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Karachay-Cherkess Republic

The Karachay-Cherkess Republic was founded on January 12, 1922. As a subject of the Russian Federation it is a part of the Southern Federal District. With the area of 14 300 sq. km it is populated by 434 500 citizens.

The Republic borders with Stavropol Krai in the north, Krasnodar Krai in the west, the Kabardino-Balkar Republic in the east, Abkhazia and Georgia in the south. The Karachay-Cherkess Republic is known for its well-balanced religious situation. There are 185 religious organizations of 15 various religions, trends and persuasions presented on the Republic’s territory. Ethnic composition of the Republic is as follows: 38,5% — Karachai, 33,5% — Russian, 11,3% — Adyg (Cherkess), 7,4% — Abazin and 3,4% — Nogai.

The capital city is Cherkessk populated by 116 300 citizens. Cherkessk is 1327 km far from Moscow and is in the same time zone.

There is a Drama theater in the city and a national ensemble «Elbrus».

In 18 km off Cherkessk you would find the Batalpashinskie lakes, which is the place for common recreation and water sports. South of Cherkessk near a town of Ust-Dzhegut there are burial mounds of the Bronze Age (3-2 century B.C.) where bronze decorations and filleted ceramics have been discovered.

On the Kuban River’s right high bank in Khumara settlement vicinity there is a small plateau with its Khumarinskoye Gorodishche (Settlement), which is a true treasure for keen historians and archaeologists. The total area of the Gorodishche is 25 hectares. Inaccessible from three sides it can only be reached from a road on its eastern side. The Gorodishche is surrounded by a mighty wall 6 meters high. Scientists suppose that the Khumarinskoye Gorodishche was established around the VIII-X centuries by Khazar — Bulgar tribes.

Outskirts of Krasnogorskaya settlement reveal ruins of a guard tower with bulky brick walls and narrow loopholes. In the 1930s there were attempts to reconstruct the tower that is thought to have been built centuries ago.

A lot of medieval cult constructions are found in the River Teberda valley and Lower Arkhyz with the distinguished Byzantine temple dd. X-XI centuries on Mt. Shoana and its contemporary Sentinsky temple in Lower Teberda.

Teberda with its nature and diverse and scenic landscapes attracts thousands of tourists. Highland districts of the Northern Caucasus, including Teberda, were originally inhabited in the 2 century B.C. Tribes living in the Amgata and Mukhu river gorges in the 12 century B.C. used to mine for ore and smelt copper. Scythian and Sarmatian tribes that penetrated the area in the 4-3 centuries B.C. turned from nomads into settlers and started to mingle with local tribes. In the IV century A.D. the North Caucasus saw the Alans. Trying to escape from the Huns they sought shelter in the mountains. A little later mountains of the present Karachay-Cherkess Republic were inhabited by the Khazars and the Bulgars. Traces of Alan-Bulgar settlements could still be found in the Teberda River basin represented by pyramids of stones that the Alans used to remove from fields as well as destroyed irrigation facilities and roads.

Dombai is the most famous ski resort and mountain climbing and hiking centre in the Caucasus. It is known for its magnificent landscapes, trout lakes and a Narzan spring. The resort is located at foothills of the Main Ridge of the Caucasus in Dombai Valley that is a part of the Teberdinsky State Reserve. Teberda and Dombai mountains hide a multitude of relic forests, waterfalls and alpine lakes formed by the retreating glacier at the height of 2690 m. Dombai Valley that is located 1600 m above sea level is the starting point for many hiking trails. And it is only 65 km far from Elbrus summit.

October-November is the time when snow hits the valleys. A firm snow layer forms by November and doesn’t melt away until mid-April. Hence the best time for skiing is December through April. The average temperature of the period from December through February at Dombaiskaya Polyana is —5C. Sunny February days could heat the air over dazzling white slopes up to +15+18C, thus making it possible to ski and tan at the same time. Dombai offers a total of 18 ski slopes of various difficulty. There is a number of lifts and hotels on the territory.

For more detailed information on the Republic, please refer to Internet resources of governmental authorities of the constituent entity of the Russian Federation.

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