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10 must-see places
in Goryachy Klyuch

#GoryachyKlyuch
Goryachy Klyuch is the oldest resort in Krasnodar region. It is famous for its healing water and dates back to 1864, when a military hospital with a bath was built on the Psekups hot waters. For more than a century and a half, patients with a variety of diseases have been raised here, and they also allow everyone to preserve their health. But you can spend time here not only with health benefits. Be sure to go for a walk around the area, where you will find many interesting places.
1
City History Museum
Let's start with the museum. This is not just a standard museum of local lore, as in any city. It has a curious story of his own. It was founded in 1864 on the initiative of the colonel of the Kuban Cossack army Ivan Diomidovich Popko. The colonel proposed in this way to preserve the culture of the highlanders, priceless examples of art and life of local peoples. The case was extraordinary. As a result, the first museum in the Caucasus was created!

Artifacts from all over the region came here, and the collection grew very quickly. In addition to the life of the highlanders, a hall was created in the museum, where ancient Greek and Genoese artifacts were received during archaeological excavations. Until now, the museum has a rich collection of archeological and paleontological exhibits, everyday culture, modern history of peoples inhabiting the Caucasus at different times.
2
Alley
of Thousand Pines
After visiting the legendary museum, you can go for a walk. Our path lies through the Healing Park. But, before getting there, we have to go through a long alley of Pitsunda pines and Koch pines, leading directly to the Drinking Gallery.

The alley stretches for 2 km. The city's main highway runs alongside it. In its center, the alley is a pedestrian zone. The pine trees were planted in 1958 by schoolchildren and students. Since the pines were planted at the same time, they all have almost the same height. Thanks to them, it is not at all necessary to leave the city to breathe in the fresh coniferous air.
3
Healing Park
and Drinking Gallery
We begin our journey through the Healing Park by visiting the drinking gallery. The city is famous for its mineral water throughout Russia and even beyond its borders. Water from three mineral springs is supplied here via a special water supply system. These waters differ from each other in temperature and chemical composition. In the gallery you can collect water in reserve, but doctors recommend drinking it right in the gallery. This way its therapeutic effect is preserved more.
4
Chapel
of the Iberian Icon
of the Mother of God
We continue our walk through the Healing Park. And now our path lies to Mineralnaya Polyana. Here we will find two more attractions of Goryachy Klyuch - the chapel of the Iberian Icon of the Mother of God and the spring of St. Panteleimon. First, let's go to the chapel.

The chapel was built in the 19th century near the Iversky spring. Part of the building is carved right into the rock. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Iversky spring dried up: due to seismic activity, the earth's strata shifted. It was restored only in 1999, together with the restoration of the chapel.

Nearby, at Mineralnaya Polyana, there is another spring named after Saint Panteleimon, a holy healer.
5
Dante Gorge
A narrow gorge of unusual shape begins right behind Mineralnaya Polyana. It looks gloomy and it got its name in honor of Dante Alighieri for this, who, as you know, found the entrance to hell.

There is still research and controversy over the formation of the gorge. It is obvious that the fault appeared much later than the entire mountain system of the area, but what was the reason for its appearance is not clear.

And while scientists make hypotheses, urban legends appear. One of them claims that the Cossacks made the fault during the construction of a military hospital, so that the healing air does not linger in the mountains, but reaches the walking area faster.

Along the gorge you can climb the slope of the Abadzekh mountain. The gorge leads upwards. 49 steps, cut by the townspeople back in the 19th century, help to climb. Our path lies there.
6
Fortress Psyfabe
Strange ruins can be seen at the top. Now it is difficult to recognize them as a medieval citadel, which was built approximately in the 5th-7th centuries. It protected the local people from the raids of the nomads. The fortress was found in 1998. On its territory were discovered artifacts dating back to the 1st century AD.

The fortress carried a defensive function until the 16th century. She guarded trade routes and was used as a stronghold in hostilities. The ruins of the ancient building are still being investigated.
7
Rock of Salvation ("Cockerel")
We climb further along the slope of the Abadzekh mountain. The ascent is rather gentle, there is a special trail equipped with places for rest and benches where you can take a breath with fresh forest air.

Finally, we come to the foot of the stairs leading to the observation deck. Below us is a steep cliff, under which the waters of the Psekups River splash. This is the Rock of Salvation, or "Cockerel", as it is often called because of its specific shape, resembling a comb. The height of the rock is 28 meters. The view from here is simply amazing. A little later we will still admire the rock from the side. In the meantime, let's go back downwards.
8
Embankment
of the Psekups river
We pass to the other bank of Psekups along the suspension bridge. People call it the Bridge of Hope or the Happy Bridge. Before the war, an ordinary bridge was built here and a ferry crossing operated. Then it was destroyed, and after the war it was decided not to restore the old bridge, but to build a new bridge nearby. It was made suspended in accordance with mountain traditions. At night, the bridge is beautifully illuminated, which makes a walk along it more romantic. The bridge offers a picturesque view of the river and its surroundings.

On the other side of Psekups there are cafes and restaurants, souvenir shops and goods for tourists - here is the M-4 Don highway leading to the Black Sea coast. You can have a snack overlooking the Psekups River and the Rock of Salvation from where we just came down.
9
Waterfalls
Now it's time to leave the town. What can the vicinity of Goryachy Klyuch offer to a curious and purposeful tourist? You can go to the Ayuk waterfalls in the Podnavisla natural boundary, which is 30 kilometers from Goryachy Klyuch and 10 kilometers away from the village of Fanagoriyskoye.

This is a system of cascading waterfalls created by the Burlachenkova Cleft mountain stream. The upper four meters high waterfall and the five-meter lower waterfalls give a picturesque view of the area, are conducive to a quiet pastime and relaxation. A pool with crystal clear and transparent water was formed at the foot. Here you can swim in the cool water of a mountain stream.

You can go to the Kaverzinsky waterfalls, which are located in the vicinity of the village of Khrebtovoye on the Tambovskaya Cleft stream (the right tributary of the Kaverze River). It is about 36 kilometers away from Goryachy Klyuch. Moreover, from the highway M-4 "Don" you need to drive only about 5 kilometers and walk a little. The height of the Big Kaverzinsky waterfall is 12 meters. There are several smaller waterfalls on the way to it.
10
Caves
If you are tired of the waterfalls, you can start exploring the caves. In the area of Goryachy Klyuch there are several interesting sites for speleology.

Not far from the city, on the left bank of the Psekups River, in the forests of the Valley of Enchantment, there are Bogatyr Caves. This natural monument has been very little studied and therefore legends and speculations go around it. According to one version, giants lived in them, protecting the local population from enemies. According to another version, these are man-made caves dug for those who faced death penalty.

According to the Adyghe laws, suicide bombers could escape and hide in caves in order to leave the country forever. They were not persecuted for this. The caves could also be the sites of primitive people.

The Big Fanagoria cave is also very popular with tourists, which is located 12.5 kilometers from the village of Fanagoriyskoye (that's right, this is in the same area as the Ayuk waterfalls). Nature created it 75 million years ago, and man has known the cave since the 18th century. The underground gallery stretches for almost one and a half kilometers, of which only 800 meters are open to the public.