Nalchik is the capital city of the Kabardino-Balkar Republic, Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, situated at an altitude of 550 metres (1,804.5 ft) in the foothills of the Caucasus Mountains
Caucasus Mountains
The Caucasus Mountains is a mountain system in Eurasia between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea in the Caucasus region .The Caucasus Mountains includes:* the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range and* the Lesser Caucasus Mountains....

; about 100 kilometres (62.1 mi) northwest of Beslan
Beslan is a town and the administrative center of Pravoberezhny District of the Republic of North Ossetia–Alania, Russia. In terms of population, Beslan is the third largest town in the republic behind Vladikavkaz and Mozdok...

 in the Republic of North Ossetia–Alania. It covers an area of 131 square kilometres (50.6 sq mi). Population:


The territory of modern-day Nalchik was inhabited by native Balkars
The Balkars are a Turkic people of the Caucasus region, one of the titular populations of Kabardino-Balkaria. They are possibly Bulgars or are descended from them...

 and Kabardians as far back as 1743, but the modern city dates from the early 19th century when the expanding Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

 built a fort there in 1818; this date is seen at the top of the city's coat of arms
Coat of arms
A coat of arms is a unique heraldic design on a shield or escutcheon or on a surcoat or tabard used to cover and protect armour and to identify the wearer. Thus the term is often stated as "coat-armour", because it was anciently displayed on the front of a coat of cloth...

. A military settlement was founded on the site in 1838. Nalchik remained relatively unimportant until after the Russian Revolution of 1917
Russian Revolution of 1917
The Russian Revolution is the collective term for a series of revolutions in Russia in 1917, which destroyed the Tsarist autocracy and led to the creation of the Soviet Union. The Tsar was deposed and replaced by a provisional government in the first revolution of February 1917...

, when it was given the status of a city in 1921. It was promoted to become the administrative center of the Kabardian autonomous oblast
Oblast is a type of administrative division in Slavic countries, including some countries of the former Soviet Union. The word "oblast" is a loanword in English, but it is nevertheless often translated as "area", "zone", "province", or "region"...


The city is named after the Nalchik River, on the shores of which it is located. The word "Nalchik" literally means "small horseshoe" in Kabardian
Kabardian language
The Kabardian language, also known as East Circassian , is a Northwest Caucasian language, closely related to the Adyghe language. It is spoken mainly in the Russian republics of Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay-Cherkessia and in Turkey and the Middle East...

 (or Circassian, a Northwest Caucasian
Northwest Caucasian languages
The Northwest Caucasian languages, also called Abkhazo-Adyghean, or sometimes Pontic as opposed to Caspian for the Northeast Caucasian languages, are a group of languages spoken in the Caucasus region, chiefly in Russia , the disputed territory of Abkhazia, and Turkey, with smaller communities...

 language) and Karachay-Balkar
Karachay-Balkar language
The Karachay-Balkar language is a Turkic language spoken by the Karachays and Balkars. It is divided into two dialects: Karachay-Baksan-Chegem which pronounces two phonemes as and , and Balkar, which pronounces the corresponding phonemes as and .- Alphabet :Modern Karachay-Balkar Cyrillic...

 (a Turkic
Turkic languages
The Turkic languages constitute a language family of at least thirty five languages, spoken by Turkic peoples across a vast area from Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean to Siberia and Western China, and are considered to be part of the proposed Altaic language family.Turkic languages are spoken...

 language). It is a diminutive of nal, the Turkic and Turkish
Turkish language
Turkish is a language spoken as a native language by over 83 million people worldwide, making it the most commonly spoken of the Turkic languages. Its speakers are located predominantly in Turkey and Northern Cyprus with smaller groups in Iraq, Greece, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo,...

 word for "horseshoe" derived from Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 (نعل) with the same meaning.

During World War II
Eastern Front (World War II)
The Eastern Front of World War II was a theatre of World War II between the European Axis powers and co-belligerent Finland against the Soviet Union, Poland, and some other Allies which encompassed Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe from 22 June 1941 to 9 May 1945...

