The Chechen Republic is situated in the south of the European part of Russia, on the northern slope of the Big Caucasian Range and the adjoining Chechen plain and Tersko-Kumskaya lowland, in the valleys of the Terek and Sunja rivers. The climate is continental.
The Chechen Republic borders on the Stavropolsky region, Dagestan, North Osetia-Alania, Ingushetia, Georgia.
The territory of the republic comprises 16.1 thousand square kilometers. It consists of 19 administrave districts, 5 towns-Grozny, Gudermes, Argun, Shali, Urus-Martan, 3 workers towns.
By the beginning of the 19th century the historical kernel of Chechnya was located in the north-eastern part of the North Caucasus, on the slopes of the Big Caucasian Range extending from the west to the east, from the Black to the Caspian Sea for almost one thousand kilometers differentiating Europe and Asia on this part of the land. The Natural conditions in Chechnya in the 19th century are marked as exceptionally favorable by all the researchers. The climate was rigorous only in the Highlands and in the steppes.
The Chechens used, since times immemorial, to time the beginning of a new farming season to the vernal equinox. March 22 was an important spring holiday. Everything was to be spruced up in preparation for it. Women rubbed, washed and whitewashed their home inside out, and tidied up the courtyard. They made their bronze and copper kitchen utensils shining clean before taking them out into the yard. The red color of the kitchen utensils was supposed to attract the sun. In the morning of March 22 everyone, including infants, had to wake up before sunrise and flock out to meet the rising sun.
Everyone was to have plenty of food. Orphans and single old people, let alone one's own family, were to be given to eat. Much fodder was given to the cattle, grains of wheat were left for the wild birds, and bread crumbs were strewed in the attic and all the dark nooks of the house. People who had new suits of clothes to put on, hoped they would wear new clothes all the year round. In the evening, families, groups of families or all the villagers gathered by bonfires which symbolized the sun. The bonfires were kindled by young people. The bigger they were and the brighter they burnt, the better. Boys and grown-ups jumped, to prove their manliness and to shake off their sins, over the purifying fire.
Chechnya’s most famous historical and cultural monument, Argun state historical and architectural and natural museum-reserve is near the border of Dagestan, Georgia and Republic of Ingushetia. Its territory is 240 thousand hectares. 20 thousand hectares out of it need special regime. There are about 1 000 facilities of historical and cultural legacy on the territory. Among these are archeological monuments, architectural complexes of the Middle Age, military, guarding and living towers, caves, grottoes, crypts, dead cities and unique natural reserves, protected natural landscapes forest and water resources and mineral water springs.
Chechen folklore and dance
"Pondur" is the oldest, widest-spread and best loved musical instrument of the Chechens. It is as unsophisticated as the Russian balalaika: three chords and a wooden casing. The difference lies in the casing: the pondur one is rather long, it is made of one solid block of wood.
Nusic occupied a very special place in the life of Chechnya. It helped people to say words of love and peace, give an oath, cure their ailing brethren. A tune has been recorded with the help of which folk doctors eased pain.
The capital city of the Chechen Republic, Groznyi, used to be a showcase example of modern architecture. Unfortunately. Groznyi is about to turn 200. It was founded as a military outpost in 1818. Grozny numbered 6,080 residents in 1876. Its population has since grown to 430,000.
The capital of the Chechen Republic used to be a major industrial, cultural and research center of the North Caucasus. It had over 100 industrial enterprises in the late 50's. Since oil was extracted right in Grozny, there was an up-to-date oil refinery and a petrochemical plant in that city. There were plants of the light and food industries. And the city was a spa: it had hydropathic centres, with hydrogen sulphide and radon baths.