A week ago, went to a wonderful place in the mountains — Arhiz.
Arhiz … What lies behind this name? In the forested mountains of the Western Caucasus stretches fan uniquely beautiful gorges, leaving a snowy ridge of the Greater Caucasus mountain range. With sky-high peaks and glaciers flow down crystal streams and rivers. Some of them are not in a hurry: the blue eyes of lakes they have long considered the broken world of the wild cliffs. Others, impatient, just hang in the gorge tinkling waterfalls. Gathered at the bottom, not stopping, run them through alpine meadows and through forests and valleys, absorbing the clean mountain air, ice cold, boiling white flowering rhododendrons, the smell of ripe strawberries and thoughtfulness seven hundred giant firs. Tributaries merge into two large rivers already — and Psysh Kizgych, which then, in a small mountain village with a romantic name "Arhiz" form a large Zelenchuk rapidly carrying Kuban to his extraordinary blue-green water. Its length is about 170 km.

Our journey begins on the stable enclosure railing, 345-meter staircase of 526 steps. A staircase leads to the face of Christ, paspolozhennogo on the rock.

We were escorted nun from the convent.

In May 1999, members of the Lower Arkhyz Museum received an interesting message: locals Sergei and Anatoly Varchenko Matseshta on the slope of a ridge near the village of Lower Arhiz (beech trees) on one of the rocks saw the image of Christ the Savior — the face of Christ. Soon, a special expedition to search for the mysterious rock icons. Two days later, in a small grotto of sandstone was found polustershiysya the time pattern size of 140 by 80 cm from the rocks at people wisely looks Jesus Christ.

Savior of the cliff faces due east, and if you hold a conditional line, it will be just across the North Temple Lower Arkhyz settlement. It is there at the beginning of the tenth century, the Alans were baptized. By the way, the ancient Christian churches are preserved to this day almost in its original form. How is Christ’s face could appear in the remote forested mountains of Karachay-Cherkessia, where the dominant religion of Islam has always been considered? Historians in this regard has an opinion. Most likely due to the appearance of the face of an ancient hill fort, located at the foot of Mitsesht on the other bank of the river Big Zelenchuk.

The fact is that in the immediate vicinity of the ancient city of Lower Arkhyz the Great Silk Road. According to it, together with the trade lyudom moved and missionaries who carried the banner of Christianity from the Byzantine Empire in the neighboring state. The peak of the missionary activities of the parish, according to numerous sources, VIII-IX century AD. For example, the Lower Arkhyz settlement became the center of the Alan Diocese, an outpost of the Byzantine influence in the North Caucasus.

In the distance you can see the Special Astrophysical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Here it is closer.

Autumn beautiful as always.

Completed the survey in the face of Christ ascend to a height of 2,070 meters above sea level. Here it is — a unique research institute of the Special Astrophysical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences (SAO). This is — one of the few national centers, which are held by astronomical observations over the entire range of electromagnetic radiation, using the world’s largest telescopes.

Arkhyz Observatory was established in 1966 to operate the world’s largest astronomical intstrumentov: Greater optical telescope Alt-azimuthal (BTA) with a mirror diameter of 6 meters and a Radio Telescope of the Academy of Sciences of the ring antenna 600-meter-diameter (RATAN — 600). These telescopes were commissioned in 1976-1977 years and still provide a solution to problems of fundamental science. They were created with the participation of leading institutions and companies in the country with the use of advanced technical and scientific solutions. Thus, the BTA was the progenitor of a new class of optical instruments, and all the modern large telescopes are now being built in his likeness. Since the inception to the early 90’s, BTA was the largest optical telescope in the world, and the RATAN — 600 is still unsurpassed in its class antennas.

BTA telescope is mounted on one of the northern spurs of the mountain at an altitude of Pastukhova 2070 m above sea level. Optical mirror BTA, collecting millions of times more light than the human heads, combined with the recording equipment, to detect and study very weak and distant objects in the Universe. RATAN — 600 is located in a broad valley of the Big Zelenchuk on the southern outskirts of the village Zelenchukskaya 25 km to the north of the BTA. The main ring antenna are 895 aluminum panels, combined with high accuracy. This study solar radio telescope, stars, nebulae, distant galaxies. Not far from the observatory is a small academic town — a village Lower Arhiz. The second name of the village — Bukovo, as he grew up in the beech forest on the right bank of the Big Zelenchuk. In the village there are laboratories and workshops, multi-storey residential buildings and shops, a high school with a gym and swimming pool, a house of culture, art and music school and a hotel.

The views from the mountain Pastuhova unforgettable.

We descended back to the ancient settlement of Alania.

Ancient town — it’s the ruins of the city of Magas — Ghost town. Scientists suggest that this is where was the capital and the center of the ancient Patriarchate of Alanya. Area of the town stretches over four and a half kilometers.

South (Ilinskiy) temple

Of all the Christian churches Alan, preserved in the Karachay-Cherkessia, the only research, the church, the construction in the X century, was dedicated to the Holy Prophet — Elijah. Therefore, at the dedication of the latter in 1991 was preserved its ancient name of Elijah.

Medium church

Average Zelenchukskiy church’s cross-refers to the type of sacred buildings. Middle Byzantine church less than the North. He apparently built before, and at first was the main temple of the city. The monks at the end of the XIX century. "Restored" it — plastered wall with remains of frescoes, which, judging from old sketches, were very interesting. In general, the temple is well preserved thanks to a solid masonry hewn stone blocks and mortar. In his appearance, as in the North Church, shows the influence of the Byzantine Empire.

North Temple

The first temple was nizhnearhyzskim majestic and monumental temple North-largest Christian church in Alanya. It was the cathedral of the Diocese of the Alan, the center of its spiritual and cultural life in the X-XIII centuries. BC.

During the excavations inside the cathedral, in the narthex, archaeologist V. Kuznetsov found baptistery made of flat, stone slabs. This font was happening one of the mysteries of Christianity — the rite of baptism, communion to the heart of the Christian church. it was here in the beginning of the X century Alans to Christianity, this opens a new page in their history. The walls of the Byzantine church in the interior were covered with a gorgeous painting, which, alas, has not survived to the present day.

In 1940, under the floor of the temple was discovered a rich woman’s grave with a lot of gold jewelry that is stored at the State Historical Museum. Particularly interesting inscription on the ring with the name of the Armenian King Ashot I, who ruled Armenia in 886-891 years. Perhaps it was the headquarters of Alan metropolitans. And you know, they found among these decorations? Jewelry in the form of a clover! Trehlistnika.

Rock formations can be seen at the top of a per
fect sphere made of stone. Explanation of this stone has not yet been found.

Spring. Here you can have a drink of water. Thanks for the tour. Travel duration = 12:00)

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