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Itsari tower

The Republic of Dagestan, Dakhadaevskiy region,

The most famous sightseeing of the village Itsari in Dakhadaevskiy region is defensive tower rising above the village. The tower is situated on the ledge of a mountain above the village; there are steep slopes from three sides, the tower is separated from the nearest glade by 8 meter ditch. At present time it is the biggest of remaining round towers in the North Caucasus. It represents narrowing to the top conical construction and dates approximately of XIV century. The main designation of the tower is defensive: it was built for fighting both with foreign invaders and with neighboring tribes, which “burnt the crops and stole the cattle” (the inscription in Arabic on the tower’s wall; translation of A.R. Shikhsaidov).

At the same time the tower served as signal and watchtower. Thickness of the walls at the foundation is about 2 meters, the inside diameter is 7 meters. On the southern side that is pointed to the village at the level of the second floor there are entering gates with oak doors (the entrance to the tower was realized with the help of a ladder); on the fourth floor there is an inspection window. In the north direction there are about 20 loopholes in the tower, 5 on the second, third and fourth floors with narrow slots for shooting and widening to the inside; 3-4 shooters could stand behind them.

They tell about the guarding system, that the first detachment of patrol men was inside the tower, the second guarded at the road. In the aul itself the fortress gates were closed before the evening. Local legends tell of attacks on Itsari by surgintsi and hordes of shah Abbas. The Persians are told to have burnt all the surrounding crops, so Itsari people had to eat beetroot, but the invaders still weren’t able to own the fortification. According to a legend, the tower used to be of 8 floors. On the photographs from the 50s 5 floors remained, with total height 18 meters, and to the beginning of the 90s only 3 and a half floors remained. For convenient ascent to the tower’s top, stones of the wall were actively thrown down both by local boys and by tourists. In 1991 under the leadership of R.O. Mutalov restoration works were made, allowing not only to save the tower from further destruction, but also to restore the fourth floor. Thanks to the efforts of the region administration Itsari tower was included into the Worldwide fund of cultural heritage of humanity, and in 2007 with financial help of the UNESCO final restoration of the tower was made – ceilings between floors were restored, the top was closed, loopholes setting forth were made on the roof


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