Balkar towers

Bezengi tower balkars nothern Caucasus mountains

Bezengi valley

The Balkar people built their own towers up in the high Caucasus mountains, in what is today’s Kabardino-Balkaria republic. The Balkar tower in Bezengi valley is built and furbished in typical Balkar style: the carpets, furniture, pottery, guns etc, while at the same time having modern amenities for tourists.

Other Balkar towers – Upper Balkaria

Click below to take a 3D tour of the beautiful Bezengi valley and to visit the tower


“Adygea” by Ahmed Nagoev

Circassians in photo-session made by photographer Ahmed Nagoev, named “Adygea”

Dagestan coastline – Caspian Sea

Karachay and Balkars – Turkik people of the Caucasus

The Balkars and Karachay are a Turkik people who arrived and settled in Central Caucasus around the XII century. Although having their own Turkik languages, they adapted to local Caucasian culture – dressing, dance, customs; also, values like hospitality and honor, prevalent throughout the Caucasus, are essential part of Karachay-Balkar culture.

Karachay-Balkar language is divided in 2 dialects: Karachay-Baksan-Chegem and Balkar. The Kumyks, their ethnic cousins who speak the same language live in today’s Dagestan.

 The Balkars live in Kabardino-Balkaria republic, mostly in the high mountainous regions which are also some of the highest in the world.

The Karachay live in neighboring Karachay-Cherkessia, at the foothills of the Caucasus mountains.

The Karachays and Balkars are followers of Islam.


Both the  Karachay and Balkars were deported in 1943-1944 at Stalin’s order, together with the Ingush, Chechens and Digor people (muslim minority of North Ossetia). Like all other deportees, many perished due to unbearable conditions (cold, starvation, hard labor, lack of medical help etc). The survivors were allowed to return in 1957 after Stalin’s death.

A particularly bloody episode took place in 1942, when over 1.500 villagers were killed in Upper Balkaria by NKVD – Stalin’s secret police.

TV report on the Balkar people
Karachay dance called “Abezek”

Karachay song
Dance ensemble “Balkaria” live performance
Balkar dance (couple)

Dondi-Yurt open air museum, Chechnya

Dondi Yurt open air Museum beautiful Chechnya north Caucasus

Dondi-Yurt open air museum of Urus-Martan, Chechnya, is a private museum built by Adam Satuyev, ex-Chechen athlete.

Mister Satuyev, who had been collecting Chechen artifacts for years, decided to exhibit his collection in an open-air museum. Satuyev himself reenacted typical Chechen dwelling (residential) towers on his property in which he exposed his collection. The museum visit is free of charge.

Dagestani artists – Arsen Kurbanov

Arsen Kurbanov portrait painting oil Dagestan girl portrait

Arsen Kurbanov portrait painter Dagestan men artists


Arsen Kurbanov is a Dagestani artist born in 1969, in Makhachkala, Dagestan’s capital city.
He graduated from Dzhemal Art College, Makhachkala and I.E. Repin Institute for Painting, Sculpture and Architecture.

His specialization is portrait painting in oil.


Dagestan villages

Dagestan villages have a distinct appearance among Caucasus villages. The roofs are usually flat and the houses are terraced upon one another’s flat roofs, built on mountain ridges and valleys. The architecture together with the unique landscapes of Dagestan offer a typical appearance to Dagestani villages.