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Russian Academic Theatre of  VakhtangovAdministration building of local governmentArmenian ChurchThe building of Sunni mosquesBust to  twice Hero of the Soviet Union Pliev

The Subject of the Russian Federation:
Republic of North Ossetia — Alania

Federal District: The Southern Federal District

Area: 291 km2
Population: 312 400 persons.


Vladikavkaz  — a city in southern Russia, in the central part of the North Caucasus, the capital of North Ossetia-Alania.

The city was founded in 1784 as a Russian fortress at the entrance to the gorge Darial. Status of the city was given in 1861.

Population: 312 400 people (2010), which is 48% of the republic population.


Vladikavkaz was founded on May 6, 1784, during the reign of Empress Catherine II as a Russian outpost near the Ossetian village of Dzaudzhikau, on the right bank of the river Terek, at the entrance to the gorge of the Caucasus Mountains.

On October 15, 1788, due to the challenging military-political situation in the North Caucasus, Vladikavkaz commandant L. Shteder, by order of P. S. Potemkin, "at burning all the buildings, and together with all villagers" came to the fortress of Mozdok with his garrison.

After 1795, the restoration of Vladikavkaz was initiated.

In 30-ies of the XIX century, Vladikavkaz fortress occupied an area of 60 hectares and consisted of three bastions and two demi-bastions. The territory of the fortress could be reached via three gates: Mozdok Gate leading northward, Tiflis Gate – southward and Pazranov Gate -northeastward.

Inside the fortress there were outbuildings behind a high earthen rampart, as well as there was a place for amanats (hostages) and a house for "traveling gentlemen". A. S. Pushkin and M. Yu. Lermontov stayed in this house.  

During the war with the mountaineers the fort was rebuilt several times, increasing in size. By the middle of the XIX century, Vladikavkaz began to acquire a commercial and industrial importance and on March 31, 1860 (when the outcome of the Caucasian War was obvious) it became a town, which soon became an administrative center of Terek Oblast established in 1863.

At the beginning of the XX century, Vladikavkaz became one of the centers of the revolutionary movement in the North Caucasus. During the civil war the city was the scene of warfare.

In the period of the Great Patriotic War of 1941—1945, during the Battle for the Caucasus on November, 1942 a powerful grouping of the German troops approaching the city was stopped and defeated. Vladikavkaz was finally released of the operation of Hitler's command, received a code name "Edelweiss" to seize the Caucasus and break trough in the Middle East.

In the years 1944-1954, the city was named Dzaudzhikau and in the years 1954-1990 — Ordzhonikidze.

In 1990, the historical name of Vladikavkaz was returned to the city and also restored the traditional name of the city in the Ossetian language — Dzaudzhikau.

Geographical position

It is situated in the North Caucasus, 1923 km away from Moscow to the south, on both banks of the Terek River, as well as on the Ossetian plain, 30 km away from the Darial gorge from which the Terek River turbulent flow escapes from the Caucasus Mountains to the plains.


Vladikavkaz is the oldest major industrial and cultural center of the North Caucasus. Among the leading industries of the urban economy there are electrical engineering, instrumentation, production of process equipment for poultry farms.


The city is connected by branch railway line with the city of Beslan, where there is a large railway junction in the Rostov-on-Don — Baku line. There are long-distance trains to Moscow (daily), Adler (every other day) and Anapa (every other day), Novorossiysk (every other day) and St. Petersburg (daily), as well as Suburban trains to Beslan and Mineral Waters.

Twenty kilometers away from the city there is a large airport Vladikavkaz (OGZ), capable to receive the most modern aircrafts, with regular flights to Moscow.

Urban transport is represented by tram and bus services. Since February, 1977 to August, 2010 trolleybus services were also available in the city. Currently, public transport is almost completely replaced by taxi buses.


  • Armenian Apostolic (Gregorian) Church
  • State Digorsky Drama Theatre
  • National Museum of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania

Outstanding People

  • Khetagurov, Costa Levanovich — poet, educator, sculptor, painter
  • Vakhtangov Bagrationovich Eugene (1883—1922) — Russian and Soviet film director and actor
  • Gergiev, Valery Abisalovich - conductor, artistic director of the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, People's Artist of Russia, State Prize Laureate of Russia;
  • Lisician, Pavel Gerasimov (1911—2004) — Opera singer, People's Artist of USSR (1956)
  • Chuev, Michael A. — singer, composer, director, People's Artist of Russia, People's Artist of North Ossetia