Ossetia North


The first dominant state in the Caucasus was created by the Alans, ancestors of modern Ossetians. The state flourished in the 10th century AD and ruled most of the Northern Caucasus. The Alan state ceased to exist after the Mongol invasion in the early 13th century.

Unlike other Caucasian republics, Ossetia has always been predominantly Christian. It is a pleasant region where you can hike and drive amid dramatic mountain sceneries, visit and photograph old fortresses, monasteries, clan towers, etc.


The capital of North Ossetia was founded in1784 during the Russian conquest of the Caucasus. As per the 2010 census the city’s population amounted to about 312,000 people. Vladikavkaz is a nice, leafy, well-kept city.

Only horse drawn carriages are allowed into the beautiful pedestrian Mir Avenue.

The republican administration.

Colors of Ossetia-Alania both North and South.

The city administration.

Vladikavkaz’ coat of arms.

The statue of general Pliev, a hero of World War II.

The impressive baroque mosque.

Vladikavkaz has a sizeable Armenian population. Hence an Armenian church.

A whole gallery of characters of the Ossetian mythology is located south of the city.


The town of the dead in the mountain village of Dargavs. A peculiar tradition to place the dead in doghouse-like structures leaving them to decay or to get mummified by themselves.

The area is dotted with clan towers and ruins of abandoned villages.

In addition to Christianity, Ossetian ethnic religion is also widespread among Ossetians, with ritual traditions like sacrificing animals, holy shrines, non-Christian saints, etc.

Wastardgy – the main hero of the Ossetian pre-Christian mythology. Gradually under the influence of Christian missionaries Wastardgy became associated with Saint George.

Statues and busts of Josef Stalin are not uncommon in Ossetia-Alania. According to widely spread opinion among the Ossetians, Stalin’s father was Ossetian and had a common Ossetian family name – Dzagoev. Only after he moved to neighboring Georgia his surname was georgenized and became Dzhugashvili.

This stone in Kurtatinsky gorge is supposed to be the first monument commemorating Lenin. According to the inscription the stone was erected on the day of Lenin’s death January 21, 1924.