Pyatigorsk (Russian: Пятиго́рск) is a city in Stavropol Krai located on the Podkumok River, about 20 kilometers (12 mi) from the town of Mineralnye Vody where there is an international airport and about 45 kilometers (28 mi) from Kislovodsk. Since January 19, 2010, it has been the administrative center of the North Caucasian Federal District of Russia. Population: 142,511 (2010 Census); 140,559 (2002 Census); 129,499 (1989 Census).
The first mention of the mineral springs is found in the writings of the 14th-century Arabian traveler Ibn Battuta. Scientific interest in them was first shown by Peter the Great, but the information collected on his expedition has since been lost. Interest was revived at the end of the 18th century when the first Russian settlement was founded—Konstantinogorskaya fortress, erected at Mt. Mashuk in 1780.
The value of the Caucasian mineral waters led to the construction of a resort in 1803, and the first studies of their medical properties began thereafter: on April 24, Alexander I signed a decree which made the mineral waters state property. There are now many settlements near the springs. The first such settlement was Goryachevodsk (now part of Pyatigorsk) at the bottom of Mt. Mashuk, then Kislovodsk, Yessentuki, Zheleznovodsk.
During World War II, Pyatigorsk was occupied for a while by the German Wehrmacht. The Einsatzkommando 12 of Einsatzgruppe D had its headquarter in Pyatigorsk in 1942. Many Jewish inhabitants of the region were killed.