5 The City of the Dead

The City of the Dead

Posted on November 18, 2012 by team

There is a place in North Ossetia which is often called the city of the dead. It is full of burial grounds indeed. It’s the very place where great Alans used to live, their elongated skulls make us think about the extraterrestrial origin of mankind.

The Alans  were a group of Sarmatian tribes, nomadic pastoralists of the 1st millennium AD who spoke an Eastern Iranian language.

When you travel in North Ossetia from one village to another, you see the place where something Soviet is combined with the pagan, they even have their own monuments to Stalin and Lenin.

The signs read: “Ossetian pies”, “Food”, “Ice-cream and cold water”.

Their pies cost 200 rubles (6,5 dollars) which is considered to be looting by local standards.

There is a small Zoo here.

People used to come here for dying with whole families, especially during epidemics.


Their Christianity and traditions are special, threshing chains hang in temples, for example.

Ancient fortresses have become parts of the rocks.

Almost every village has its own generic tower, the family is alive until it stands.

This is a monument to Lenin.


This is the notorious Karmadon Gorge, ten years ago here died the Russian camera crew during the glacier descending.

This village was abandoned in the Soviet times.

They had no chances to survive – the stroke power was comparable to that of an atomic bomb, and the flow rate of rocks and ice was about 200km per hour.

One can get here now only along the mountain serpentine and it often means new numerous accidents and deaths.

This is Dargavs itself.

The city consists of 97 open crypts …


They are building new churches now and the region itself is rather interesting, but it’s quite dangerous to travel there.

Location: Dargavs, North Ossetia

via panzicov

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5 responses to “The City of the Dead”

  1. Tiger says:

    beautiful old church and old houses made of natural stone…

  2. A.Oscar Antonio Oscar says:

    For the English-Russia Magazine! All of you have doing such marvelous job with the presentation: not just with wonderfully pictures; also the ideas into the presentations, inclusive the instructive way which even myself have learn lots. For that matter I knew a lots and learning still more; with your help of English-Russia I came into a chain reactions of knowledge. Never stop learning and love it to be that way; because would be the most interesting way of life being grasp to never stop learning A.Oscar

  3. Trackball says:

    >> but it’s quite dangerous to travel there.

    What? My parents live in Ossetia. I don’t worry about them. I think that they’re safe.

  4. Fred Johnson says:

    That is NOT a “zoo”. Those a couple of small cages, with (miserable) animals locked inside of them.

    Come on, with all that land out there, it would not be hard to give them space to run around. I’m not saying having a zoo is wrong, but those small cages are.

  5. pino says:

    these buildings seem italian “Trulli” (search images on web…)

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