Tsoy-Pede is a large tower complex of the Malkhistinsky gorge, at the confluence of the Meshi-khi river with the Chanty-Argun. A large necropolis is located on a sharp-humped promontory, which is difficult to reach from three sides and rests on the Northern side of the rocks at the foot of the Kore-Lam ridge.on the southern side, looking towards Georgia, there are two battle towers and the remains of residential structures.
The Tsoy-Pede necropolis is one of the largest in the North Caucasus. There are 42 solar burial grounds of the XIII-XV centuries, each of which had numerous burials. The crypts are covered with a gable slate roof; many of them have deep niches in front of the entrance. There are many solar signs on the stones, and at the entrance to the "city of the dead», there were two pagan shrines where sacrifices were made. According to ancient beliefs, they protected the peace of the dead and brought prosperity to the living.
Above the tombs rises the battle tower ("tower of the cemeteries"). It was erected to protect the crypts from intruders who might desecrate the graves in order to avenge their wrongs. Battle tower is equipped with many loopholes, and the top – balconies - mashikuli. The stones of the tower are marked with petroglyphs-magic signs that were supposed to protect the tower and soldiers from the enemy.
To the South of the" city of the dead» was a large tower village, separated by impregnable rocks and a solid stone wall. The narrow passageway was securely controlled by two battle towers located on both sides of the gorge. According to legend, for three months Tsoy-Pede was unsuccessfully besieged by the enemy, but they were able to enter only thanks to a girl who told her lover from among the besiegers a safe passage from the abyss. At present, one of the two battle towers of the fortress has been preserved on the very edge of the steep cliff. This unique structure, which controls the passage into the gorge from the Georgian side, was built with jewelry skill, but is now in critical condition. Below the tower used to be residential structures, now destroyed.
According to legend, in ancient times in Tsoy-Pede once a year gathered all-Russian army. No matter how far away the warriors lived, everyone had to arrive on the appointed day. The last person to arrive after sunrise was to be executed. There is an old legend that once a warrior deliberately slowed down his horse and was too late. Answering the question of the elders about the reason, he confessed that he had married the day before, but found out that the bride loved another, and decided to die so that she would get her freedom. Then another horseman appeared and demanded that he be executed, because he was a prisoner. The girl he loved got married yesterday and he decided not to interfere with the marriage. The elders were surprised at the nobility of the young men, and abolished the harsh law of their ancestors.
Now Tsoy-Pede is located in the border zone of the Itum-Kalinsky district of the Chechen Republic, and is open to tourists from Russia during daylight hours, just show your Russian passport at the checkpoint at the entrance to the border zone.