The territory of modern-day Nalchik was formerly known as Slabada. It was inhabited by native Kabardians, Balkars, Chechens, Adeki, and Cherkese until around 1743: groups occasionally clashed over and dispute their claims to the land. The modern city dates from the early 19th century when the expanding Russian Empire built a fort there together with settling Mountain Jews in 1818; this date is seen at the top of the city's coat of arms. With the founding of the city of Nalchik, the disputes among the native groups calmed and life improved for the people in the region.
In 1838, a Russian military settlement was founded in the city, and after the Russian Revolution of 1917, in the year 1921, Nalchik was given the status of administrative center of Kabardin Autonomous Oblast.
The word "Nalchik" literally means "small horseshoe" in Kabardian (or Circassian, a Northwest Caucasian language) and Karachay-Balkar (a Turkic language). It is a diminutive of na'l, a common Middle Eastern word (Arabic, Persian, Turkish) for "horseshoe", possibly from the ancient Scythian, 'nalak" (horseshoe). The city of Nalchik was named this way because of how it is shaped as surrounded by the mountains of the land, and the river Nalchik is named after the city it runs across.
During World War II, Nalchik was occupied by Nazi Germany and Romania between October 28, 1942, and January 3, 1943. The city was heavily damaged during the conflict. Nalchik's Jewish population, mostly Mountain Jews, suffered brutal beatings and tremendous harm at the hands of the Romanians under Nazi orders. However, the Jewish People of Nalchik were able to survive the invasion because they were able to, somewhat, blend in with their neighbors.
Nalchik was chosen the "second cleanest city of Russia" in 2003.
On October 13, 2005, Nalchik was attacked by a large group of Yarmuk Jamaat militants led by Shamil Basayev and Anzor Astemirov. Buildings associated with the Russian security forces were targeted, killing at least 14 civilians and wounding 115. Thirty-five policemen were killed in the fighting and eighty-nine militants, including prominent leader Ilias Gorchkhanov, were killed while another fifty-nine were arrested.
Within the framework of administrative divisions, it is, together with four rural localities, incorporated as the city of republic significance of Nalchik—an administrative unit with the status equal to that of the districts. As a municipal division, the city of republic significance of Nalchik is incorporated as Nalchik Urban Okrug.
The population of the city includes (2006 data):Kabardians (Adiga) (42.3%)
Balkars (Taulu) (15.2%)
2002 Census data:Kabardians (47.3%)
Nalchik is a balneological and mountain climatotherapy resort, with several sanatoriums. It also serves as an industrial center of the republic (non-ferrous metallurgy, light industry, construction materials manufacturing, machine building).
Nalchik is home to the following facilities of higher education:Kabardino-Balkar State University
Kabardino-Balkar Institute of Business
North Caucasian State Institute of Arts
Kabardino-Balkar State Agricultural Academy
According to weatherspark.com: Nalchik has a humid continental climate with hot summers and no dry season. The warm season lasts from late May to mid-September and the cold season from December to March. Most forms of precipitation are light rain and thunderstorms, as well as, light snow and moderate snow. Wind speeds are typically calm to a light breeze through the year.
PFC Spartak Nalchik is an association football club based in Nalchik, playing in the Russian Premier League. The 2008 World Women's Chess Championship has also been held in Nalchik on August 28–September 18, 2008.Yuri Temirkanov, orchestra conductor, born 1938
Dima Bilan, singer, born 1981
Andre Geim, physicist
Andrei Kolkoutine painter, born 1957
Eldar Kuliev, film director, screenwriter, born 1951
Alim Kouliev, actor, theater director, born 1959
Nikolay Pavlov, professional footballer, born 1987
Azamat Kuliev, painter, born 1963
Katya Lel, singer, born in 1974
Alexander Litvinenko, ex-FSB officer turned anti-Putin activist, born 1962, poisoned with Polonium-210 and died 2006
Khadzhimurat Akkayev, Olympic weightlifter, born 1985
Viktor Belenko, Soviet pilot who defected with MiG-25, landing in in Hakodate, Japan.
Reno, United States of America