options. As already mentioned, many beautiful places are easily accessible by public transport, not to mention a car. For those who want an excursion program, there are enough travel agencies and private drivers in Vladikavkaz who specialize in such trips. Finally, another option is city tourist clubs that organize (usually on Sundays) trips to interesting and non-standard places - however, such trips will require some initial immersion in the context.

There are no places for active winter recreation in the city and its immediate surroundings, you will have to overcome all the same several tens of kilometers.

1 Arboretum and Bald Mountain, 1st Redant (southern outskirts of the city). There is also an option for a small mountain climb right in the city. The Arboretum is a popular place for walking and cycling among locals. Terrenkur leads from there to the top of Mount Lysaya (1039 m), where there is an observation deck. The cable car marked on many maps has not been operating for a long time.

2  National Museum of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania , Prospekt Mira, 11. Tue–Sun 10:00–18:00. 50 rub. An ethnographic museum, but attention is also paid to archeology and nature. Despite the long history (the museum is over 100 years old), the exposition is small.
3 North Ossetian State Art Museum named after M. S. Tuganov, Mira Avenue, 12. ✉ ☎ 53-01-82; 53-58-67 +7 (8672) 5З-02-79; 53-01-82; 53-58-67. Mon–Tue 11:00–19:00, Thu 13:00–21:00, Fri–Sun 11:00–19:00. 60 rubles, schoolchildren and students 30 rubles. The two-story mansion is often jokingly referred to as the "mini-Hermitage" because of its color scheme. The scale of the collections, unfortunately, differ even more than the scale of the buildings, but paintings by famous artists can still be found there, and the collection of Ossetian art seems to be the only one of its kind.

The Russian Drama, Ossetian Drama and Musical Theaters operate in Vladikavkaz. At the performances of the Ossetian Theater, you can use Russian translation through radio headphones.

The National Opera and Ballet Theater is a branch of the Mariinsky Theater in North Ossetia.

4 Children's Railway (Small North Caucasian Railway named after V. V. Tereshkova), Kosta Avenue (stop "Eternal Flame").



There are few large supermarkets in Vladikavkaz, and you can hardly find local goods in them: everything is imported from the Stavropol and Kuban regions, or even from somewhere further. In contrast, small shops are found at every turn, and the assortment in them is almost completely local, but the main place to buy products traditionally for the Caucasus is the market.

1  Central Market (Green Market), between Kuibyshevskaya, Borodinskaya, Dzhanaeva, Markova, Vatutina streets. 07:00–19:00. The main city market, quite organized in form (and even with metal detector frames at the entrance), but a hectic bazaar in essence. They sell everything they can here. Food stalls are of the greatest interest to travelers - here you can buy Ossetian cheese, churchkhela and other local goods.
2  Shop "Books"   , st. Dzhanaev, 20 (near Prospekt Mira). ✉ ☎ +7 (8672) 501-454, +7 (8672) 501-425, +7 (8672) 501-201. 10:00–20:00. There are several noteworthy bookstores in the area of Prospekt Mira, but this one is traditionally considered the best. There is a large selection of local history literature on Ossetia, and attention is also paid to the rest of the Caucasus. This house itself (the warehouse of the trading company Kirakozova-Oganov) is one of the best monuments in the city.



At almost every step there are stalls with pastries, as well as pasties, shawarma and other types of Caucasian fast food. They usually sell tea, water and all sorts of soft drinks like Coca-Cola. Bakeries with Ossetian pies are no less common, but the food is not “fast” at all - they start cooking it only after ordering, and the process itself drags on for 20-30 minutes. Many bakeries have telephones where pies can be ordered. Coffee machines are also very common in the city, and all of them are absolutely unified. Finally, there is no shortage of ordinary cafes of different price categories, however, in the evenings it can be very crowded.

department stores
Local trade supermarkets "Stayton" and "Nash" are widespread in the city. The ubiquitous "Magnets" and "Pyaterochkas" and similar Russian counterparts, although present, are invisible and are not popular among the local population. Perhaps this is due to the fact that the assortment of local department stores differs sharply from the assortment of all-Russian department stores. In local shops you can buy a variety of Caucasian pastries, salads, Ossetian cuisine, local milk, meat products from the local Dube meat processing plant (the owner is a descendant of a local Frenchman) and drinks from the local Bavaria concern. Ecological lovers should take shoppers with them. Until recently, everything was packed by cashiers into packages by default. The phrase "Is the package necessary (needed)?" appeared quite recently.

