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Stavropol - Gates of the Caucasus
June 10, 2015 13:01


Stavropol is traditionally called the “Gates of the Caucasus”, although nowadays this title is more suitable for any of the resorts in Mineralnye Vody.

The old railway station of the city is a dead-end station, where the only long-distance trains from the capital come every day. For travelers it is easier to go by road.

However, Stavropol is one of the most important cities in the region. Its significance is evidenced at least by the fact that, among other things, the Institute of Friendship of Peoples of the Caucasus works in the city, and the city’s main university - North Caucasian Federal University - has recently united Stavropol, North Caucasian and Pyatigorsk universities.

“Stavropol” means “the city of the cross”. This name was given to the fortress built in 1777 in the centre of the Stavropol Upland, in the submountain region of the Caucasus. Stavropol is the only big city of the North Caucasus which is not located in the mountains. Interestingly, geographically it is Asia, although no Asian features can be found in this large provincial Russian city.

Before the era of railways (that later left Stavropol aside from busy routes) the path of Tiflis began from here – here are the “Gates of the Caucasus”. By the way, the actual gates can be seen by your own eyes at the beginning of Stavropolsky Boulevard – Tiflis Gates, a recovered triumphal arch built in 1841.

Only part of the wall remained from the Stavropol fortress, besides, one fragment was recreated. The Fortress Hill is the very heart of Stavropol. Today it is a square with various monuments, from the historical Kazan Cathedral to the extremely expressive walking cavalryman of Budyonny’s army. There are many churches, both restored old and new ones. There are also interesting buildings of Stalin era, there are semi-rustic streets, as well as good new buildings. This mixture, where it is impossible to identify one urban style, is a distinctive feature of Stavropol. Even the monument to Lenin in the company of working people is located not far from the austere angel with a cross; a cavalryman from Budyonny’s army with a rifle stays next to the head of Suvorov; the Governor-General Nikiforaki on Karla Marksa Prospect reminds of southern Russian Greeks, and the entrance to the North Caucasian University is guarded by the Egyptian pharaohs. There is a relaxed young Pushkin, a purposeful Lermontov, a very concerned Gorky, as well as classical Soviet urban statues with a special southern flair - a girl without a paddle, but with a basket of grapes. The southern flair is the brightest feature of Stavropol.


Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Stavropol Stavropol Territory    

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