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Home page / Regions / The Caucasus / Pyatigorsk - the town resort

Pyatigorsk - the town resort

I have a wonderful view from three sides. To the west five-headed Beshtau turns blue as a last cloud of a scattered storm; Mastuk, like a shaggy Persian cap, rises and closes this whole park of the sky; it is jollier to look to the east: a clear, new city gleams before me, salubrious springs make a noise, a polyglot crowd make a noise, - and there, farther, like an amphitheater mountains get up on each other bluer and foggier, and a silver chain of snowy tops, beginning from Kazbek and ending with a two-headed Elbrus, stretches on the edge of the horizon. It is jolly to live in such land! A pleasant feeling is poured in all my veins. M. J. Lermontov Hero of our time.

Any guest, who has settled down in Pyatigorsk, considers themselves a little Petchorin. A city towers above other cities not only by its status but also location. It stretches on the slopes of five-headed Beshtau, from which a wonderful view opens. Natural radon and unique muds of Tambukan lake are a pride of this resort.

Nature

Green fund of the city consists of natural forests and cultural plantations fruit gardens, parks, boulevards, street lining. Forests are wood-shrubby (ash, oak, hornbeam, beech, maple, elm, lime, wahoo, buckthorn, elder, cornel, hawthorn, dog-rose, barberry, mountain ash, birch, azalea, asp, etc.). Forests, rising apart in close vicinity to Pyatigorsk, are covered with forests. The highest mountain is five-headed Beshtau. Besh is translated into Russian as pyat (five), tau as towers of a mountain, hence name Pyatigorsk.

Several tens of relic and precinctive plants and over 100 herbs grow on the mountains of Pyatigorje. Beshtaugorsky forest tract with unique picturesque subalpine glades and also forest tracts with rare and vanishing sorts of plants on Lisaya mountain are especially interesting. Steppe valleys and lower slopes of mountains revive and get covered with flowers from the second half of March. In forests - violets, primrose, in the steppe saffron, hyacinth, yellow adonis blossom out as a dense cover.

In the forests and steeps there are many foxes, badgers, weasels, European hares; hamsters, hedgehogs, Russian polecats, campagnols, jerboas are found. Snakes, large lizards are seen sometimes on the mountain slopes. Russian polecat, weasel, fox, sometimes wolf hunt in these places. Squirrels got acclimatized in city alleys and resort parks. The red downy small animals have accustomed here, are not afraid of people, take nuts and seeds out of hands.

The feathered world is unusually rich. Pheasants, millerbirds, yellow wag-tails, sandpipers, ducks are seen in the carse. As for migrant birds, starlings, pigeons, hoopoes, horned owls, swallows, European bee eaters nest in Caucasian Mineral Waters in summer. Crows, rooks, jackdaws migrate in large flocks. White throats, greenfinches, blackbirds, common buntings, goldfinches, chiff-chaffs, shrikes dwell in scrubs. Orioles, nightingales, hoopoes are found in the parks. Woodcocks come flying in spring and autumn.

History of the city

Pyatigorje area has been populated for a long time. Implements, life goods, discovered by archeologists are evidences of it. But the first records about Bish-dag area (five mountains) with a spring of hot water dates to 1334 when the famous Arabian traveler Ibn Battuta had been there.

First records about population of Pyatigorje dates to the middle of XVI century. It was informed that Pyatigorsk Circassians lived in this area. New information about this area appeared only in 1773 when Russian scientist Guldenshtedt quite briefly described Goryachaya mountain (the southern spur of Mashuk) with its crack and a hot sulphuric spring (main), flowing out of it, and also the other hot spring, flowing down to the Podkumok river.

Kabarda together with Pyatigorje passed to Russia according to Kutchuk-Kainardzhiysky peace treaty in 1774. Small Konstantinogorskaya fortress, one of outposts of Azovo-Mozdoksky fortified line, main role in construction of which belongs to A. V. Suvorov, was erected in 1780 in four kilometers from Mashuk mountain, on the bank of the Podkumok river. A settlement, where retired soldiers settled, constantly rose.

Soldiers of the 16th Chasseur regiment, occupying Konstantinogorskaya fortress, paid attention to hot mineral waters of Mashuk mountain. When the famous Russian scientist- traveler Pallas visited Pyatigorje in 1793, soldiers, who lived near the springs, already knew about their healing power, and from them the scientist knew that sulphuric baths are useful in treating of skin diseases, rheumatism, podagra, etc. After visiting and studying of the hot waters by scientists, news about salubrious waters spread widely and widely, attracting sick men from the remotest cities of Russia to the hot waters.

With building of a railway from Rostov-on-Don to Vladikavkaz, connecting station Kuma (at present Mineral Waters) with resorts of Caucasian Mineral Waters, in 1875, an afflux of health-resort visitors rose sharply. A medical base of the resorts rose, building up of Ryatigorsk continued. In 1893 cities-resorts were connected with each other by a branch line. Thus, reviving of resort activity began by the beginning of XX century.

A new stage in development of the resort began since the 50-s. Large hydrogeological researches, exploring worksá øò the result of which Pyatigorsk got new mineral waters (hot narzan, salino-alkaline water of Essentuki type and others).

In the 70-s Pyatigorsk began to get radon water of Beshtaugorsky deposits, waters of which are notable for especially high concentration of radon. New sanatoriums appeared for these years. Now the city expanded more widely on the both banks of the Podkumok river. Pyatigorsk is called not only a city of the health but also a city-museum. In it there are 100 monuments of history, culture and architecture, it is one of historical cities of Russia.

10 sanatoriums, 4 rest homes and 5 sanatoriums-preventoriums functioned in Pyatigorsk at the beginning of the 1990-s. About 170,000 people rested and underwent a cure.