Supermarket "Nash" 24 hour supermarket. As a rule, it has its own bakery, so you can always order or buy a freshly baked Ossetian pie even at night. The cost of one large pie, depending on the filling, is from 250 to 300 rubles. The supermarket is interesting for one feature - you can buy strong alcoholic drinks at night on completely legal grounds. They call this a "night bar" - the cashier uncorks the bottle in front of the client and sells it open, thereby bypassing the ban on the sale of alcohol at night.

Pies and pastries
1  Fyddzhyntӕ, Costa Avenue, 178. 9:00–21:00. Legendary place by the standards of the city, primarily known for pies, although you can just eat here inexpensively. Unfortunately, a bit away from the center.
2  Three Pies  , st. Markus, 43. ☎ +7 (8672) 70-08-45, +7 (8672) 50-08-45. 8:00–20:00. Another cult place in terms of pies, although the reviews have been more controversial lately. Takeaway is open, no seating available.
✦  Vincenzo Bakery. The largest Vladikavkaz network "Vincenzo" is divided into two subspecies. In institutions marked "Bakery" they sell pastries and cakes at fairly inexpensive prices. They are accompanied by coffee, which you can take with you.
3   st. Gorky, 13. 08:00–22:00.
4   st. Butyrina, 9. 09:00–21:00.
5 Prospekt Mira, 36. 09:00–21:00.

6  Our, st. Mamsurova, 1 building 1 (Terek embankment, near the monument to Pliev). 11:00–23:00. hot from 200 rubles, menu on the site. Cafe-restaurant of Ossetian cuisine, the menu whimsically combined with rolls. The name in translation from Ossetian means "pumpkin".
✦  Vincenzo Сonfectionery. hot from 150 rubles, menu on the website. Despite the name, this is a cafe (albeit with some bias towards pizza and desserts) with international cuisine, pleasant interior and service. A separate value of these establishments is available in the breakfast menu.
7 Prospekt Mira, 24. Mon–Fri 08:00–23:00, Sat–Sun 10:00–23:00.
8   st. Revolutions, 61. Mon–Fri 09:00–01:00, Sat–Sun 10:00–01:00.
9   st. general Pliev, 17 (TSUM shopping center). Mon–Sun 09:00–23:00.
10 Magic, st. Gorky, 7. Mon–Sun 08:00–23:00. hot from 150 rubles, menu on the site. Democratic and simple-looking cafe. There is also a breakfast, and besides a large selection of tea and coffee (including from the Turks), desserts and even a bar.



Vladikavkaz hotels are both diverse and few in number. In the summer, on holidays or weekends, there may well be no places in the hotel you are interested in. Daily rent of apartments is very common; on the Internet, renters place ads mainly on avito, although something also penetrates booking systems.

1  Hostel №1 (Hostel One)  , st. Kutuzova, 82. ☎ +7 (928) 933-36-98. a place in a dormitory room 400 rubles, a single room 600 rubles. The name speaks, this hostel in Vladikavaz is the first and still the only one, and has already gained some fame.

Average cost
2  Vladikavkaz Hotel, st. Kotsoeva, 75. ✉ double room from 4800 rubles. (2023). Large Soviet-era hotel. Reviews are mixed, but the view from the windows is by far the best in town.
3  Amran, st. Markova, 28. double 1900 rub. (2016). A small hotel near the station, a good budget option.
4  Kadgaron, st. Markova 20. single from 1900 rubles, double from 2300 rubles. (2017). It looks like Amran, is located next to it and differs, apparently, only by including breakfast in the price.
5  Planet Lux (Caucasus), Vatutina street, 50. single from 1800 rubles, double from 3500 rubles (2017). Renovated Soviet hotel. It is still known to the locals by its old name.

