Hydrosulfuric (or sulfide), carbon and radon springs are concentrated at the foot of Mount Mashuk in Pyatigorsk, which has determined the specific of local sanatoriums: treatment of musculoskeletal system and locomotor apparatus. Also some sanatoriums offer the treatment of skin, urological and gynecological diseases.
You can go to Pyatigorsk not only for treatment but also for the historical sites, as well as places mentioned in the novel «Twelve Chairs» and stories of Lermontov.
«Proval» is the most famous attraction of Pyatigorsk. There is a cave in Mount Mashuk going downward for dozens of meters. At the bottom of this cave there is a lake with hydrosulfuric water. Promenades to the Proval were one of the favorite pastimes of «water-drinkers society», described at the story «Princess Mary» by Lermontov. And Ostap Bender collected money to see just this place: «And what is the money charged for? – For repairs of the Proval, so that it doesn’t sink too much. Militiamen can be considered as students and children».
In 1857 a tunnel was driven to the Proval subterranean lake. Since then water-drinkers hadn’t to climb Mount Mashuk, and could take a walk on the Provalsky (or Provalny) Boulevard. It was quickly built up by clinics and the houses of well-to-do people, and soon it became the most popular resort area of Pyatigorsk. Today the stretch from the Elizabeth`s Parterre to the Proval is called Gagarin Avenue.
Emmanuel Park is at least as interesting place of the city. This oldest city park was laid down by the General George Emmanuel in 1829 near the reputed springs of the city – those of Elizabeth and Michael. There is an elevation in the park where the ‘Aeolus Harp’ Pavilion is located. This is the famous music pavilion, where the wind drives the mechanism touching the strings of the harp. If you go down from the Aeolus Pavilion to the Academic Gallery, in the direction of the ‘Flower-Bed’ Park, you will see the Grotto of Lermontov on the slope of the mountain.
Hot Mount is opposite the Emmanuel Park. It is a part of the ‘Flower-Bed’ Park, which can be called the most popular park of Pyatigorsk. It is just on the Hot Mount one can see the sculpture of eagle tearing a snake into pieces. It is located in a picturesque place against the background of a Chinese pagoda. The sculpture of eagle is the acknowledged symbol of Mineralnye Vody Region.
At the entrance of the ‘Flower-Bed’ Park at the wooden arch, Kisa Vorobyaninov was saying his legendary words «Messieurs, je ne mangeais pas six jours (I have nothing to eat for six days), give something to the former deputy of the State Duma». Now the sculpture of Kisa is standing there, and the figure of Ostap Bender selling tickets is at the entrance of the Proval.
In Pyatigorsk there are many complexes where resort-visitors can take baths: Pushkin Baths, Yermolov Baths, and Pirogov Baths. Pushkin Baths, former Sabaneyev Baths, are the oldest of them (1827), and are located in the area of the Proval. In 1880 Yermolov Baths were built for military men in the ‘Flower-Bed’ Park and today they are converted to therapeutic mud baths. Radon baths included in the complex of Pirogov Baths, in the area of the Proval, were built in 1861, and the other section was built in 1914.
There are many places related to the life of Lermontov in Pyatigorsk: «Lermontov`s House» Museum where he spent the last year of his life. It is just there that he was taken after the duel. It will be interesting to visit the point where Lermontov was killed in a duel by Martynov at the foot of Mount Mashuk. There is the site of his original burial at the old cemetery. Later his body was brought to the family vault of the Arsenyev in the village of Tarkhany, Penza Region (today it is the village of Lermontovo).