The capital of Kabardino-Balkaria, the city of Nalchik is in the center of the republic. It is situated at an altitude of 450-600 meters above the sea level, in the foothills of the Caucasus Mountains. According to the majority of scientists the city is named after the Nalchik River, on the shores of which it is located. The word "Nalchik" means "small horseshoe" in Kabardian. Nalchik covers an area of 150 square kilometers of which 1000 hectares is occupied by green belt. The population of the city according to the Census data of 2002 is 272 thousand people. It is an all-Russian resort. All agencies of State power are situated in Nalchik as well as an international airport, a railway station, and bus stations of interurban and suburban communication, recreation complex, stadiums, a hippodrome, a State University and other educational institutions.