6  Imperial Wikidata Element, 19 Prospekt Mira. (2017). The hotel in this building has been located continuously since 1896 - apparently, because (and because of the location) and the extra charge on the cost of rooms. Reviews are conflicting.
7 Alexandrovsky, Prospect Mira, 29. Double from 5300 rubles. (2017). The most luxurious hotel in the city, and it apparently justifies its price.



Free Wi-Fi is available on Mira Avenue, although it does not always work there.


Safety issues

In general, Vladikavkaz is similar to other major Russian cities. Be careful in traditionally unpleasant places for visitors, such as a taxi or a market, walking at night along the outskirts and nooks and crannies may not be the most pleasant. The traffic in the city is intense and somewhat chaotic: they don’t drive on the red light and don’t demolish those getting off the tram, but horsemen meet periodically. Pedestrian crossings are almost always accompanied by a traffic light.

As elsewhere in the North Caucasus, the city has a lot of police, especially at the station, bus stations and the market, as well as government agencies. Until a few years ago, the police were notorious, but now a trip to the city for a few days is likely to do without contact with the police at all. Just in case, you should not take pictures of the aforementioned places, and even more so military facilities and the police themselves.



Vladikavkaz is a convenient starting point for trips to the mountainous regions of North Ossetia. Their main attractions are available all year round, but serious mountain climbing is possible only in summer.

The most popular option for a day trip is the Kurtatin Gorge, along with the nearby "city of the dead" in Dargavs. It is famous primarily for its architectural monuments, although the magnificent nature around is also expected, and mountain hikes for several days are quite possible there. The Alagir gorge is a little further from Vladikavkaz and is more popular with outdoor enthusiasts; the only ski resort in the republic, Tsei, is also located there; there are also architectural monuments there. Digoria is even more difficult to reach and rather unknown, but you can also get there by regular transport; almost all of its territory is included in the Alania National Park. Finally, the Dzheyrakhsky district of Ingushetia, in addition to the mountains, is also known for its tower complexes, is also located not far from the city, and the way there through Vladikavkaz is practically uncontested, and in recent years infrastructure for outdoor activities has begun to appear there.

If the ancient towers do not interest you, there are many beautiful and climbable mountains located directly south of Vladikavkaz These mountain ranges are crossed by the Terek River, forming the Darial Gorge, known, for example, from the “Twelve Chairs”. The Georgian Military Road goes along it, its main attractions are in Georgia, but in Russia the area around it is picturesque, especially in the vicinity of Upper Lars.

From the point of view of further trips around the Caucasus, there are also many options. Vladikavkaz is the only direct land route from Russia to Georgia. Tbilisi is only 200 km from here, and the nearest Georgian city, Stepantsminda (formerly known as Kazbegi), is about 50 km away. Be careful, however, if the Georgian Military Highway is closed due to weather conditions (which sometimes happens), you will have an adventure in the form of a thousand-kilometer "hook" through Azerbaijan or unforeseen expenses for air tickets. Nalchik, the capital of Kabardino-Balkaria and the gateway to the sights of its mountainous part, can also be a continuation of the trip around the Caucasus. A little further to the west are the famous Caucasian Mineralnye Vody.

Finally, Vladikavkaz can be a base for trips to Chechnya and Ingushetia. Significant progress in security in recent years has meant that travel to these republics is no longer a nonsense or a suicidal event, but independent travel there still requires a lot of travel experience and a number of precautions. For lovers of untrodden paths, there is also partially recognized South Ossetia, whose authorities, however, like to consider travelers as spies.

