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South Ingushetia: Erzi
April 23, 2017 16:49


The translated word “Erzi” means “Eagle”. “In bad weather, when the whole lower part of the Armkhi Valley is closed with clouds, the towers of Erzi remind only of an Eagle’s nest” - the historian and regional ethnographer Batyr Malsagov writes in his book “In the Land of Towers and Legends”.

The medieval tower complex of Erzi is located in South Ingushetia, in Dzheirakhsky district, opposite to the village of Olgeti. Nine martial towers that are surprisingly well-preserved and reach the sky above the Armkhi River, stand on a mountain slope. Eight of them form a defensive ring around the village, the ninth stands at the entrance to the mountain village.

There are 2 semi-martial and 20 residential towers with various annexes between them. Ancient structures are surrounded by stone walls. The towers and walls are composed mainly of river boulders. Tower constructions do not have any foundations: they stand directly on the rocks - the mainland.

A distinctive feature of Erzi is the presence of a well-preserved five-storey martial tower rising up to the castle rock crowning the roof. The height of a martial tower reaches 25-30 meters; the width of a wall at its foot is 6 meters. The location of Erzi is also impressive: it is located on a rocky terrace covered with grass with only severe bare rocks standing behind the settlement.


Author: Anna Dorozhkina


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