0 The City of the Dead

The City of the Dead

Posted on December 11, 2012 by team


Balkar nation has been forming for centuries in the valleys and gorges of the Kabardino-Balkaria highlands. The valley of the Chegem river is one of such places.  The most inetersting local village is Eltyubyu which still has various monuments of folk architecture related to different stages of the architecture development. One of the monuments is the City of the Dead, unique in its variety of burial structures.

This is the Chegem gorge.

And this is the City of the Dead.

Some shrines are in a very good condition. They belong to different periods and can be of two types: rectangular and octagonal. The last ones appeared later.

Ancient Chegem builders were making only fake vaults. Each stone overhangs over another one, gradually making the distance between the opposite walls smaller.

Multifaceted mausoleums with conical or pyramidal endings are found in the architecture of Central Asia, Azerbaijan and the North Caucasus (especially in the Chechen districts, they are almost similar, but, as opposed to Chegem ones, plastered) and of Kabardian areas. All these monuments are ones of “Muslim” architecture. This gives grounds to date them no earlier than the end of XVII – beginning of XVIII century.

It seems they are created by nature, not people.

Regarding the mausoleums of the high Chegem areas, scientists are still not sure when exactly they were built. However they are supposed to appear in the XIII century and be erected till the XVIII century.

The City of the Dead is the place where many tourists come. They believe that many legends and unusual facts are connected with this place.

via nalchik360

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