, Nalchik was occupied by Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 and Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

 between 28 October 1942 to 3 January 1943. The city was heavily damaged during the conflict. Nalchik's Jewish population, mostly "Mountain Jews
Mountain Jews
Highland Jews, Mountain Jews or Kavkazi Jews also known as Juvuro or Juhuro, are Jews of the eastern Caucasus, mainly of Azerbaijan and Dagestan. They are also known as Caucasus Jews, Caucasian Jews, or less commonly East Caucasian Jews, because the majority of these Jews settled the eastern part...

", remained unharmed, as they were able to blend in easily with their neighbors.

Nalchik was chosen the "second cleanest city of Russia" in 2003.

On 13 October 2005, Nalchik was attacked by a large group of Yarmuk Jamaat
Yarmuk Jamaat
Yarmuk Jamaat is a militant Islamist jamaat organization connected to numerous attacks against the local and federal security forces in Russian republic of Kabardino-Balkaria in the North Caucasus...

 militants led by Shamil Basayev
Shamil Basayev
Shamil Salmanovich Basayev was a Chechen militant Islamist and a leader of the Chechen rebel movement.Starting as a field commander in the Transcaucasus, Basayev led guerrilla campaigns against the Russian troops for years, as well as launching mass-hostage takings of civilians, with his goal...

 and Anzor Astemirov
Anzor Astemirov
Anzor Astemirov , also known as Emir Sayfullah , was an Islamist militant leader in the Russian republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, in the North Caucasus....

. Buildings associated with the Russian security forces were targeted, killing at least 14 civilians and wounding 115. 35 policemen were killed in the fighting and 89 militants, including prominent leader Ilias Gorchkhanov, were killed while another 59 were arrested.

Ethnic groups

The population of the city includes (2006 data):
  • Kabardians(Adiga) (42.3%)
  • Russians
    The Russian people are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Russia, speaking the Russian language and primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries....

  • Balkars
    The Balkars are a Turkic people of the Caucasus region, one of the titular populations of Kabardino-Balkaria. They are possibly Bulgars or are descended from them...

    (Taulu) (15.2%)
  • others (13.2%)

Economy and education

Nalchik is a balneological and mountain climatotherapy
Climatotherapy refers to temporary or permanent relocation of a patient to a region with a climate more favourable to recovery from or management of a condition...

 resort, with several sanatorium
A sanatorium is a medical facility for long-term illness, most typically associated with treatment of tuberculosis before antibiotics...

s. It also serves as an industrial center of the republic (non-ferrous metallurgy, light industry, construction materials manufacturing, machine building).

Nalchik is home to the following facilities of higher education:
  • Kabardino-Balkar State University
  • Kabardino-Balkar Institute of Business
  • North Caucasian State Institute of Arts
  • Kabardino-Balkar State Agricultural Academy


PFC Spartak Nalchik
PFC Spartak Nalchik
PFC Spartak Nalchik is a Russian association football club based in Nalchik. Spartak has played in Russian Premier League since 2006.-History:...

 is a football
Football (soccer)
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball...

 club based in Nalchik, playing in the Russian Premier League
Russian Premier League
The Russian Premier League , currently called SOGAZ Russian Football Championship due to sponsorship reasons, is the top division of Russian football. There are 16 teams in the competition...

. The 2008 World Women's Chess Championship
Women's World Chess Championship 2008
The Women's World Chess Championship 2008 consisted of a tournament for the Women's World Chess Championship which took place from August 28, 2008 to September 18 in Nalchik in Russia. It was won by Alexandra Kosteniuk, who beat Hou Yifan in the final by 2½ to 1½.-Participants:Players were seeded...

 has also been held in Nalchik, 28 August - 18 September 2008.

Notable people

  • Yuri Temirkanov
    Yuri Temirkanov
    Yuri Khatuevich Temirkanov is a Russian conductor of Circassian origin.Yuri Temirkanov has been the Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic since 1988.-Early life:...

