Vovnushki Tower Complex

Vovnushki Tower Complex

Historic Site, Mountain, Nature Preserve

Get in Russia . Travel Expert.

Vovnushki is a majestic tower complex in the Gulokhii Gorge (Ozdi-Chozh), built on the pointed tops of precipitous rock cliffs and consisting of two separate impregnable castles connected in the ancient times by a suspended bridge. Vovnushki means "place of combat towers" in Ingush. Combat towers were four-tiered, with narrow embrasures, a high parapet and a flat roof. They illustrate the notion of the "stronghold" - huge stone structures firmly fixed to the bedrock. The approaches to towers and dwelling extensions were obstructed by massive fortification walls, which were initially perceived as a natural part of the mountain. A core-shaped mausoleum, rare in the area, was preserved close to the towers. Vovnushki is an acknowledged masterpiece of medieval tower architecture, and a subject of Ingush special pride. Today, it is hard to imagine how much effort the builders of Vovnushki had to make five centuries ago to create a four-storey complex in such a difficult place. The place was not chosen by chance, it is a junction point of mountain gorges, in ancient times there passed one of the segments of the Great Silk Road. One of the legends about the Vovnushki tells of the courage and strength of the Ingush women. When the enemy surrounded the complex and started sieging it, the inhabitants used a suspension bridge across the gorge to get to the castle opposite. The rope bridge was damaged in the battle but a woman in the besieged tower saved several infants by dragging their cradles to the neighbouring tower despite the imminent danger. Vovnushki is the tower complex of the Ozdoyev family, from which the history of their lands, the Ozdoy-Mokhk, began. According to tradition, the ancestor of the Ozdoyevs, Cikkim, great grandson of the legendary Mago, crossed to the right bank of the Assa River up the Guloi-Khi River in the middle of the 14th century, and laid the first combat tower of Vovnushki in the west part of the complex. Zikkim's son Ezdzi erected a dwelling tower nearby. The eastern part of the complex was erected in the 15th century by Zikkim's grandson Ezdi-Ozdo. Further settlement of the Ozdoyevs started from Vovnushki, and by 1800, they owned 26 tower complexes. After the Tsikmievs took part in the 1810 treaty with the Russian administration, they changed their surname to the Ozdoyevs.


Address: Vovnushki tract Jeyrakh district, Republic of Ingushetia

Coordinates: 44.993367,42.804322