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Republic of Ingushetia

The Republic of Ingushetia was founded on June 4, 1992. It is a subject of the Russian Federation and is a part of the Southern Federal District. The area is 3 600 sq. km with 530 100 citizens populating it. The Republic borders with the Chechen Republic, Georgia and the Republic of North Ossetia.

Major religion is Islam with 80% of the population being Muslim. The capital city of the Republic is Magas inhabited by 500 citizens. It is currently the smallest populated town in Russia. Magas is 1486 km far from Moscow and is in the same time zone.

Magas was founded 14 years ago in the place of an ancient settlement of the same name and became the capital of Ingushetia in 2002 instead of Nazran that stands 4 km of the new town.

The largest city of the Republic is its former capital Nazran (populated by 135 000 people) that was founded in the XVIII century. Every year on October 25 Nazran celebrates «Dosho Guyre» (Golden Autumn) — a folk and ethnographic event. It is a good time for all visitors to get acquainted with national, singing and dancing traditions.

The Republic is proud of the Dzheirakhsko-Assinsky State History and Architecture Museum that was opened in 1988 and includes a number of architecture attractions, like the Myatsil Sanctuary, ancient building constructions of the Beyni settlement, the large castle-like settlement of towers Falkhan with its majestic necropolis of 12 tombs in the north-west of the settlement, the unassailable complex of Metskhal, settlements Erzi, Egi-Kale, Targim and many others.

A lot could be said about the main attractions of Mountainous Ingushetia — ancient battle towers. The most distinguished among them is the unique example of the late medieval architecture, the castle-like complex Vovnushki — towers of striking beauty, power and majesty standing on rocks as if guarding the entrance to the gorge. It is one of the most notable and exotic tower complexes among other buildings of ancient Ingushetia. It is located on high rocky crests of the Guloy-khi river gorge and consists of two separate castles that used to be connected by a pendant bridge. The name «Vovnushki» (the right way to pronounce is «Vouvnushke» with the first stressed syllable) translated from Ingush means «Place of battle towers». Archaeologists and scientists suppose that this tower complex as well as others (Targim, Egi-Kale and Khamkhi) was erected for protection purposes of the Silk Road route. Trade caravans would cross Assinkoe gorge to reach northern slopes of the Main Ridge of the Caucasus and then trailed along the Sunzha River valley to get to present Magas.

One more attraction is hiding deep inside Assinskoe gorge between mountain villages Khayrakh and Puy, which is the historical centre of Ingush settlement. It is one of the outstanding cult architecture memorials, a Christian temple named Tkhaba-Erdy. The temple was erected around the VIII-IX centuries, however the present day edifice dates back to the XIV-XVI centuries architecture. Cornices and arches of the temple have various decorations, specifically floral entrelacs, which is a traditional ornament of Georgian architecture. Facades are decorated with ancient sculpture compositions. However, the temple’s attire also has many typical features of mountainous Ingush architecture, for example, lancet arches, the style of laying etc. Being the largest monument of such kind in mountainous Ingushetia the Tkhaba-Erdy temple is a unique blend of Ingush and Georgian architecture traditions.

In Dzheirakhsky District of the Republic you could visit the «Erzi» Reserve with its rare endemic plants of the Caucasus and rare bird species, for example Caucasian snowcock, peregrine and golden eagle. Here you could also enjoy the Assa River canyon and the famous Shaonsky glacier. The territory of the Reserve borders with the Chechen Republic, while its protection zone adjoins Georgia and the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania.

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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