The Republic of North Ossetia — Alania was founded on July 7, 1924. As a subject of the Russian Federation it is a part of the Southern Federal District. With the total area of 8 000 sq. km it is populated by 701 800 people. The Republic borders with the Kabardino-Balkar Republic, Stavropol Krai, the Chechen Republic, the Republic of Ingushetia, Georgia and a partially recognized state of South Ossetia.
The capital of North Ossetia — Alania is Vladikavkaz with 312 700 population. Vladikavkaz is 1509 km far from Moscow and is located in the same time zone.
Vladikavkas was established at the entrance to the Darial Gorge near an Ossetian settlement Dzaudzhikau in 1784 as a Russian fortress. It received a city status in 1861. Vladikavkaz has repeatedly seen many Russian writers, namely A.S. Griboyedov, A.S. Pushkin, M. Y. Lermontov, L.N. Tolstoy, A.N. Ostrovsky and M.A. Bulgakov. E. B. Vakhtangov — a well-known actor and director was born and went to school here.
Ossetian Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin built in 1860 is the oldest fully intact building erected in the Vladikavkaz fortress even before it was made city. Visitors would also find interesting the Armenian Apostolic Church of St. Gregory the Illuminator built in 1868 and the Sunna Mosque completely renovated and returned to the faithful in 1997. The city centre still has many three- and four-storey brick houses dd. the end XIX — early XX centuries.
Besides the Digorsky State Dramatic Theater guests would find interesting the Ritual Theater «Arvaidan» and the State Theater «Narty». Among museums the most distinguished are the North Ossetian State Museum of History, Architecture and Literature and the House Museum of Kosta Khetagurov — a poet, an enlightener, a painter and a sculptor and the founder of the literary Ossetian language.
The North Ossetia Natural Reserve is one of the best reserves where you could get to know nature of the Caucasus. Its relief is diverse with rocky ridges, coves, sinks, glaciers, shielding and moors. The Reserve flora exceeds 1500 species with a lot of endemics. You could also find here over 44 mammal species, including East Caucasian turs, roes, chamois, wild boars, brown bears, common martens and ermines. The Reserve territory is the passage route for common cranes, steppe eagles, imperial eagles and other migration birds. It is also the nesting place for rare bird species listed in the Red Book, for example, black storks, Caucasian grouses and lammergeyers.
The view of majestic mountains covered by coniferous and hardwood forests with scenic gorges, alpine meadows, glaciers in mountain cols, as well as berries, grapes and fruit in abundance and a multitude of mineral springs would make a vacation in North Ossetia — Alania unforgettable. The Republic has resorts Karmadon, Tamisk and health-resort areas like Zaramag, First Redunt, Tsei and others. There is a health resort Karmadon in Vladikavkaz, a health resort Tamisk and a tourist complex «Skazka» in Alagirsky District, an alpine sports training centre «Tsei» (alpine camp) and the «Orbita» hotel (former rehabilitation centre for cosmonauts) in the Tseisky Gorge. Mineral springs with a number of health resorts established around them would help people with disorders of respiratory apparatus, circulatory system, musculoskeletal system, neurology system and digestive apparatus.
The Republic also has some architectural and historic attractions, including a chapel of the early Middle Ages (XII cent.) in Nuzan settlement, ruins of mosques (XI-XII cent.) and defense walls in Kasarskoye, Kobanskoye, Kurtatinskoye, Digorskoye and other gorges. There are popular tourist trails along the Georgian Military Road that connects Vladikavkaz with Tbilisi and the Ossetian Military Road as well as across the Gizeldona, Fiagona, Urukha valleys and up the Tseisky and Karaugolsky glaciers.
For more detailed information on the Republic, please refer to Internet resources of governmental authorities of the constituent entity of the Russian Federation.