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3 iconic places of the Soviet period to visit in Sochi
#excursion
As you know, Sochi was a favorite vacation spot for the Soviet elite. In 1934, a general reconstruction of the city began, it received the status of a resort, and since then luxurious sanatoria, dachas, theaters, and other tourist infrastructure have been erected here. Those buildings still define the style of Sochi's main avenue – Kurortny Prospekt - and all of them are architectural monuments. The path of the Soviet leader can be traversed even today.
1
Observation tower
on Mount Akhun

Mount Akhun is located between the Agura and Khosta rivers - this is Khosta district of the city of Sochi, Krasnodar region. The highest point of the mountain is Bolshoy Akhun (663 m above sea level). Maly Akhun top (501 m) and Eagle Rocks (380 m) are also distinguished.

Already in the VIII century, an observation post was placed upon Mount Akhun. As soon as the sentinels saw the advance of the enemy, they lit fire. Bonfires were also kindled on other signal towers – this way people in nearby fortresses learned about the impending danger.

Bolshoy Akhun is notable for the fact that there is an architectural monument of federal significance at its top - an observation tower, built in 1935-1936 according to architect S.I.Vorobyov's design. According to the recollections of contemporaries, he visited the mountaintop and was impressed by the view that opened up from the site.

The tower was erected on Mount Akhun in 10 months. A unique structure, which is not found anywhere else in the world, combines a medieval Romanesque castle and a Caucasian defensive fortress. Even building materials were taken of those they used in the Middle Ages: rough-hewn blocks of limestone. The 30-meter tower was opened on June 6, 1936. Distant seashores can be seen from here in good weather, which are 70 kilometers far off Akhun.

The only mountain plain in Sochi is located on Bolshoy Akhun. If you look to the left, you can see the mountains of the Akhshtyr gorge (Krasnaya Polyana), along which the old road to Mount Aibga passes. Glaciers that feed the rivers are visible on one of the passes. All nine glaciers face the Black Sea. You can also observe the plantations of the Matsesta tea state farm from the tower, and the very "heart" of Bolshoy Sochi - Kurortny Prospekt, the sea terminal and the historic city center - are also seen from the top of the tower.

Several years ago the observation tower on Mount Akhun was awarded the title of one of the visual symbols of Russia.
2
Dacha "Green Grove"
There is a legend that the path that once connected Stalin's dacha and Mount Akhun has been preserved. They say that the leader liked to take walks along it. Whether this is true or not, is unknown, but a magnificent view of Akhun opens from the balcony of Stalin's dacha "Green Grove", which also functions today as a museum.

The leader chose Sochi for medical reasons as the main residence during his summer vacation. His joints ached, and he was treated in Matsesta hydrogen sulfide springs. During the years spent in exile, his lungs were seriously damaged.

Stalin's dacha "Green Grove" appeared in the forest park of the Mikhailovskoye estate - the land belonged to the owner of the gold mines Mikhail Zenzinov before the revolution. Nature itself has taken care of creating a special microclimate here. When choosing a site for construction, the forest was cleared here a little. Instead of low-grade trees, Californian pines, young oak trees and several magnolias were planted here.

The chief architect of the Central Executive Committee, Miron Merzhanov, was responsible for the construction of the leader's summer residence. They chose a wonderful place - at an altitude of 160 meters, from where magnificent views opened up. The dacha itself was very difficult to see with the naked eye: it was painted green and buried in lush vegetation.

"Green Grove", like other dachas of Stalin, was built in the architectural style of constructivism. This style is distinguished by the severity of lines, laconic forms and functionality. At the same time, the interior was made of expensive types of wood, although there are no rare paintings or luxurious details here - Iosif Vissarionovich was an ascetic in everyday life. Stalin's dacha "Green Grove" stood without major repairs for over 80 years, all its main structures have been preserved in excellent condition.
3
Park and beach "Riviera"
It is still unknown where Stalin liked to walk in Sochi, because he always did it completely incognito. There is only one public fact when he openly arrived in the city center: on September 18, 1947, a ZIS-110 limousine unexpectedly drove up to the main entrance of the sanatorium "Caucasian Riviera". Iosif Vissarionovich got out of the car and went straight to the cafe. He himself asked vacationers if they liked the sanatorium, if the food was good and how they liked it in Sochi. The local children who surrounded Stalin for a moment were lucky to receive chocolates from the leader himself.

Today, the building of the sanatorium "Caucasian Riviera" can be seen from the city beach "Riviera" - one of the most popular public beaches in Sochi, which occupies a central place on 150 kilometers of the coast. It is very easy to get to it from the city center, the beach is equipped with all the amenities for vacationers, has a safe cover, and accommodates many visitors even during the peak season.

You can get to the beach through the amusement park of the same name in the Central District of Sochi. The famous businessperson Vasily Alekseevich Khludov founded the most popular resort park in Sochi - «Riviera» - in 1898. Before the revolution, this part of the city (the right bank of the Sochi river) was called Khludovskaya. In Soviet times, the park was a favorite place for leisure and flirting of vacationers at the resort; it was customary to make appointments here. Now the park has numerous attractions, there is a sports town, a karting track, a library, a pump room with healing mineral water, an exhibition hall, a cinema, an oceanarium, a petting zoo, a dolphinarium and a summer Green Theater, where concerts and shows are heldДо сих пор неизвестно, где Сталин любил гулять в Сочи, потому что он всегда делал это совершенно инкогнито. Есть только один публичный факт, когда он открыто приехал в центр города: 18 сентября 1947 года лимузин ЗИС-110 неожиданно подъехал к главному входу санатория на «Кавказскую Ривьеру». Иосиф Виссарионович вышел из машины и направился прямо к кафе. Он сам спрашивал отдыхающих, нравится ли им санаторий, хороша ли еда и как им нравится в Сочи. Местным детям, на мгновение окружившим Сталина, повезло получить шоколадные конфеты от самого вождя.

Сегодня здание санатория «Кавказская Ривьера» можно увидеть с городского пляжа «Ривьера» – одного из самых популярных в Сочи общественных пляжей, который занимает центральное место на 150 километрах берега. На него очень просто добраться из центра города, пляж оборудован всеми удобствами для отдыхающих, имеет безопасное покрытие, вмещает много посетителей даже в пик сезона.

Попасть на пляж можно через одноименный парк развлечений в Центральном районе города Сочи. Самый популярный курортный парк Сочи – «Ривьера» был основан известным предпринимателем Василием Алексеевичем Хлудовым в 1898 году. До революции эта часть города (правобережная р. Сочи) так и называлась – Хлудовской. В советское время парк был излюбленным местом досуга и флирта отдыхающих на курорте, здесь было принято назначать встречи. Сейчас в парке работают многочисленные аттракционы, есть спортивный городок, картодром, библиотека, бювет с целебной минеральной водой, выставочный зал, кинотеатр, океанариум, контактный зоопарк, дельфинарий и летний Зеленый театр, где проходят концертные программы и шоу.