Elsewhere on this site the famous Georgian Military Road has been discussed. This road runs through the Caucasus mountains: from Vladikavkaz in the north to Tiflis, in the south. On this part of the site more about Vladikavkaz.


Vladikavkaz was founded in 1784 as a fortress and was important in the conquest of the Caucasus.
The conquest was not without a struggle: the fortress was burned down, but was rebuilt after the annexation of Georgia (1801). In 1861, Vladikavkaz was granted city status.
Card, sent 23 V 1909 from Vladikavkaz to Paris. The image side: the Georgian Military Road, the Darial Gorge. This gorge is a Georgian mountain pass at 1204 meters altitude near the border with Russia.
On the card the official name of the road is given in the caption as abbrevation: ВОЕННО-ГРУЗИНСКАЯ ДОРОГА [VOENNO-GRUZINSKAYA DOROGA], Military-Greorgian road.

This picture and all pictures below on this page, if not mentioned otherwise: scanned about 300 dpi. Then set right and cut out, resized 25 % of this image and saved as jpg.

The address side of the card above. On the card is a clear stamp of ВЛАДИКАВКАЗЪ [VLADIKAVKAZ], the starting point of the route. It is a postmark-in-cross shape. This type postmark came into use from 1890. In 1903 the double-ring postmarks were introduced and slowly put into use.
In OEF 2018, no. 3 there is a card with this type of postmark:See also Additional images Vladikavkaz

Now the starting point of the route, Vladikavkaz, is the capital of the Russian Republic of North Ossetia. This city at the foot of the Caucasus is about 40 kilometers from the border with Georgia. The name means "Master the Caucasus" (Vladivostok: Master the East).

The route was already known in the 1st century BC and was both the trade route and the route for invaders from the north to Georgia. The Russians also constructed a real road and this happened between 1811 and 1864. The road was also a tourist attraction during the tsarist period: Baedeker (edition 1914) describes it as 'one of the most beautiful mountain roads in the world'. Baedeker mentions the outings of the Société Française des Transports Automobiles du Caucase. Between 15 April and 15 October one could make the trip from Tiflis and then arrived at the Grand-Hôtel in Vladikavkaz within 10 hours. The price was 20 rubles. The company also operated hotels along the route.

The address side of the card above. The picture is from Vladikavkas and the card is also send from Vladikavkas. The russian name ВЛАДИКАВКАЗЪ is mentioned on picture side and of course in the postmark.


After the Russian Revolution, Vladikavkaz became the capital of an Islamic state: the Northern Caucasus Mountain Republic (1917-1921). The White Army attempted to capture the area, but was defeated by the 9th Red Army. On January 20, 1921, the Soviet Republic of the Mountain Peoples was established as an Autonomous Soviet Republic within the Soviet Union with Vladikavkaz as its capital.
In 1924, the republic was transformed into autonomous oblasts. On July 7, 1924, Vladikavkaz became the capital of the North Ossetian Autonomous Oblast. The name remains Vladikavkaz for a while.

Postcard -picture side mountain Kazbek- sent in 1930 from ВЛАДИКАВКАЗЪ [VLADIKAVKAZ] to Perm, Urals region, Lenin Street 39, to Valbe Valentina Nikolaevna. The text: 'Long time heard nothing... Rosesha is already big.... Address is Vladikavkaz, Caucasus Region, Proletariersboulevard No. 20.” The picture side of this card: mount Kazbek.

In 1931, Vladikavkaz was renamed Ordzhonikidze, in honor of the Georgian Bolshevik Grigol Ordzhonikidze. Grigori "Sergo" Konstantinovich Ordzhonikidze (1886-1937) was, like Stalin, from Georgia. Together with Stalin, he led the conquest of Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan by the Red Army. He became a member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1930. In 1932 he became People's Commissar for Heavy Industry. In 1936 he came into conflict with Stalin and threatened to become a victim of the Purge. He committed suicide on February 18, 1937, but his death was officially a heart attack. He remained in history the "favorite brother-in-arms of the great Stalin".

In the Soviet Union he has also been honored with a number of stamps: a series of stamps (mi. 1625-1626), issued in 1952 on the 15th anniversary of Ordzhonikidze's death. In 1958 another stamp was issued in honor of Ordzhonikidze.

Here left: Mi. 1625, issue April 23, 1952. Text at the bottom: “15 years after the death of the leading activist of the Bolshevik party and the state”
The postage stamp, resized 50 %.
Here, right: Mi. 2180, issue December 12, 1958. At the bottom the name Sergo Ordzhonikidze in Cyrillic and Georgian. At the top of the text: "prominent person of the Communist Party and the Soviet economy".
The postage stamp, resized 50 %.

