Ossetian city Dargavs, where there are more dead than living
Ossetian city Dargavs, where there are more dead than living
Dargavs cemetery, lying among the rocks

On the edge of the village of Dargavs in Ossetia is the stunningly beautiful ancient City of the Dead. It is located on a hillside with an amazing view of the river, emerald hills and steep cliffs. Strikingly, this burial complex is more reminiscent of a fashionable eco-resort than an ancient cemetery, which attracts tourists from all over the world.

City of the Dead on the hillside

The crypts of Dargavs are small structures of several floors with a pointed roof. The walls are plastered, like those of real residential buildings, but instead of doors there are small gaps through which the inhabitants of the valley put their deceased loved ones in the tombs, along with their clothes and personal belongings.

Necropolis near the village of Dargavs

The cemetery near the Dargavs settlement is over 800 years old. At one time, the ancestors of the Ossetians settled on five mountain ranges, but the land was so expensive that they had to choose the most inconvenient and windy slope for their cemetery. Even today, getting there is not so easy, but nevertheless, the Dargavs necropolis remains an extremely popular place among tourists.

Dargavs cemetery

In the past, locals have tried not to visit the City of the Dead unless absolutely necessary. It was believed that anyone who dared to go there would never return alive. According to one of the legends, in the 17th century there was a plague epidemic in Ossetia. Sick people went to the necropolis in order to patiently await their mournful fate in tombs. Residents of Dargavs brought bread and water to the sick. When the sick died, their bodies remained forever in the city of the dead.

Necropolis in the valley of the Fiagdon river

Today's inhabitants of the village of Dargavs relate to the ancient buildings without much trepidation. The dilapidated tombs are turned into barns, and they perceive the entire ancient necropolis as the most common part of the landscape. The City of the Dead no longer scares them.

Ancient tombs in Ossetia

Those who are not afraid or confused by the topic of death should definitely look at the unusual, but picturesque cemetery in Senegal or hotel for the dead in Japan.

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