The resort city of Kislovodsk is located in the Stavropol Territory in the foothills of the Greater Caucasus at an altitude of 800-1069 m. Just 65 km southwest of Kislovodsk rises the highest point of the Caucasus Mountains – Elbrus Peak (5642 m). Together with the resort towns of Pyatigorsk, Zheleznovodsk and Essentuki, Kislovodsk forms a single resort area – Caucasian Mineralnye Vody. Kislovodsk is the southernmost of these resorts. The city is surrounded by mountains on all sides, protecting it from cold winds. Kislovodsk is famous for its special microclimate, which, among other things, has healing properties. The air here is clean, ionized and dry, relative humidity does not exceed 65% throughout the year. Kislovodsk – the most “sunny” resort of the Caucasian Mineral Waters: there are about 300 clear days a year. Such climatic conditions allow you to relax here all year round.
According to Insidewatch.net, Kislovodsk was formed on the basis of a source of carbonic mineral water – “Narzan”. The spring has been known for its medicinal properties since ancient times, the locals called it the “Sour Well”, but its waters began to be widely used for medicinal purposes at the end of the 18th century. In 1803, by order of Emperor Alexander I, the construction of a fortress began at the “Sour Well”, in the same year the emperor signed a decree on the organization of medical institutions inside the fortress. The richest people of the country, as well as cultural figures, came to Kislovodsk for treatment. Gradually in Kislovodsk premises for vacationers, a restaurant, a Narzan gallery, a mineral water bottling plant and a Kurzal (resort hall) appeared. By the 30s of the 20th century, several dozen sanatoriums were created in the city, and in 1934 a mud bath was built here, which worked on the basis of silt sulfide mud of Tambukan Lake, located 40 km from Kislovodsk. During World War II, Kislovodsk became a hospital base and construction was suspended. In the post-war years, the resort resumed its development. To date, the resort area of Kislovodsk covers an area of 324 hectares (5% of the total area of the city) and includes about 50 sanatoriums.
Sanatoriums in Kislovodsk located in Rebrovaya and Vasyukova beams, on the streets of Yaroshenko, Bakunin and Shaumyan. In the treatment, carbonic mineral waters “Narzan” are used, which are extracted from local sources (only 7 sources of carbonic sulfate-hydrocarbonate calcium-magnesium waters), silt sulfide mud of Tambukan Lake, the purest ionized mountain air and mild climate. The main specialization of the sanatoriums of Kislovodsk are diseases of the cardiovascular system, today Kislovodsk is considered the leading cardiological resort in Russia. In addition to heart diseases, gynecological and urological diseases, diseases of the respiratory system, nervous system, digestive organs, ear, throat and nose are treated in Kislovodsk.
The main method of treatment, of course, is the use of mineral waters. The water of the main source “Narzan” has a mineralization of up to 1.8 g / l, contains more than 1 g / l of carbon dioxide, the temperature of its water is about +12 degrees. Mineral waters are used for internal use (drinking mineral waters, gastric lavage, duodenal tubage (drainage), intra-intestinal (rectal) procedures, inhalations with finely sprayed particles of mineral water) or for external use (baths, underwater traction of the spine, douche-massage, underwater douche -massage, sitz baths, rising showers, local baths for hands and feet, irrigation of the head, swimming in the pool). Also in the sanatoriums of Kislovodsk widely used mud therapy in the form of wraps and applications. The black silt sulfide mud of the Tambukan Lake is rich in salts, sulfuric iron, hydrogen sulfide, methane and carbon dioxide. In addition to these methods of treatment in Kislovodsk practice hydrotherapy or hydropathy – external use for therapeutic and prophylactic purposes of both fresh and mineral water (circular arc massage, Charcot shower, underwater shower massage, whirlpool baths, chamber baths, underwater traction, fan massage shower, contrast baths, dousing, rubbing); climatotherapy – the use of the healing properties of the climate, which includes aerotherapy (long or round-the-clock stay in the open air), heliotherapy (sunbathing) and thalassotherapy (treatment by bathing in open water); diet therapy (about 40 diets) and terrenkur – dosed walking (alternating walking on a flat place and rough terrain with a different angle of inclination in order to regulate blood circulation).
