Things to see

Vaserkel tower complex

Vaserkel tower complex

The Vaserkel tower complex is one of the most legendary fortresses in the history of mountainous Chechnya. It was called the Fortress of the courageous.

Built on a narrow, sharp-humped promontory that was difficult to reach on three sides, it completely controlled the strategic road from Chechnya to Georgia that ran through the historical region of Chechnya, Maista. "Maista", translated from Chechen, means high-altitude, upper, edge.

In its center flows the Maistoin-Erk river, a tributary of the Chanta-Argun, and high above it, on the sides of the gorge, tower complexes were located in strategically important places. In the middle ages Mista was a kind of capital of the Chechen mountains, at one time there was about the country's highest court. Here, according to legend, lived the legendary Molkh, the ancestor of part of the Chechens, who then moved to Nashkha, and later became the founder of Ichkeria.

To the North of the Vaserkel fortress is a large necropolis – the "city of the dead", consisting of more than twenty stone crypts scattered on the slopes. They are mostly small stone houses with gable roofs made of large slate slabs, with a square opening on the front side. There are also two-story crypts, and crypts with a memorial chamber.

On the South side of the Vaserkel fortress stands a battle tower, where a complex of defensive structures is located. Inside the fortress, there are ruins of medieval houses, but most of the village is already overgrown with forest. According to legend, Vaserkel in case of a military threat could put more than a thousand well-armed warriors. Vaserkel fell in the early middle Ages, when it was captured by a well-organized army of Persians, who quietly killed the guards on the distant approaches to the fortress. No one has lived here since.

At present, Vasarkel is located far from roads, in a wild, inaccessible and almost unvisited part of the border region of the Chechen Republic.