Sights

A cult place is Pirogovsky baths. A wooden soldier hospital, in which the great Russian surgeon demonstrated doctors an anesthetization procedure for operations in the field. Now there are 22 baths with using sulfide mineral waters. Doorway is decorated with a memorial wall with a bas-relief portrait of N. I. Pirogov. Such procedures as shower-massage, whirlpool baths, foot-controlled chamber settings, sulfide baths with oxygen inhalation are provided in Pirogovs baths. More than 650 procedures are carried out for a shift.

On the northern slope of Goryachaya mountain there is Dianas grotto (park Cvetnik). This artificial cave in the park on the northern slope of Goryachaya mountais was constructed by project of brothers Bernardaccy in 1829 in commemoration of the first climbing the Elbrus of participants of an expedition under the direction of general Emanuel. Two cast-iron plates with texts (in Russian and Arabian) about this climbing were set at the entrance of the grotto. According to contemporaries Lermontov was a frequent visitor of Dianas Grotto. And a week before his tragic death the poet organized a ball in this grotto.

Pergolla Eols harp The small stone pergola is one of sights of Pyatigorsk. It is situated on the rocky bench of Mashuk mountain, in the place of a former Cossack security post. Its builders were brothers Dzhuzeppe and Dzhovanny Bernardacy, who were invited by general Ermolov in 1822.

A wooden case with two harps were mounted into the stone floor; a weathercock on the dome of the pergola, turning under the influence of the wind, geared a device, touching strings, - melodic sounds were heard. Hence the name of the pergola Eolas harp (Eol a god of wind). M. J. Lermontov used to come to Eols harp and mentioned it in story Princess Mary.

Hole (the southern slope of Mashuk). One may come here from Academic gallery and Lermontovs grotto. In Lermontovs time there was no tunnel. Tunnel was laid in 1858. And in order to look into the enigmatic depth of the lake in the Hole people had to climb to the crater.

A way from Elizabeths gallery to the Hole were improved and turned into a boulevard at the very beginning of XX century. Besides a promenade alleys, a vehicular road lies here and a tram was set in operation in 1903. Plots for private dachas were allotted on both sides of the boulevard earlier. The dachas were built by individual projects, by well-to-do people. First sanatoriums were organized in them in the 20-s.

Hole zone was proclaimed a resort town. Now ancient fanciful mansions take turns to modern constructions of sanatoriums, which are situated on the boulevard, which is called now after the name of J. A. Gagarin. The boulevard end with a square in which entrance of the tunnel of the Hole is situated.

Duel place (a foot of Mashuk). Distance from Lermontovskaya station to the duel place is 1.5 km. The duel was held in the evening of the 15th july of 1841, Lermontov considered a cause for the duel is vain and expressed his unwillingness to shoot, but his opponent aimed carefully.

A small stone pyramid was erected in the place of the duel in 1881, a temporary monument of gypsum and wood was erected in 1901. The present monument was constructed by project of the famous sculpture B. M. Mikeshin in 1915. It is a stone obelisk with the poets high relief in the center.

The initial burial place of M. J. Lermontov (old graveyard). M. J. Lermontovs body was buried in the Pyatigorsk graveyard, at the bottom of mountain Mashuk on the 17th of July of 1841. After long-lasted troubles E. A. Arsenjeva, Lermontovs grandmother, obtained a permit to shift his ashes in her manor settle Tarkhani of Penza province, where the poets childhood elapsed. In spring of 1842 a leaden coffin with the poets remains was brought away from Pyatigorsk. A monument-obelisk was erected in M. J. Lermontovs initial burial place, on the fence a memorial tablet. The way to the monument is indicated by pointers.

A sculpture of eagle, which has become an emblem of not only Pyatigorsk resort but also the whole Caucasian Mineral Water area, was erected on Goryachaya mountain by the 100-anniversary of the Pyatigorsk resort. The author embodied in the stone a mountain legend about an eagle, which had been mortally bitten by a snake and had found a rescue from the inevitable death in the jet of salubrious water on Goryachaya mountain.

Goryachaya mountain is a foremother also of the Pyatigorsk resort and the town. Already in ancient times inhabitants of these places hacked out stone pools, which were filled with freely flowing salubrious water, on its top. Soldiers of Konstantinogorskaya fortress used these pools at the end of XVIII century. Primitive bathes were built for the first holiday-makers on the mountain.

Pyatigorsk race track was located at the bottom of Beshtau mountain where the Podkumok river flows. Its history began about 105 years ago. Horses of different breeds of private owners took part in the first races. There are the other sources about the races in Pyatigorsk race track for 1906 when from June, 11 to July, 30 14 racing days were organized and prizes to the amount of 14,675 rub. 79 horses, belonging to different owners, took part in the races.

About 1800 racehorses were concentrated in it before the beginning of the civil war. In the war years the race track was closed. Races recommenced only in 1924. Horses of state stables, studs and private persons, mainly half-bred and perfected were tested.

On the territory of the race track (51 ha) there are 12 stables. Half-bred horses of Malokarachai and Malkinsk studs had been tested here for many years. For about two decades in the process of tests the trace track contributed to preserving the gold genebank of the oldest Akhaltekinskaya horse breed.

 

Rest in Pyatigorsk was considered a good taste in the circle of Russian aristocracy, poets, writers, scientists and opera s




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[2009-05-05 06:47:13]
Thank you so much for this article, it was a pleasure to read it. I graduated from one University in Pyatigorsk, now i am in the States. i can say that i miss Pyatigorsk very much, it's a very picturesque town, there's a lot to see,indeed.
[2008-06-16 20:04:40]
how to make a reservation for a patient?and to which resort spa?no names or addresses are on the site!!!!!!


     
 
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