Mountains south of Vladikavkaz
1 Table Mountain (Madykhokh, Myatloam). The three-thousander, divided between North Ossetia and Ingushetia, is located about 20 km from Vladikavkaz and is perfectly visible from its center. Climbing from the side of the village of Beini in the Dzheyrakhsky district does not require special physical training and climbing equipment, and if you spend the night in its vicinity, then it is quite possible to meet the daylight hours; from the Ossetian side, the routes are more difficult. From the top you can see the whole of Vladikavkaz, Kazbek, the Armkhi valley, and if you are lucky with the weather, the view becomes much further, and theoretically even Grozny or Nalchik can be seen (from such a distance, however, they are hardly distinguishable).


History of Vladikavkaz

Fortress Vladikavkaz

The city was founded in 1784 as a Russian fortress at the entrance to the Darial Gorge on the site of the Ingush village of Zaur.

The foundation of the Vladikavkaz fortress coincides with the era of rapprochement between Russia and Georgia. On July 24, 1783, an act was signed in the St. George's fortress on the entry of Georgia under the protection of Russia. This event brought to the fore the question of a convenient and safe communication between the Caucasus Line and Transcaucasia. For this purpose, several fortifications were built between Mozdok and the foot of the Main Range in 1784, the southernmost of which was Vladikavkaz.

On March 10, 1784, a detachment of Russian troops consisting of 3 infantry battalions, 6 hundred Cossacks and 8 guns crossed to the right bank of the Terek and camped near the edge of a grove in the Ingush village of Zaur. The next day, a deputation arrived from this village, as well as near the lying villages of the Ingush: Toti and Temurko. The head of the detachment was invited in the evening to visit the tower of the Gudantov family, which was located here. From the height of this tower, he and his staff surveyed the surroundings and chose the place of the future fortification.

On April 25, 1784, Lieutenant-General P. S. Potemkin reported in a report on the laying of the fortress: “At the entrance of the mountains, I ordered to establish a fortress in the place designated for my review under the name Vladikavkaz.” On May 6, 1784, the Decree of Empress Catherine II on the foundation of Vladikavkaz was issued and the consecration of the Vladikavkaz fortress took place. At the beginning of its existence, the fortress was of exceptional importance to serve, among other fortifications, as a guard post for communication between Russia and Georgia. In the same year, the fortress was equipped with twelve cannons.

Empress Catherine II, in her decree dated May 9, 1785 addressed to the Governor-General of Saratov and the Caucasus P. Potemkin, commanded: Kizlyar from the amount for caressing the Kumyks and other peoples; while observing that the clergy in the church and the fortress do not use oppression or coercion against the peoples there.

In 1804, the Vladikavkaz garrison battalion was formed to protect the fortress, the commander of which was also the commandant of the fortress. Since that time, a reliable connection between the Caucasian line and Georgia was established.

In 1826 the fortress had two bastions and three semi-bastions. The bastions of the northern side of the fortification bore the names of Mozdok and Vladikavkaz. On the eastern side were the semi-bastions Vesyoliy and Polevoy, on the southern side - Tiflis.

The location of the fortress was determined by the modern buildings of the Government House, School No. 5, Pushkin Square, Svoboda Square and adjacent streets.

With the expansion of the outskirts of the fortress and with an increase in the population, trade quickly began to develop, attracting merchants. The appearance of Vladikavkaz began to change, beautiful houses of officers, merchants, and townspeople began to appear.

During the war with the highlanders, the fortress was rebuilt several times. In 1858, Vladikavkaz was surrounded by a stone wall with loopholes and towers. The fortress housed the administration of the Vladikavkaz district and the left flank of the Caucasian line.

On March 31, 1860, when the outcome of the Caucasian War was clear, Vladikavkaz received the status of a city, which soon became the administrative center of the Terek region, created in 1863.

The office of the Ataman of the Terek Cossack army was also located here. The rapid development of the city was facilitated by its connection in 1875 by rail with Rostov-on-Don.

