Ring-mountain, giant crocodile and cure. What should a tourist look for in the Caucasus Mineralnye Vody?

Source: RIA News “
Lenta.ru tells how Kavminvod resorts came about and how to relax in them with benefit now.

“The mineral waters of the Caucasus were probably used by the mountain peoples against diseases from antiquity. […] They cure or alleviate such diseases in which no medicine can help “, wrote in 1839 the chief physician Ivan Drozdov from Pyatigorsk, the therapist of the author Leon Tolstoy.

Indeed, in the 19th century, they tried to cure literally any disease with mineral waters of the Caucasus, because the only alternatives were taking “merkur” (ie mercury) and bleeding. Going to the water was not at least harmful, and in some cases very useful. Mineral water, by the way, was not taken orally in most cases – most of the time doctors advised patients to bathe in it.

And although Drozdov himself warns that with the help of mineral water it is “useless and even harmful” to cure diseases such as “madness, consumption of lungs and other large intestines, scurvy and cancer”, which suffer from all over the country to come to the sources of the North Caucasus for treatment.

Unsurprisingly, many of them were actually cured of their illnesses. Because, if you look carefully at the descriptions of their condition, even a modern layman – not just a doctor – will notice that they probably suffered from psychosomatic and depressive disorders.

Here, for example, is a description of the miraculous healing of such a person, published in the fourth issue of the Home Office Journal of 1839:

“A 25-year-old man, with a nervous temperament, has been suffering from cleft pains in the sacrum for almost two years, almost every day, which caused tightness in the chest. pain and longing (worries) – in the stomach, coldness in the hands and feet, in addition – yellowing of the eyes. there was no appetite; constant constipation down, wet dreams almost every night, premature aging (impotentia virilis), suspicion, often despair, suicidal tendencies, exhaustion of the body. the cause of all this is the excess of pleasures. From June 11 to August 1 he drank alternately sulfur-alkaline No. 23 and all the waters of Pyatigorsk. made sulfur baths in all baths. then used ferrous water in drinking and baths for 18 days and Narzan for 14 days. “All the crises are gone.”

Mineral water source in Pyatigorsk Source: RIA News “

However, no one will deny the therapeutic effect of the various mineral waters in the gastrointestinal tract. Their different types can relieve the course of gastritis, peptic ulcers and normalize the secretory function of the stomach.

Mineral water therapy, or bath therapy, has been known since antiquity and, unlike the same blood draw, has been used successfully to date, including in the form of baths. The complex of components of such a treatment is important here: temperature, chemical and mechanical effects of mineral waters. First of all, their chemical composition is very important – that is, gases and salts dissolved in water. They irritate the skin receptors, thus affecting the glands and subcutaneous vessels, which in combination allow you to affect the whole body.

Doctors note that mineral water with a high content of iron has a hematopoietic effect, which is useful for cardiovascular diseases. Iodine-bromine allows you to normalize the functions of the nervous and endocrine systems and radon baths have an analgesic effect and normalize blood pressure.

Of course, there are many more varieties of Caucasian mineral waters and each of them is prescribed for certain diseases.

A trip to the waters for the rich of the Russian Empire did not always mean a trip to the North Caucasus. On the contrary, until the beginning of the 19th century, this often meant a trip to Baden-Baden, where famous thermal springs were located all over Europe. Here, by the way, most of the young nobles preferred not to improve their health at all, but, on the contrary, to spend time unnecessarily drinking away from mineral water by a degree.

Unsurprisingly, Alexander I soon wanted to have his own “waters” and in 1803 issued an order requiring the establishment of “institutions necessary for the ease of treatment” in the North Caucasus. The right infrastructure was created and many Russians, suffering from a wide range of various diseases, were dragged to the area for treatment and rumors of the healing power of the springs spread throughout the country, fueled by referrals from doctors such as Dr. Drozdov.

With the advent of Soviet power in 1919, a decree of the Council of People’s Commissars was issued “For medical fields of national importance” and a year later the Caucasus Mineral Waters and at the same time the Pyatigorsk-based Balneological Institute, which operates to this day.

People in the Kislovodsky National Park Source: RIA News “

Although now the area, which has been given the name Caucasian Mineralnye Vody, includes many more settlements, it is traditionally considered to be a complex of the cities of Pyatigorsk, Essentuki, Kislovodsk, Zheleznovodsk and, in fact, Mineralnye Vody.

Currently, there are more than a hundred sanatoriums, which are visited by about 700 thousand people.

