Dagestan.
Geographical Position and Population

Mikhail Nokhov Gymnasium # 1 Khasavyurt

Acting President of Dagestan Ramazan Abdulatipov

The Republic of Dagestan constitutes a part of the Russian Federation. It is situated in the North Caucasus and is the most southern part of Russia. Makhachkala, Dagestan's administrative and cultural center, is located 2166km from Moscow.

By land and the Caspian Sea Dagestan is bound by five states - Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran, while within the Russian Federation, it is bound by Stavropol Territory, Kalmykia and Chechnya.

The geographical situation, landscape diversity and the Caspian Sea reservoir make the climate of Dagestan rather diversified. Dagestan comprises five climatic and a number of geographical zones: from the Caspian lowland at 28 meters below the level of the world ocean and the subtropics - up to the snow peaks of more than 4 thousand meters high. Local summers are warm and long. Average winter temperature is 0-5C, average summer temperature is +25C.

Dagestan means the "Mountain Country" in Turkic as 56% of its total territory is covered with mountain ranges and valleys. Mountain peaks covered with snow all year round impress tourists with their magnificent beauty and calm. Green valleys and meadows, sand seashore and world famous Caucasian hospitality contribute to the growing popularity of the region.

Dagestan is unique due to a great variety of cultures and peoples, too: more than 30 ethnic groups have been living here from time immemorial on a relatively small territory, forming the united community of peoples who have never waged wars against each other. It is not by mere chance that the land of Mountains is otherwise called the "Mountain of Languages".

Dagestan is one of the most ethnically compound regions: more than 100 nationalities and peoples, including 30 indigenous, representing large linguistic families and groups, like Iberian-Caucasian, Turk, Iranian, Indo-European and others, are settled here. The local languages in their major part fall into dialects and patois. Three major ethnic groups inhabiting Dagestan are Dagestan, Turkic and Indo-European. Some of the largest groups are Avar, Dargin, Lezgin, Kumyk, Lak, Russian, Nogay, etc .

Dagestan is unique due to a great variety of cultures and peoples, too: more than 30 ethnic groups have been living here from time immemorial on a relatively small territory, forming the united community of peoples who have never waged wars against each other. It is not by mere chance that the land of Mountains is otherwise called the "Mountain of Languages".

Dagestan is rich in historical and cultural monuments. There are over 8,000 monuments in Dagestan that are under federal protection. Some of them are truly unique ones: grandiose defense system in Derbent, 7th century Naryn -Kala fortress, 13-15th centuries mosques and fortresses, etc.

Situated on the joint of Europe and Asia, Dagestan belongs to both East and West. Grandiose mountainous landscapes, picturesque fertile valleys, deserts and liana forests, waterfalls and wonderful sea beaches enrapture the spectator with their inimitable beauty, and those who have seen these picturesque landscapes of Dagestan, starve for returning here again and again

Dagestan, this "museum in the open air", is far from having been studied to the full, its ancient fortresses, manuscripts, and heroic legends still keep many mysteries. But the way of life of the peoples of Dagestan can be undoubtedly called the phenomenon of the "Dagestan civilization".