Coat of arms
Location of Nalchik
|City status since||1921|
|• Body||City Council|
|• Head||Zalimgeri Khagasov|
|• Total||67 km2 (26 sq mi)|
|Elevation||512 m (1,680 ft)|
| • Estimate |
|• Rank||78th in 2010|
|• Density||2,234.3/km2 (5,787/sq mi)|
|• Subordinated to||city of republic significance of Nalchik|
|• Capital of||Kabardino-Balkar Republic|
|• Capital of||city of republic significance of Nalchik|
|• Urban okrug||Nalchik Urban Okrug|
|• Capital of||Nalchik Urban Okrug|
|Time zone||UTC+3 (MSK )|
360000, 360005, 360032, 360901, 360903, 360904
|Dialing code(s)||+7 8662|
|City Day||September 1|
Nalchik (Russian: Нальчик, IPA: [ˈnalʲtɕɪk]; Kabardian: Налщӏэч /naːɮɕʼakʲ/; Karachay-Balkar: Нальчик /naltsɯk/) is the capital city of the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic, Russia, situated at an altitude of 550 meters (1,800 ft) in the foothills of the Caucasus Mountains; about 100 kilometers (62 mi) northwest of Beslan (Beslan is in the Republic of North Ossetia–Alania). It covers an area of 131 square kilometers (51 sq mi). Its population has fluctuated over the years, with the following numbers: 240,203 (2010 Census); 274,974 (2002 Census); 234,547 (1989 Census).
The territory of modern-day Nalchik was formerly known as Slabada. It was inhabited by native Kabardians, Balkars, Chechens, Adeki, and Cherkese, until around 1743; groups occasionally clashed over and dispute their claims to the land. The modern city dates from the early 19th century when the expanding Russian Empire built a fort there together with settling Mountain Jews in 1818; this date is seen at the top of the city's coat of arms. With the founding of the city of Nalchik, the disputes among the native groups calmed and life improved for the people in the region.
In 1838, a Russian military settlement was founded in the city, and after the Russian Revolution of 1917, in the year 1921, Nalchik was given the status of administrative center of Kabardin Autonomous Oblast.
The word "Nalchik" literally means "small horseshoe" in Kabardian (or Circassian, a Northwest Caucasian language) and Karachay-Balkar (a Turkic language). It is a diminutive of na'l, a common Middle Eastern word (Arabic, Persian, Turkish) for "horseshoe", possibly from the ancient Scythian, 'nalak" (horseshoe). The city of Nalchik was named this way because of how it is shaped as surrounded by the mountains of the land, and the Nalchik River is named after the city it runs across.
During World War II, on 2 November 1942, Nalchik was occupied by Romanian mountain troops (Vânători de munte) under the command of Brigadier General Ioan Dumitrache, its capture earning the Romanian General the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. The city was heavily damaged during the conflict. G-ral Dumitrache went to great length ordering his troops to protect local population during the time Nalchik was occupied by Romanian forces. Professor A. N. Dainaco, the Mayor of Nalchik at that time, thanked G-ral Dumitrache for liberating the city. Although he was accused of war crimes, G-ral Dumitrache was fully exonerated after the war by a joint Soviet and Romanian judicial commission.
Due to the harsh treatment of Jewish People by the Soviet Union, there has been a mass exodus of Jews from Nalchik over the decades, reducing the population that is left to a small percentage of what once was.
Nalchik was chosen the "second cleanest city of Russia" in 2003.
On October 13, 2005, Nalchik was attacked by a large group of Yarmuk Jamaat militants led by Shamil Basayev and Anzor Astemirov. Buildings associated with the Russian security forces were targeted, killing at least 14 civilians and wounding 115. Thirty-five policemen were killed in the fighting and eighty-nine militants, including prominent leader Ilias Gorchkhanov, were killed while another fifty-nine were arrested.
Within the framework of administrative divisions, it is, together with four rural localities, incorporated as the city of republic significance of Nalchik—an administrative unit with the status equal to that of the districts. As a municipal division, the city of republic significance of Nalchik is incorporated as Nalchik Urban Okrug.
The population of the city in 2006 included the following breakdown by ethnicity:
2002 census data is as follows:
Nalchik is a balneological and mountain climatotherapy resort, with several sanatoriums. It also serves as an industrial center of the republic (non-ferrous metallurgy, light industry, construction materials manufacturing, machine building).
Nalchik is home to the following facilities of higher education:
Nalchik has a hot-summer humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification: Dfa) with hot summers and no dry season. The warm season lasts from late May to mid-September and the cold season from December to March. Most forms of precipitation are light rain and thunderstorms, as well as light snow and moderate snow. Wind speeds are typically calm to a light breeze through the year.
|Climate data for Nalchik (Нальчик)|
|Average high °C (°F)||0.2
|Average low °C (°F)||−7.1
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||22
|Average precipitation days||6||6||8||9||11||11||9||7||7||7||7||7||95|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||69||71||117||141||185||235||222||210||201||153||93||63||1,760|
|Source 1: Gydrometcenter|
|Source 2: City Hall of Nalchik|
PFC Spartak Nalchik is an association football club based in Nalchik, playing in the Russian Premier League. The 2008 World Women's Chess Championship has also been held in Nalchik on August 28–September 18, 2008.
The supreme and exclusive legislative (representative) body of the state power in Nalchik is the Nalchik City Council.