An integral part of the course of treatment for every vacationer in Kislovodsk is a visit to the Spa Park, which covers an area of 1340 hectares and is the second largest park in Europe. The park was laid out on both banks of the Olkhovka River in 1823. Its lower part stretches at an altitude of 830 m, and the upper reaches a height of 1409 m. There are over 250 species of trees and shrubs in the park, nurseries of ornamental plants and greenhouses are equipped here. The main entrance to the Kurortny Park is bordered by a two-tiered Colonnade, which was built in 1912. Nearby is the Narzan Gallery. The gallery was built in the middle of the 19th century in the medieval English style. Now it is the main drinking center of the resort with 16 pump rooms, from which three types of “narzan” are dispensed and with the main well of the “Narzan” spring. The main well is connected by a long gallery with the Central Spa Library. From the Narzan Gallery, the main routes of health paths begin – footpaths for measured walking over rough terrain. For the first time, the health path – a method of training treatment of heart and vascular diseases with dosed walks in the mountains – was proposed at the end of the 19th century by the German doctor M. Ertel. For the first time in In Russia, this method of treatment was used in 1901 and it was in Kislovodsk. In total, there are 6 health path routes in the Kurortny Park with a length of 1.7 km to 6 km (total length – 30 km). The paths go up the slopes of the park and converge at the top of Pine Hill, covered with pine forest – Pervomaiskaya Glade, where the main medical center of the health path “Temple of the Air” is located, the resort summer aerosolarium, attractions, cafes, gazebos for relaxation and an observation deck from where the whole city is visible and its surroundings. From the “Temple of the Air” up the slopes to the top of the Blue Mountains, a cable car was laid. While walking along the health path routes, vacationers will see the Mirror Pond (in its place there used to be a swimming pool), from which a kind of waterfall “Glass Stream” flows, many artificial waterfalls on the Olkhovka River, Rose Square and Red stones, consisting of red sandstone.
The resort park is connected with the Kislovodsk railway station by the Cascade staircase. The old railway station was built at the end of the 19th century in a single ensemble with the building of the Kursaal (spa hall). Currently, the old railway station has been restored, and a modern station has been built opposite it. The Kursaal houses the theater named after A.M. Gorky, the large hall of the State Philharmonic and the Museum of Musical Culture of the Caucasian Mineralnye Vody.
Other sights of Kislovodsk include the remains of the Kislovodsk fortress, from which the construction of the city began, the building of the Main Narzan baths (1903) – one of the main medical institutions of the resort, where there are 88 bath cabins, The Chaliapin Dacha Literary and Musical Museum, where the famous Russian baritone lived in 1897-1917, and Komsomolskaya Gorka Hill, on which an obelisk to the heroes of the Civil War and Red partisans is installed and a park with children’s attractions is located.
In the vicinity of Kislovodsk, there are interesting places associated with Russian writers Lermontov and Pushkin. 3 km from the city in the gorge of the Olkhovka river is Lermontov rock. It was these places that were described in the novel by M.Yu. Lermontov “Hero of Our Time”: the duel between Pechorin and Grushnitsky took place here. It is also worth going to the Burgustan Range to a place called the Ring-mountain, where a through hole with a diameter of 11 m can be seen in the rock. The hole was formed as a result of weathering. These places were visited by A.S. Pushkin and M.Yu. Lermontov. In addition, trips are arranged from Kislovodsk to the valley of the Alikonovka River to the rock “Castle of deceit and love”. The rock with its outlines resembles an ancient castle with walls and towers. It got its name from one of the local legends. According to legend, a long time ago, the rich and cruel prince Alikonov lived in the city, he had a daughter who fell in love with a poor young man. When the prince found the daughter of a rich groom, she, along with her beloved, decided to throw herself off a cliff, but at the last moment the girl got scared. The young man died, and the daughter of the prince married a rich groom. Not far from the “Castle of deceit and love”, the waters of the Alikonovka River fall down from a height of 18 m, forming picturesque Honey waterfalls. The waterfalls were called “honey” because of the honey-bearing herbs blooming in its vicinity. Also in the vicinity of Kislovodsk interesting are the archaeological sites of Rome-mountain (the remains of settlements of the first millennium AD) and the gorge of the Berezovka River (burial grounds of the 6th-7th centuries BC). Only 65 km southwest of Kislovodsk is the highest point in Europe – Mount Elbrus (5642 m). On the slopes of Elbrus lies the Elbrus National Park, which is known as the center of ecotourism and active tourism (mainly mountain-sports and skiing) of the Caucasus Mountains. Not far from the local village of Terskol there are ski lifts that take tourists to the ski areas of Elbrus.