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The Republic of North Ossetia-Alania , Dzivgis

Rock Fortress in Dzivgis village

Наскальная крепость в селении Дзивгис
Фотобанк Лори

Dating back to the 13th-16th centuries, one of the largest rock fortresses in the Caucasus stands right on the slopes of a rocky ridge behind Dzivgis village. The fortress complex consists of seven independent defensive facilities that are located at the entrances to the natural cave formations.

The communication between separate fortress towers was carried out through bridges or wooden walkways laid on beams that were hammered into rock crevices. When the walkways were removed, the towers were almost impossible to take over. The central tower was built above the entrance to a rather long cave, about 70 meters long from the entrance.

This powerful fortification is literally built into the rock. It has repeatedly saved the Ossetians during the raids of conquerors. Oriental chroniclers wrote that «it was extremely difficult to get there due to the height, which was so great that our eyes would get blurry and our hats would fall from our heads.»

There is a theory that in the early 17th century, after conquering most of Georgia, Shah Abbas the Great made an expeditionary march through the Caucasian ridge, thereby invading the territory of present-day North Ossetia. A popular legend has it that the troops of Abbas I tried to capture three impregnable Alanian fortresses, but despite all their tricks, they could not do it. According to the legend, the first of these impregnable fortresses in the Shah's path was Dzivgis Rock Fortress. However, there are much earlier sources that mention Dzivgis Rock Fortress. The Book of Victory by Sharaf al-Din Yazdi (1424—1425) describes an impregnable rock fortress in a gorge that geographically coincides with the present-day Kurtat gorge during the Tamerlane's campaign in Alania.

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Address: Alagirskiy district, the village of Dzivgis

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