Although you can come here at any time of the year, you should arrange a trip in the summer in advance, because in the summer the population of these cities literally triples due to the influx of tourists.

As once in Baden-Baden, people come to Kavminvody not only to taste “Narzan”, “Essentuki” or “Novoterskaya” on the spot, but as in the 18th century, to enjoy life to the fullest . . Here are restaurants for every taste, and museums, and theaters.

To get acquainted with the Caucasus region Mineralnye Vody, you just need to take an electric train that starts its journey from the city of Mineralnye Vody and go to Zheleznovodsk, Pyatigorsk and Kislovodsk. However, many will prefer to follow hiking trails passing through the outskirts of resort towns, through the picturesque nature of the area.

The most famous resort of Kavminvod is, of course, Pyatigorsk. However, despite the name, it is surrounded by not five, but seventeen mountains. This city was, incidentally, named after Mount Beshtau. Since in Turkish the “besh” is five, and the “tau” is a mountain.

The main attraction of Pyatigorsk is the Flower Garden Park, located in the city center. Here is a large Narzan gallery where you can try different types of narzan. And after tasting the legendary thermal waters, you can already participate in a cultural program.

For example, the action of “The Twelve Chairs” took place here, so you can find a statue of Ostap Bender near Lake Proval, who sold tickets there, so that “Proval does not fail too much”. Not far away, at the entrance to the park, is Kisa Vorobyaninov.

Right there, in Pyatigorsk, is the site of Lermodov’s duel, and within walking distance is Lermodov’s house, where he spent the last years of his life. And the most popular tourist route is the climb to Mount Mashuk. You can climb it both along the path and climb comfortably by cable car. In addition, if you follow the path, the climb will not be easy. You will have to walk one and a half kilometers and generally climb 400 meters.

In contrast to the bustling Pyatigorsk, full of restaurants and entertainment venues, Zheleznovodsk is much quieter. Here you can enjoy the silence and the view of the mountains. However, not only by nature – in Zheleznogorsk there is a small palace of the Emir of Bukhara, built in oriental style. Basically, visitors pay attention to the construction of the harem – according to legend, the unfaithful and unacceptable wives of the emir were thrown from his tower.

By the way, if we return to the subject of the Pyatigorsk Mineral Water Gallery, then there are similar facilities in all the cities of the Mineral Waters of the Caucasus. There are also in Zheleznovodsk, there is also in Kislovodsk, where, in addition, you can take a walk in the city park “Valley of Roses”, planted with a huge variety of different flowers and take a photo with a 15-meter crocodile (of course, with a statue , and not with true). And for those who want to spend their time actively, it is worth climbing the Ring-mountain, closer to the top of which nature itself has created beautiful caves.

Yessentuki is the same quiet city as Zheleznovodsk, full of sanatoriums and boarding houses. Here you can drink mineral water, immerse yourself in metal baths and walk in five quiet alleys of the city.

Lake Proval, Pyatigorsk Source: RIA News “

After the coronavirus pandemic, many doctors, like 100 and 200 years ago, recommend going to the water to recover from Covid syndrome. Sanatoriums and boarding schools, in turn, are already oriented and have begun to offer special programs for the sick – to restore the lungs and immunity.

Interestingly, every major city in the Mineral Waters of the Caucasus has its own specialization – at least for those who come to improve the body.

Thus, it is believed that those who want to get rid of problems with the circulatory system, bronchial asthma and glaucoma should rest in Kislovodsk. Those who suffer from diseases of the musculoskeletal system, have problems with the peripheral nervous system or metabolic disorders should go to Pyatigorsk. Yessentuki, of course, is open to those who have problems with the digestive system (not without reason, after severe poisoning, many people prefer to drink mineral water from these wells). Well, in Zheleznovodsk it is common to treat those who have problems with the kidneys and urinary system.

Among other things, very interesting excursions lasting from several hours to several days take place in the cities of the region. You can go to Honey Waterfalls, visit the ancient city of Magas, home to the oldest Christian churches in Russia, and generally enjoy the history and nature of Kavminvod under the guidance of experienced and experienced people.

However, as many say, it is worth coming here only for the sake of a view of the panorama of the Greater Caucasus Mountains, which opens from the tops of 17 lakolithos mountains, ie volcanoes that have never erupted. And for the sake of the amazing sunsets of the mountain, the fresh air and the thermal water, what is so lacking by the inhabitants of the cities, who spin like squirrels on a wheel.

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