A fan of uniquely beautiful gorges stretching to the snowy ridge of the Main Caucasus Range stretches in the wooded mountains of the Western Caucasus. Crystal streams and small rivers flow from the sky-high peaks and glaciers. Some of them are not in a hurry: with blue lakes they long look at the broken world of wild rocks. Others, impatient, immediately hang in the gorge ringing waterfalls. Having gathered below, no longer stopping, they run through alpine meadows, through forests and valleys, incorporating the purity of mountain air, the cold of ice, the white boiling of blooming rhododendrons, the smell of ripe strawberries and the reverie of seven-year-old giant fir trees. The tributaries merge into two already large rivers, the Psysh and the Kizgych, which then, at a small mountain village with the romantic name Arkhyz, form Bolshoi Zelenchuk, rapidly carrying its extraordinary green-blue waters to the Kuban.
The ranges around the valley reach an average of 2500 m in height and reliably protect it from winds, including cold northern ones, which creates special conditions characterized by low clouds, large number of sunny days, dry air, and the absence of strong winds. The temperature of the warmest month in Arkhyz is 24.8 ° С, and the coldest one is 5.8 ° С. There is no sweltering heat and bitter cold here. In Arkhyz a lot of sun. In the North Caucasus, it is called the "pole of clarity."
By the number of cloudless sunny days, Arkhyz surpasses such well-known resorts as Kislovodsk and Davos, and due to the high voltage of solar radiation, the average annual temperature in Arkhyz is 1–2 degrees higher than in Davos, Switzerland. The winter is sunny, snowy, healthy, mild and fabulously beautiful. Lasts in the village for about four months, starting in the second half of November.
More than a thousand years ago, the northern branch of the Great Silk Road to China passed through the Arkhyz valley. Here in the 10th-11th centuries, the capital of the Alanian state and the religious center of the Alanian diocese were located. On the territory of the settlement, three Christian churches of the 11th century have been preserved.
For many years the stream of pilgrims rushed to the Settlement Nizhny Arkhyz in Karachay-Cherkessia.
In recent years, it has increased dramatically: in front of the middle Arkhyz temple, the face of Christ, painted in colors on a rocky surface, was discovered.
The origin of the face is a real mystery! Even just climbing the steep mountain is feasible for not everyone, much less to arrange an art workshop there. Moreover, it was not our contemporaries who did this, but the admirers of Jesus who lived in the distant Middle Ages: an analysis of ocher scrapings taken from the icon made it possible to date it to the 9th century.
In the Byzantine Empire, from which the ancient road to the Kuban flowed through the Caucasus range along the Bolshoi Zelenchuk mountain river, the elements of iconoclasm were raging at that time. The violent emperors equated the colorful images of the Lord and the saints with idols and ruthlessly destroyed them. Perhaps, fleeing the wrath of the iconoclast iconoclasts, Christians who did not recognize such a heresy fled to the Lower Arkhyz. That is why, it is clear, they so securely hid the image from random eyes.
The ascetic, stern face with hollow cheeks most of all resembles the image of a crucified Christ imprinted on the Shroud of Turin. In the world, there are no other masterpieces of rock iconography anywhere else. There is no doubt that a relic appeared in the North Caucasus.
One of the most wonderful in the modern world!
Today, you can climb up a steep slope, holding the cable, someone carefully tied to the trunks of the pines.
Stories probably know only two cases of the miraculous impact of the rock icon on people. But what! The woman, standing at the icon, felt that for the first time in many years, she was relieved of pain in her knees. Delighted, she returned here with an old father who had long since disappeared. It is difficult to imagine how she dragged him from behind to the face of the Savior. But it is known that he descended down on his own. But mortally ill, rising to the face, began to ask the Lord to stop his torment. And right here, at a rocky ledge, he gave God his soul. I had to call the rescuers to bring the body down.
There are other “miracles” in these wonderful places.
In Arkhyz there is the largest special astrophysical observatory in Russia, which includes a giant, the largest in Europe, optical telescope with a mirror diameter of 6 meters.
Outside the village of Upper Yermolovka, not reaching 24 kilometers from Upper Arkhyz, at the foot of Pastukhov Mountain, there is a wonderful village shining with light and cleanliness - Lower Arkhyz. In Akademgorodok, as if descended from pictures of Switzerland, astronomers live and work — scientists of the SANAN — Special Astrophysical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences. This is one of the few domestic centers, which conducts ground-based astronomical observations in the entire range of electromagnetic radiation, using the largest telescopes in the world.
On the outskirts of the village of Zelenchukskaya there is a structure in the form of a huge bowl, like a stadium - this is RATAN-600 - Radio Telescope of the Academy of Sciences, figuratively speaking, a radio window into the Universe. The main ring antenna consists of 895 aluminum panels combined with high accuracy. The antenna has a diameter of 600 meters. The radio emission of the Sun, stars, nebulae, and distant galaxies is studied at the RATAN-600. In its class of antennas, it is still unsurpassed.
The main optical telescope of the observatory is the Altazimutny Large Telescope (BTA) with a mirror diameter of 6 m and a weight of 42 tons without a rim (in a frame of 84 tons). The weight of the entire telescope is 600 tons. It is located on one of the spurs of Pastukhov Mountain, at an altitude of 2070 m. The “eye” of the planet is installed in a tower 53 meters high and 44 meters in diameter. The BTA optical mirror that collects a million times more light than the human eye, in combination with recording equipment, sensitive even to single quanta of light, allows to detect and study extremely weak and distant objects of the Universe.
Arkhyz has long been known for its beautiful mountain therapeutic climate. In general, the climate is temperate continental. It has a tonic effect on the human body. The purest mountain air and the complete absence of allergens contribute to the effective treatment of allergic diseases, chronic lung diseases and functional disorders of the nervous system.
Due to the diversity of natural beauty, Arkhyz has excellent opportunities for outdoor activities: hiking trails, rafting, horseback riding, trout fishing.
Now you know that one of the wonders of the world is located here.
Come to Arkhyz. You have the opportunity to verify this!