In comparison with other big cities of the country, Pyatigorsk was founded as a city not so long ago, in 1780. But there are healing springs on its territory, so people had long been living here. The written references to this land date back to the 14th century. The first researches on mineral springs were initiated by Peter the Great who sent researchers for exploring the healing properties of hot springs. Actually, the first fortress appeared here only in 1780 and was called Konstantinogorskaya.
The first civil settlements were formed here only several centuries later. It was quite difficult to reach the city so it was not developing as fast as it could. Despite this, the glory of the local healing water encouraged the population influx. In the city, the first stone house was built in 1812. It was leased to rich families, which members came to Pyatigorsk for water.
The city industry was not developed well. There were brick, tile, four soap and four wax factories in Pyatigorsk. There were also several small forges, potteries, and manufactories where crews and coaches were manufactured. The locals were surviving not due to the manufacturing industry but due to renting out their houses to tourists visiting the city all year round. At the end of the 19th century, the railway was laid out to Pyatigorsk, which gave a boost to the city development.
Many historic monuments of Pyatigorsk are associated with the name of M. Lermontov, a famous Russian writer and poet. One of such attractions is the Lermontov Gallery. Originally, it was located in Nizhny Novgorod and was built to open a new exhibition. In the late 19th century, it was “transferred” to Pyatigorsk. The exterior of the gallery harmoniously combines the Gothic and modern elements. The gallery resembles a spectacular fabulous palace. Now, music concerts and performances are regularly held here.
All fans of theatrical performances should visit the Stavropol Theatre of Musical Comedy opened in 1939. The building occupied by the theatre was built at the beginning of the 20th century and is known as the House of National Cultures. After the Revolution, the establishment of the Soviet authority was officially announced exactly in this building. In the period of the Great Patriotic War, the building was partially destroyed but then was restored within a very short time.
The most visited culture center in the city is the Local History Museum. It was founded in 1903 and is considered as the oldest museum in the region. The historic building serving as a museum was a prestigious sanatorium before. Today, it houses over 130 000 unique exhibits, including important historical documents, old books, pieces of applied art, old pictures of the city, and archeological artifacts. The rich collection is stored in thematic halls, so it is very comfortable to view it.
The must-see of the sightseeing program is Lermontov Museum and Reserve. It is located in the small house of the early 19th century where the writer spent the last years of his life. The museum was opened in 1912. Nowadays, besides the residence, it includes several historic constructions. The museum collection presents writer’s personal items, writings, and his first copies of published works. This old residence has a preserved atmosphere of the past. It is more interesting to visit the residence in a warm period when flowers and trees bloom in its garden.