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South Ingushetia: Vovnushki
April 24, 2017 16:16


Vovnushki:  the word sounds funny and affectionate like a folklore ensemble name. But if you put emphasis properly (on the first syllable) and then translate it from the Ingush Language, the amusing words turns into the three rather menacing ones: “the place of martial towers”. “Vouv” is the word designating martial towers in Ingushetia, in contrast to “gala”- residential towers.

Vovnushki is an ancient village in the mountainous Dzheirakhsky district of South Ingushetia, near the border with Georgia. But more often, when people talk about Vovnushki, they mean the famous castle complex: the majestic impregnable towers rising from the mountain ridges on both sides of a narrow gorge.

The Guloi River flows at the bottom of it. It smells like the Middle Ages. The two sides of the gorge are two castles. One of them has two towers, another - only one. Each of the three towers illustrates the concept of a “stronghold”: huge stone structures firmly standing on the solid rock foundation. According to a tradition, before putting a tower, land was poured with milk and if it did not leak, the soil was considered suitable for the construction of a large-tonnage tower.

In 2008 year Vovnushki became a finalist in the contest “The Miracles of Russia” as one of the most amazing man-made sights of the country. But apart from the famous castles, other ancient buildings are also preserved in Vovnushki: residential and semi-martial towers, vaults and a small mausoleum in the form of a “core” or an “egg”.


It is believed that there was time when the two castles were connected by a suspension bridge.

When enemies besieged one castle, its inhabitants were leaving to another one across the bridge or a rope.

There are several legends about the suspension bridge rescuing babies. According to one version, a cradle was tied to a rope and transported from one castle to another.

By another version, the children were saved by a woman who ran back and forth on the rope and carried the cradles.

Even if the castles were connected by a durable suspension bridge, you can imagine going across it: an abyss under you feet, bare rocks on your sides.


Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Ingushetia     

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