    , orchestra conductor, born 1938
  • Dima Bilan
    Dima Bilan
    ' is a Russian actor and pop singer . Bilan represented Russia at the Eurovision Song Contest 2006 with "Never Let You Go", finishing second, and he won the contest in 2008 in Belgrade, with the song "Believe". He has had several Russian no. 1 hits....

    , famous Russian singer, born 1981
  • Yefrem Amiramov, Poet, Musician, born in 1956
  • Andre Geim
    Andre Geim
    Andre Konstantin Geim, FRS is a Dutch-Russian-British physicist working at the University of Manchester. Geim was awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics jointly with Konstantin Novoselov for his work on graphene...

    , physicist
  • Andrei Kolkoutine
    Andrei Kolkoutine
    Andrei Kolkoutine is a Russian artist. In 1982 Kolkoutine graduated at the Repin Academy of Arts in Leningrad, named after Ilya Repin. Currently Kolkoutine lives in southern Russia in the town of Nalchik....

    Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface . The application of the medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush but other objects can be used. In art, the term painting describes both the act and the result of the action. However, painting is...

    , born in 1957
  • Eldar Kuliev
    Eldar Kuliev
    Eldar Kaisynovich Kouliev is a Soviet film director and screenwriter. He was born in Frunze while Deportation of the Balkars to Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan by the order of Stalin to the family of Kaisyn Kuliev, an acclaimed Balkar poet. His younger brother Alim Kouliev is a Russian-American actor...

    , film director
    Film director
    A film director is a person who directs the actors and film crew in filmmaking. They control a film's artistic and dramatic nathan roach, while guiding the technical crew and actors.-Responsibilities:...

    , screenwriter
    Screenwriters or scriptwriters or scenario writers are people who write/create the short or feature-length screenplays from which mass media such as films, television programs, Comics or video games are based.-Profession:...

    , born 1951
  • Alim Kouliev
    Alim Kouliev
    Alim Kaisynovich Kouliev is a Russian-American actor and director. Kouliev was born in Nalchik — a small city in USSR. His father was the Balkar poet Kaisyn Kuliev. His elder brother Eldar Kuliev is a Russian film director and a screenwriter, living in Moscow. His younger brother Azamat Kuliev...

    , actor
    An actor is a person who acts in a dramatic production and who works in film, television, theatre, or radio in that capacity...

    , theater director, born 1959
  • Azamat Kuliev
    Azamat Kuliev
    Azamat Kaisynovich Kouliev is a Russian artist. Kouliev was born in Nalchik – a capital of Kabardino-Balkaria – to the family of Balkar poet Kaisyn Kuliev. His elder brother Alim Kouliev is a Russian-American actor living and working in Hollywood. His eldest brother Eldar Kuliev is a Russian...

    , painter
    Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface . The application of the medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush but other objects can be used. In art, the term painting describes both the act and the result of the action. However, painting is...

    , born 1963
  • Katya Lel
    Katya Lel
    Katya Lel , born Ekaterina Nikolayevna Chuprinina , on September 20, 1974 in Nalchik, Kabardino-Balkar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic is a Russian pop singer.- Early life :...

    , Singer, born in 1974
  • Andrey Lefler, Singer, born in 1987
  • Arsen Shomakhov, bluesman


Twin towns/sister cities

Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

, Jordan Kayseri
Kayseri is a large and industrialized city in Central Anatolia, Turkey. It is the seat of Kayseri Province. The city of Kayseri, as defined by the boundaries of Kayseri Metropolitan Municipality, is structurally composed of five metropolitan districts, the two core districts of Kocasinan and...

, Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

Reno is the fourth most populous city in Nevada, US.Reno may also refer to:-Places:Italy*The Reno River, in Northern ItalyCanada*Reno No...

, Nevada
Nevada is a state in the western, mountain west, and southwestern regions of the United States. With an area of and a population of about 2.7 million, it is the 7th-largest and 35th-most populous state. Over two-thirds of Nevada's people live in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, which contains its...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

-Notable structures:In Vladikavkaz, there is a guyed TV mast, tall, built in 1961, which has six crossbars with gangways in two levels running from the mast structure to the guys.-Twin towns/sister cities:...

, Russia

External links

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