Dagestan joined to Russia as Dagestanskaya region as a result of Caucasus wars (1834-1859).
The republic of Dagestan is a constituent of the RF, situated in the North Caucasus. It borders on 5 states - Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Iran, inside Russia - on Stavropolsky region, Kalmykiya and Chechnya. Length of the territory from north to south is 400 km, from west to east -200 km. In the east Dagestan is washed by the Caspian Sea. The south boundary goes through the range of the North Caucasus. Area of the Republic - 50.3 thousand sq. km. Dagestan is the largest republic in the North Caucasus.
Dagestan includes 5 climatic and geographic zones: from subtropical and Pricaspian lowlands, located 28 metres below the World Ocean, to snowy peaks with height of more than 4 thousand metres. The largest rivers are the Terek, the Sulak, the Samur. The rivers are widely used for building hydro electric stations and water supply. Geographic position, the relief and waters of the Caspian Sea make the climate of Dagestan diverse. Summer is warm and long.
Among minerals the most valuable are reserves of oil, gas and coal.
The Republic is divided into 41 districts, 10 towns, 18 town settlements, 676 villages.
Capital of the Republic is town of Makhachkala. It was founded in 1857.
Dagestan is one of the most complicated regions in ethnic sphere: there are more than 100 nationalities and peoples. Population - 2.1 million people (1.2% of population of the RF), among them 58% live in village. Density of population is 42.5 persons per sq. km. Nowhere in the world so many people live in such a small territory. Main religions are Islam, Christianity and Judaism.
Located in junction of Europe and Asia, Dagestan belongs to the West and to the East. Dagestan is unique by diversity of cultures and peoples, who make united society. So Dagestan has one more name - "Mountain of Languages". The Republic is "the museum under the sky", keeping a lot of secrets. Life of highlanders can be called "the phenomenon of Dagestan civilization".