Here, left: Mi. 3230, issued June 22, 1966: a postage stamp issued on the occasion of his 80th birthday. The postage stamp, resized 50 %.
Here, right: FDC with Mi. 5654, with commemorative stamp Moscow, 19-10-1986. The postage stamp was issued on the occasion of his 100th birthday, October 12, 1886.

The oblast was given a higher status on December 5, 1936: the North Ossetian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, with Ordzhonikidze as its capital. This is reflected in this postage stamp from the series 'Capitals of the Autonomous Republics II', issued in 1960. In this postage stamp we also see the designation Г [G., Gorod, city] ОРДЖОНИКИДЗЕ [ORDZHONIKIDZE].

Mi. 2409, issued Nov. 4, 1960.
The postage stamp, resized 50 %.

Until 1944, the name Ordzhonikidze remains. This postcard, sent in 1935, uses the arrival stamp with the new name ОРДЖОНИКИДЗЕ [ORDZHONIKIDZE]. The card was sent from Chernoyarskaya / ЧЕРНОЯРСКАЯ in the Mozdok region of the Republic of North Ossetia. The text: : "Hello Zhenya. Write how are you live, are you healthy to the address poste restante, to me, the colony of Kanovo (Alt-Kana), Sovetsky District, North Caucasian Krai. Hello to everybody." Yes it must be Chernoyarskaya (North Osetia). Distance between Chernoyarskaya & Kanovo (Stavropol krai now) is 38 km.
The postmark of ОРДЖОНИКИДЗЕ [ORDZHONIKIDZE], resized 50 %.

In early November 1942, Nazi Germany's troops tried in vain to capture the city, but were repulsed. The Nazis left North Ossetia in January 1943.

In 1944, Vladikavkaz is again given a new name: ДЗАУДЖИКАУ [DZAUDZHIKAU], Ossetian ДЗАЕУДЖЫХЪАЕУ [Dzawjeqaw] The name can be recognized in the postmark – unfortunately somewhat unclear – and in the indication of the sender of the letter. The registered letter was sent to Bulgaria. Sofia, Paris Street, Central Party Archive of the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party to M. Kabakchieva. On the back - 29.04.1949 in Moscow and 3.05.1949 in Sofia.

The letter itself is also in the envelope: The recipient studies the history of Bulgarian communist party, so his correspondent sends him in 1949 corresponding literature. Moreover, the sender is going in summer to Bulgaria, to Ryl (most probably), a beautiful place with the most revered Bulgarian monastery. Images of the letter itself: see Additional images Vladikavkaz

In 1954 the name of the city is changed again: Ordzhonikidze again. Stalin was a Georgian and to be more precise: an Ossett. It is possible that this is why the city received the Ossetian designation Dzaudzhikau, which was changed again to Ordzhonikidze after the death of Stalin.

This letter was sent on 21.06.1960 and the postmark of ОРДЖОНИКИДЗЕ [ORDZHONIKIDZE] is used. The letter goes to Sofia, Bulgaria. It is a woman who is writing to a female professor.
In the postmark also the -abbreviated- designation СЕВЕРО-ОСЕТ*#1048НСКАЯ АССР, North Ossetian ASSR, North Ossetian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.

Postal stationery (Aleksandr Romanov collection), issued 02.02.1965. The image: ОРДЖОНИКИДЗЕ [ORDZHONIKIDZE], Local Studies Museum.
This postal stationery has a machine postmark of ОРДЖОНИКИДЗЕ [ORDZHONIKIDZE]. In the flag of the postmark is indicated: 'When addressing, state the number of the post office'. There was no zip code then.

The same image with the 'museum of local studies' can be seen on this postcard, postal stationery, issued 10-22-1979.
Top left on the address side: the description of the image in ОРДЖОНИКИДЗЕ [ORDZHONIKIDZE]. It is clear that the building was once a mosque. This Sunni mosque was built from 1902 to 1908. A major contribution to the construction was made by the oil industrialist Murtaz-agha-Mukhtarov from Baku. In 1996 the mosque was handed over to the Muslim community.

The original name of Vladikavkaz was restored in 1990, before the fall of the Soviet Union.
In 1990, the North Ossetian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was merged into the Autonomous Republic of North Ossetia within the Russian Federation.

This postal stationery was issued 29.04.2003 by the Russian Federation, with images of Vladikavkaz. The restored old name can also be seen in the cancel: ВЛАДИКАВКАЗЪ [VLADIKAVKAZ]. The card has been sent to Pyatigorsk. In the address: Г. (ГОРОД, City) ПЯТИГОРСК [PYATIGORSK].

In the Soviet period, countless postal stationery -envelopes and postcards- were issued with images/postmarks of Ordzhonikidze, the city and the person.
See Additional images Vladikavkaz