Caucasian Mineral Waters
About the region
Unlike other regions of the North Caucasus Mineralnye Vody is not one of the 85 administrative units of Russia. It is part of Stavropol Krai, but its distinctive features often make it a region in its own right. In the 19th century a cluster of small cities – Georgiyevsk, Pyatigorsk, MineralnyeVody, Kislovodsk, Zheleznovodsk, Lermontov, and Yessentuki formed the Caucasian Mineral Waters, the first spa-resort in Russia.
Unlike other regions of the North Caucasus, Caucasian Mineral Waters (KMV) is not one of 85 official administrative units of Russia. KMV is mainly (58% of the territory) part of the Stavropolsky krai, but also the Caucasian Mineral Waters includes the territories of Karachay-Cherkessia and Kabardino-Balkaria. This is a special ecological resort region, and it has its own administration.

The Caucasian Mineral Waters is home to more than 600 thousand people, and over a million come as tourists annually. The key resorts are Pyatigorsk, Yessentuki, Kislovodsk, and Zheleznovodsk. Each of them has numerous mineral springs, Soviet and modern spa-clinics.

Tourists drink mineral water, engage in terrain cure, soak in hot baths, or cover themselves in mud from Lake Tambukan. If you’ve come on your own, seek doctor’s advice before you go for any treatments.
History of the resort

During military operations Russian officers, soldiers, and Cossacks arranged improvised sanatoriums by the mineral water springs in tents and huts. Friendly Nogais quickly put two and two together and started renting their wagons to the chilling military men. On 24 April 1803 Alexander I signed rescript “On recognition of Caucasian Mineral Waters on nationwide scale and need for infrastructure”. The most distinguished architects of that time were invited to build a resort, the government allocated enormous funds from the Treasury, and colonizers were encouraged to move into the territory – Germans, Russians, Armenians, and Jews.

Despite on-and-off war around, Pyatigorsk, Yessentuki, Kislovodsk, and other towns became the vanguard of peaceful life in the European style and the cultural centre of the North Caucasus. Noblemen from Saint Petersburg would come here to restore health and give receptions and balls.
Pyatigorsk is notable for being both a resort and the capital of the North Caucasian Federal District. The local university attracts young people from all the republics, and salespeople stock up on supplies at the largest wholesale market. The city has left a significant mark in the Russian and Soviet culture. Pyatigorsk is associated with the creative genius of Lermontov, where the writer was killed in a duel. Pushkin and Tolstoy showed up here, and Ostap Bender, the protagonist of the iconic Soviet novel by Ilf and Petrov “The Twelve Chairs”, was selling tickets to Proval, an attraction that was actually free.
useful information
The small city of Mineralnye Vody is the transport hub of the region.

One of the largest airports in the Caucasus receiving about 30 flights a day is located here. There’re direct daily flights from Istanbul and Baku. Also, there’re planes from Saint Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Chelyabinsk, Cherepovets, and a dozen of other cities in Russia.

The railway links the resort cities of the area with most regions in Russia. The fastest train takes you there from Moscow in 22 hours.
The Caucasian Mineral Waters are part of Russia, and a Russian visa is all you need. All the area is open to the public, no extra permits are required.

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