February 2021

Alania, Hetman Platov and «Dombay Waltz»


According to historical documents, the heyday of the Alan kingdom fell on the X-XII centuries. Apparently, this was largely due to the successful position of the state on the Great Silk Road. In 916, Alania adopted Orthodoxy from Byzantium and became very close to the neighboring Orthodox states - Abkhazia and Georgia. On the territory of this once powerful state, wonderful ancient churches have been preserved.

Shoana Church

The church was built at the end of the 10th century and is considered the latest of the five Alanian temples that have survived to this day. The first temples were built by monks from Byzantium. There is a version that this is a reduced copy of the St. George Church located in the Nizhny Arkhyz settlement.

Senty Church

The church was built in 965 on a spur of a mountain range on the left bank of the Teberda River. It is not a functioning church anymore. 

The Road to the Shoana Church and the Interior of the Church

On a dirt serpentine road 3 km upwards you can climb to the foot of the cliff, on which the Shoana Church is located. Further, one should go on foot up a steep slope and stairs.

Nizhny Arkhyz Churches

Southern Zelenchuk Church

This is the oldest functioning church in Russia. Refers to the last third of the X - early XI century. But in the 19th century, the church was rebuilt and painted inside by monks during restoration.

Northern Zelenchuk Church

The first church of the Nizhny Arkhyz settlement, which was seen from afar by the merchants of "silk" caravans carrying goods from China to Byzantium, was the majestic and monumental "Northern" church - the largest Christian church in Alania. It was the cathedral of the Alanian Diocese, the center of its spiritual and cultural life in the X-XIII centuries.

Central Zelenchuk Church

The Central Church is the oldest surviving church on the territory of this settlement. Construction began after the Alans adopted Christianity at the beginning of the 10th century, but was never completed until 932, when the Christians were expelled.

St. Michael’s Athos Monastery. Adygeya.

The monastery was founded on the northern slope of the Caucasus Mountains to southeast of the city of Maykop in 1877 by the monks who came to these places from the Holy Mount Athos. It was the largest and the richest monastery in the North Caucasus in the 19th century. In the time of the Soviet Union, the monastery was almost completely destroyed.

St. George Convent. Essentuki.

Near the town of Essentuki, on the top of Mount Dubrovka (738 meters), a new convent was built in 2006 .

The Second Athos Monastery of the Dormition on Mount Beshtau.

The monastery on Mount Beshtau was founded by Russian monks who came from Mount Athos to the Caucasus at the beginning of the 20th century. According to the legend, from the 9th century, the time of ancient Alania,a Byzantine monastery existed near Beshtau. In the 15th century, the monastery ceased to exist. The consecration of the new monastery took place in 1904.

Church of St. Olga, Equaltothe Apostles. Zheleznovodsk.

The Church of Olga, Equal to the Apostles, is located in the western part of the city of Zheleznovodsk on a hill in a residential area. It was built and consecrated in 1989.

Hetman Matvey Platov and two capitals of the Don Cossack Army

Count, General and Hetman of the Don Cossack Army Matvey Ivanovich Platov. He took part in all the wars of the Russian Empire in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Born in the capital of the Don Cossacks - Cherkassk (now the village of Starocherkasskaya), he founded the city of Novocherkasskin 1805, where he moved the capital.

The iconostasis of the Resurrection Cathedral in the village of Starocherkasskaya.

Ascension Cathedral. Novocherkassk.

The main church of the Don Cossack Army was opened and consecrated in 1905. The remains of the Don hetmans Platov, Orlov-Denisov and others are buried here. In terms of dome height, it isthe seventh in Russia. The cross, which is crowned with the main dome, is inlaid with 80 monoliths of rock crystal, cut with a diamond facet. The floors and iconostasis are decorated with French and Italian marble, the walls are painted with frescoes, and the choirs are decorated with picturesque canvases that tell the history of the local Cossacks.

Resurrection Cathedral. Stanitsa Starocherkasskaya.

This is the main architectural attraction of the village of Starocherkasskaya - the first stone cathedral on the Don River. Until 1805, the Resurrection Cathedral was the main temple of the Don Army. The church was built from 1706 to 1719. It was erected during the period of the decree of Peter I, which prohibited the construction of stone buildings everywhere except St. Petersburg. However, in view of political necessity, Peter contributed to the construction in every possible way.

Holy Don Starocherkassk Monastery. Stanitsa Starocherkasskaya.
Transfiguration Church. Stanitsa Starocherkasskaya.

Yuri Vizbor «Dombay Waltz»


Hello, gloomy days
Mountain sun, goodbye
We will always keep
This place in our hearts… 


We wish you all peace, good health and well-being.

Stay healthy!