Adygea Republic: western foothills of the Caucasus

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Main facts:

  • Administrative center: Maykop

  • Federal District: South Russia

  • Language(s): Russian, Adyghe

  • Population: 454,000

  • Timezone: UTC+3

  • Main religion: Islam, Orthodoxy

Top 10 attractions:

Sights map of Adygea Republic

Travel around Adygea Republic

The Republic of Adygea is the closest national republic in the Caucasus to Central Russia, surrounded on all sides by the Krasnodar region. Historically, this territory was inhabited by the folk of the Adygs (Circassians), who had come here more than 2,000 years ago, and their ancestors, Zikhi, lived on this territory for thousands of years. Their main architectural monuments are mystical dolmens which are the funeral structures of ancient people. Dolmen culture came to the Caucasus from the Arabian peninsula in the 4-3 millennium BC, and received the widest distribution here. Due to this, throughout the territory of Adygea Republic, as well as on the Black Sea coast of the Krasnodar region, one can meet many of these cultural objects, talking about ancient life in these lands. Adygea, although small in area, is extremely diverse in its relief: here you can find steppes, endless fields, forested hills, and even alpine meadows on the northwestern slopes of the Caucasus mountains. Thanks to the latter, a comfortable climate for life and agriculture is maintained in the republic, and tourists increasingly come to visit the natural beauties of the republic.

The history of the Republic of Adygea is the history of the Adyghe people, whose ancestors came to this land in the 4-3 millennium BC. The local climate was very conducive to sedentary life, and the mountains were a natural defender against military invaders. Small tribes of the Circassians inhabited the territory of the western foothills of the Caucasus mountains, as well as the Black Sea coast from Anapa to Sochi. They also founded several large villages, one of which was the city of Maykop - in adyghe "Мыекъуапэ", which means "Valley of apple trees". The fertile lands on the other side of the Caucasus mountains from the sea allowed the people of the Circassians to flourish and to exist peacefully. However, the neighboring nations developed much more actively, and therefore the Adygs began to oppress and push out from their land more and more often. During the Caucasian War of the 18th century, the territory was completely invaded by the Russians; most of the Circassians were forced to become muhajirs and move to the territory of the Ottoman Empire, the main opponent of Russia in the Caucasus Wars, and the remaining people were evicted to the territory of the Kuban. After joining the territory of the Adygs to Russia, this land became part of the Southern Military District, and after the October Revolution passed to the Circassian Autonomous Republic. Only after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Adygea became a separate republic and gained independence, which it maintains to this day.

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Today, about 450 thousand people live in the republic, more than 2/3 of them are Russians. Adygs together with Armenians make up the remaining third of the population. This is the only subject of the Russian Federation, which is a full-fledged enclave within the country - it is surrounded on all sides by the Krasnodar region. And yet it is one of the smallest regions in our country by area, but it’s so colorful that it will give odds to many others! Tourism is not yet very developed on the territory of Adygea, but in recent years it has been growing due to its proximity to the thriving Black Sea resorts. The prices here are much lower than in Sochi, and the natural beauties are no less. Actually, to see them personally tourists come here from all over the country.

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The capital of the republic - the city of Maykop - is a small county town in the spirit of Soviet Russia, which seems to have not changed at all over the past decades. High-rise buildings are observed only in the very center of the city, while the rest are one-story private buildings. The city is very green and calm, here is fresh air and many parks where you can have a leisure time. When you are here, you must visit the Cathedral Mosque on the Square of Peoples Friendship, the city park with blue lakes, as well as the National Museum of Adygea - perhaps the best collection of household items and history of the Adygea people in our country.