The city of the dead in the Caucasus

What to visit in the Caucasus and its amazing sites. Visiting places in the Caucasus is an adventure that few can tell, so we bring you this article. What to see in the city of the dead of the Caucasus, a mysterious and interesting tour.

In Dargavs, there is the largest crypt cemetery in the North Caucasus, figuratively as the “City of the Dead.” On the southern slope of Raminirah Mountain, the light yellow buildings descend towards the river, where entire generations of mountaineers found eternal peace.

The architectural complex “Cities of the Dead” consists of 97 structures that belong to three main types: cryptos on the ground with an overlapping of pyramidal steps, crypts on the ground with a superposition to two waters and semi-underground crypts, which were left On one side down a slope.

In the funeral inventory of the “Cities of the Dead” there are many imported things: oriental fabrics, glassware and Russian bottles, snuff boxes, Georgian and daguestana ceramics, Dagestan inlaid with metal on wood. From this it can be seen that Ossetia mountain was not isolated from the outside world, although there were no good roads until the 19th century.

Ossetian crypts have not been studied for a long time. Before the revolution, this was ruled out: anyone who dared to penetrate the crypt could afford it with his life. But later, until 1967, almost no archaeological work was done on the study of these most valuable monuments. The “bad reputation” of the crypts also played a certain role. People surrounded the crypts with bleak rumors and beliefs.

Today in Ossetia, you can still hear traditional stories that in the old days in the mountains a plague epidemic that claimed thousands of lives was unleashed. In order not to infect healthy people, patients with whole families, with children in their arms, entered pre-built crypts and died there. And the survivors were afraid even to approach the crypts.

The epidemics in the mountains of pre-revolutionary Ossetia really happened. As a result of the plague that struck in the late eighteenth century, the first half of the nineteenth century, the country’s population of 200,000 people was reduced to 16,000. The Ossetians were then on the verge of extinction. It is not surprising that this tragedy has been so deeply engraved in the memory of the people.

Among the “cities of the dead” in the North Caucasus, Dargavs is the largest and richest. In the 30s of the 19th century, the Ossetians began to move from the mountains to the plain of the foothills, and only then did the burials in the crypts stop.

Currently, the resident population is practically absent, which is associated with the fall of the Kolka glacier in September 2002. As a result of the meeting, the road leading to the village was destroyed, and Dargavs was left with almost no connection to the outside world

What to visit in the Caucasus

A town named Dargavs is located in the Caucasus of the North Alania region, in this town you can find the largest necropolis in the region, but why exactly is there no one can still explain it.

La ciudad de los muertos en Cáucaso

Visit places in the Caucasus

The skirt of the mountain is covered by the 96 crypts. Graves are not only there without exploitation, they are still used and perform the functions for which they were created: within them buried deaths.
In the city of the dead you can enter without restriction, but be careful: the graves are open. According to urban legends every person who enters there cannot come back alive, that is a bit scary. The people of this place never come to this site.
We take a look at the first grave and see only what is left of the bodies: the bones and skulls. Then you can find even the mummies.


Before the times that the Soviet government entered here, the city of deaths does not attract much attention. The first group of scientists and historical entered here in the sixties of the twentieth century. One of the crypts surprised the scientists, inside the graves they found 96 skulls. According to legends all the deaths looked as if they were alive! And that certainly can be, because the garments of the city of deaths that can be found in the museum are in surprisingly very good condition.


What to see in the city of the dead of the Caucasus

All buildings in the necropolis were constructed in a special way so that the modification process naturally ends. Before the entrance to the crypt was closed by a wooden lid with a knocker, but now there is no protection and the remains do not look very nice. They look like the characters in horror movies.

A crypt is for a family. A sepulcher was founded for all generations of the family and cost a lot of money. The architects of past centuries built the buildings for many not years, but centuries! To join the stone (the material they used for the construction of the graves and on top was very expensive) they made a mixture of milk, sour cream, bird eggs and lime.
Thanks to this composition the crypts are kept until our time, despite the fact that the other constructions were dismantled. Because they were made of the cheapest material.


Some constructions have two, three rows. Obviously when the first row of the crypt ended, they made the second, third as necessary. To do it on the walls, they made shrouds where they put the wooden rails and wrapped the brushed boards on top.

When the plague was worsening in Ossetia, people who felt their early death came here to fail. In the crypts they waited for his death, but relatives brought them food and water anyway.

The most unusual and mysterious thing is why the faces of the deaths are the wooden boats. Do not look like someone from the nearby villages used this burial process.

Of course this is not related to navigation. The explanation can be sought in the ancient traditions and cults of the Ossetians. Who believed that the souls of the deaths had to cross the Stiks river of the underworld, in the ships, there is probably some connection between these ancient myths and burials in the ships in the city of the deaths.

Excavations in this place helped compose a very large collection of things that belonged to people many years ago. And they let you know the culture of the deepest Ossetians. Thanks to the discoveries, the Egyptians could understand in which centuries the first crypts were attracted. Approximately in the 17th century. The last intierros correspond to the thirties of the nineteenth century, when the process of the mountaineering began the mountains to the plain.

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