Constructed during medieval times and translating to "Abode of Divinity," the Tsoi-Pede Necropolis is Russia's City of the Dead. Located in Itum-Kalinsky, part of the Chechen Republic, a special permit is required from the Federal Security Service before paying the necropolis a visit, as the cemetery is on Georgia's border.
The Tsoi-Pede Necropolis is on a rocky land situated between two rivers and the only way to reach it is along a narrow strip of land. There are still medieval buildings standing, decorated with funeral emblems. One of the incredibly fascinating things about this necropolis's structure is that there are two pillar-shaped altars, the walls are covered in religious symbols and a painting believed to be St. George on the watchtower. The oldest of the forty-two crypts are dated back to the fourteenth century.
There are a few rumors surrounding Tsoi-Pede, one being that it was the final resting place for warriors. It can be somewhat substantiated because there were several weapons found in some of the sepulchers, which adds an element of mystery and allure to the necropolis. Another rumor states that the necropolis was built to house the dead during an epidemic; there would have been no one available to bury or burn the corpses, so infected people supposedly housed themselves within the city so they could die. While neither rumor has been founded yet, they both offer interesting viewpoints as to why the necropolis was created.
Regardless of the reasons behind its construction, there is something incredibly fascinating about visiting such an ancient place. From the crypts to the artwork, the necropolis, thankfully, has not felt the touch of modernization. None of the sculptures, artwork or crypts have been desecrated in any way, which lends the necropolis an amazing air of absolute timelessness.
Anyone interested in ancient history, medieval architecture or artwork would find themselves incredibly fascinated by the necropolis. Tsoi-Pede is an ancient place of mystery and intrigue, fascination and speculation that just begs people to explore it and learn from the inscriptions, paintings and sculpture. The necropolis is a location that anyone visiting Russia should see at least once, for it reveals a great deal about the country's past. Tsoi-Pede is a place where curious individuals can easily spend a complete day wandering about and exploring the city of the dead, for it truly is an intriguing and incredible testament to the beauty of an ancient cemetery. Many of the crypts are above-ground, which makes it possible to read their inscriptions.
The Tsoi-Pede Necropolis is an incredibly beautiful place of mystery to visit any time of the year. While it is downright breathtaking during the spring and summer months, the Russian winters turn it into something otherworldly and ethereal. The Tsoi-Pede is extremely captivating and astounding, especially when one begins exploring and seeing just how much of the original medieval tombs, pillars, paintings and writing still remains.