Stavropol Territory was founded on February 13, 1924 under a name of Yugo-Vostochnaya Oblast (South-Eastern Oblast). Its current name Stavropol Territory received in 1943. The area is 66 160 sq. km populated by 2 707 000 people. The capital city is Stavropol populated by 354 900 citizens. Stavropol is 1450 km far from Moscow and is in the same time zone with it. Stavropol Territory is a part of the Southwestern Federal District of the Russian Federation. It borders with Rostov Oblast, Krasnodar Territory, the Republic of Kalmykia, the Republic of Dagestan, the Chechen Republic, the Kabardino-Balkar Republic, the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania and the Karachay-Cherkess Republic.
The climate is continental. Winters in flatlands are mild. Snow cover is unstable. The January average ranges from —4C to —10C (in mountains). Summers in flatlands are very warm with the July average +22+25C. Mountain summers are cool.
Among architectural attractions of Stavropol the most distinguished are the «Krepostnaya Gorka» (Fortified Hill) memorial complex with a fortress wall fragment (1770-1780) that remains in the city center; a bust of A.V. Suvorov; a mosque; the Apostle Andrew Cathedral Church; the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Cathedral (XIX century); a building of a former Gostiny Dvor (Trade center); an old office building; an old gymnasium (mid-XIX century) and a military hospital complex (1840s).
The Central Park of Stavropol is a state protected natural monument. The Park’s history is closely connected with the history of the city. Unique magnificent chestnut alleys that have witnessed Griboyedov, Lermontov and other famous writers would meet tourists of today. These chestnuts were planted by a method of interbreeding the trees planted into one hole. Here you would also see unique flower beds «Zeppelin» and «Airplane» created to commemorate first flights of men and «Varyag» and «Koreets», devoted to Russian ships of the war with Japan. Elegant greenhouses and grottos make the Park a favourite place for recreation among locals.
The Stavropol State Museum of History, Culture, Nature and Landscape Museum-Reserve named after G.V. Prozritelev and G.K. Prave has separate exhibition sectors of history and natural studies. The first one would introduce you to the history of the region from the ancient times through our days, including materials of the War of the Caucasus and documents of the Northern Caucasus settling period. The most interesting and exciting would be ethnographic complexes that represent the household of the peoples that inhabited the Northern Caucasus region. The true pearl of the exhibition is the collection of Caucasian weapons, the basis of which was a private collection given to the Museum by G.N. Prozritelev. In the natural science sector you would see fossils, minerals and plant samples.
Another monument of Stavropol history is the «Tatarskoye gorodishche» (Tatar settlement) located between Stavropol and Tatarka village. This is the largest archaeological attraction of the Pre-Caucasian region that by miracle managed to stay intact inside a relic forest and among city, village and summer houses. The name to the settlement was given by Russian military topographers that were making first maps in the late XVII century. Back then any ancient remains found on southern territories used to be associated with the Tatars, however in this case the Gorodishche has nothing to do with them at all. The founder of the Local Studies Museum G.N. Prozritelev was the first to include the settlement into a list of ancient monuments and marked it on an archaeological map. It appeared that the settlement consisted of three autonomous parts and was inhabited as early as the 7 century B.C. through X-XI centuries A.D., i.e. within four historical periods: the Koban, the Scythian, the Sarmatian and the Khazar. In 1992 it became a basis for a museum-reserve and in 1995 the Tatarskoe Gorodishche received a status of a Federal monument.
Other interesting museums would be Local Studies Museums of Stavropol, Cherkessk, Pyatigorsk, the Kislovodsk Fine Arts Museum named after N.A. Yaroshenko, the State Lermontov Museum-Reserve, a resort exhibition in Pyatigorsk and the architecture of the Kavkazskie Mineralnye Vody (resort cities conglomerate) resort facilities.
For those who prefer outdoor recreation Stavropol Territory could offer a wide range of opportunities. Stavropol Territory is the region of active development of all kinds of tourism ranging from therapeutic to extreme. City-resorts Pyatigorsk, Kislovodsk, Yessentuki and Zheleznovodsk are well-known far beyond Russian borders. Countless numbers of spas and health resorts located in these cities are open for guests year round.
The region is among the first in Russia in terms of flora and fauna diversity. The landscape of Territory stuns with its picturesque relief. The Mineral water sloping plain is specifically distinguished for its 17 so-called «island» mountains. These mountains have peculiar shapes that are reflected in their names — Ostraya (Sharp), Tupaya (Blunt), Kinzhal (Dagger), Verblud (Camel) etc.
Nobody would return unimpressed from a tour to blue lakes of Arkhyz. Having boarded a bus on Nevinnomysskaya station of the North Caucasus Railway tourists would arrive in Arkhyz settlement, which is the starting point for the hiking part of the tour. On the way tourists would cross three mountain passes — Irkiz, Karadzhash and Aylulu of northern spurs of the Main Caucasus Ridge. Here they would enjoy the view of snow-capped summits and numerous waterfalls running down the Sofia mountain glaciers. But the main attraction of Arkhyz is alpine lakes, the most picturesque of which are Sofian. The tour program takes 12 days and requires sufficient physical power from participants. Children under 14 years old are allowed only with grownup relatives.
For more detailed information on the Territory, please refer to Internet resources of governmental authorities of the constituent entity of the Russian Federation.