In February 1919, the troops of the Volunteer Army of General A. Denikin entered Vladikavkaz, the city came under the control of the Armed Forces of the South of Russia. Later, the Vladikavkaz underground committee began its activities in the city, coordinating the activities of the Bolshevik underground and partisan detachments. On the night of March 21-22, 1920, when the Red troops reappeared in the Caucasus, the underground began an uprising, during which the post office, telegraph, railway station, main industrial enterprises were occupied, and two armored trains were captured. Part of the garrison went over to the side of the rebels. By March 24, the Council had established control over the city, which was later occupied by regular Red units.


Soviet period

Before the establishment of Soviet power, the city was the administrative center of the Terek region of the Russian Empire.

From January 20, 1921 to November 7, 1924, it was the capital of the Mountain ASSR. By 1924, only North Ossetia and Ingushetia remained in the Mountain Republic. After the final abolition of the Mountain Republic, the North Ossetian and Ingush Autonomous Regions were created. Vladikavkaz was defined as the capital of both regions, in the status of an autonomous city.

On January 15, 1934, by the Decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, the city became the capital of the North Ossetian Autonomous Region. The Ingush Autonomous Okrug was merged with the Chechen Autonomous Okrug into the Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Region.

The peaceful development of the city was interrupted by the war. The Germans created a powerful group to capture the city. The grouping of German troops was stopped and defeated on the outskirts of the city in November 1942 during the Nalchik-Ordzhonikidze operation.

During the Great Patriotic War, 30,000 natives of Vladikavkaz were awarded orders and medals. The city gave the country 22 Heroes of the Soviet Union and 11 generals. On October 8, 2007, Vladikavkaz was awarded the honorary title "City of Military Glory" by the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation.

On July 20, 1990, by the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR, the historical name of Vladikavkaz was returned to the city of Ordzhonikidze.



The formation of the external appearance of Vladikavkaz occurs under the influence of natural conditions, features of historical development. The Terek River remains the main axis of the city's planning. The waterfront areas are being improved more and more.

On April 20, 2020, in Vladikavkaz, thousands of people broke the self-isolation regime introduced in North Ossetia to combat the COVID-19 coronavirus infection and went to the gathering on Freedom Square. 69 people were detained at the action. Leninsky, Soviet and Industrial courts of Vladikavkaz arrested 46 people for a period of 3 to 15 days.


Physical and geographical characteristics

Geographical position

The city is located in the North Caucasus, on both banks of the Terek River, 30 km from the Darial Gorge. The Georgian Military Highway starts from Vladikavkaz.



Climatic conditions: temperate climate zone, softened by the proximity of mountains. Winters are mild, summers are long, but not dry, and generally not too hot. Average temperature in January: -1.9 °C. Average temperature in July: +20.7 °C. On December 5, 2010, the absolute maximum winter temperature in Russia was recorded in Vladikavkaz - the air warmed up to +27.1 °C.



Vladikavkaz is in the MSK (Moscow time) time zone. The offset of the applicable time from UTC is +3:00. In accordance with the applied time and geographic longitude, the average solar noon in Vladikavkaz occurs at 12:01.


Environmental pollution

Production at Electrozinc and other plants causes certain environmental problems. Problems in the sulfuric acid shop lead to emissions of sulfur dioxide and sulfuric gas into the atmosphere. Strong ejections in 2003 are known. A striking example was the ejection on October 5, 2009. The reason for the release to a large extent is the human factor, the inconsistency of the actions of the personnel when starting production after repair, the lack of management of the process by officials, and the poor quality of repair work. The established standards for sulfur dioxide, according to environmentalists, were exceeded by almost five times, for sulfur trioxide - by 196.6 times. On October 28, 2009, mass protests took place in the city. The North Ossetian parliamentarians are ready to submit the problem for discussion to the State Duma of the Russian Federation. In October 2018, a major fire broke out at Electrozinc, the electrolytic shop burned down, during the fire sulfur, arsenic, sulfuric acid vapors and other poisonous gases got into the air. Residents of the city went to the central square demanding the immediate closure of the plant, after which the head of North Ossetia-Alania came out to the protesters and promised to vote for the closure of the plant, as a result, the parliament of the republic unanimously voted to close the plant.