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The Chechen Republic , Ushkaloy

Ushkaloi Twin Towers of the 11th-12th Centuries

Ушкалойские башни-близнецы XI–XII века
Александра Николаева
Ушкалойские башни-близнецы XI–XII века
Александра Николаева
Ушкалойские башни-близнецы XI–XII века
Александра Николаева

Built into a rock vault, the towers are located between the villages of Guchum-Kale and Ushkaloi in the Itum-Kali district on the right bank of the Chanti-Argun river.  The towers have four tiers and are about 12 meters high.

The Grozny-Itum-Kale road passes near the tower. The powerful flow of the Chanti-Argun river separates the towers fr om the road. This is one of the narrowest places on the road through the gorge.

The architecture of the towers is peculiar. They have three walls, and the rock serves as the fourth wall.  The towers are built out of stone that has been processed with mortar.  The stone canopy of the rock serves as the roof.  

Towers built into rocky niches typologically belong to the most ancient type of buildings. In mountainous Chechnya, such buildings were located in rocky cliffs, on steep river banks, sometimes at very high altitudes. Rock crevices or rock caves were laid with stones from the outside, arranging door and window openings, loopholes, and observation slits like in a conventional tower.

The Ushkaloi towers are located under the huge canopy of Celine-Lam rock. Nearby there is the base of another tower destroyed in 1944.

According to legend, these towers housed the Council of Wise Men, wh ere highlanders of all ethnic communities came searching for truth and justice.

The tower is considered to be a watchtower. The fact that in olden days the road in this place came along the right river bank, not the left as it does now, is a confirmation of this. Not far from the tower there was a stone arch bridge.  Guards in the tower controlled the road and the bridge. Only elements of the bridge have survived to the present time.

In 2011, the towers were restored.

Tourism Portal of the Chechen Republic /

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Address: The Chechen Republic, Itum-Kalinsky district

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