The town Sochi stretches for 145 km along the Black sea coast of the Caucasus in Krasnodar region. The area of the town is 3505 square km. The population is about 400 thousand people. The town consists of four administrative districts: Adler, Khosta, Central, Lazarevskoe.
The territory of Sochi started being opened up 400-350 thousand years ago in the epoch of early paleolithic, and played an appreciable role in antique and medieval history. A lot of archaeological relics have been discovered and partially examined here: caves, open sites, settlements of prehistorical people, dolmens, ruins of fortresses, temples and burial grounds, burial mounds.
Starting with the second half of the XVI century the Caucasus turned into the arena of Russia's fight with Turkey and Percia. This fight ended up in 1829 with the signing of Andriapol peaceful treatment, according to which , the Black sea coast from the mouth of the Kuban river till the fort of St. Ni kiolai (to the south of town Poti) became the territory of Russia. During the Caucasian war in the 30-s of the XIX century, the Black sea coast line, consisting of the shore forts for guarding the coast, was formed. The following forts.- of St. Spirit (Adler), Aleksandria (Sochi), Lazarev's fort (Lazarevskoe), Golovinsky (Golovinka) and others, - were built by the Russian troops on the territory of Sochi. The ruins of the forts walls were preserved, and now they are the historical monuments.
On April, 21 1838 the military landed troops laid the fort Aleksandria in honor of the Empress's birthday on the height, at the mouth of the Sochi river. That place became the first Russian settlement, located in the center of modern Sochi.
The town got its present name "Sochi" in 1896 after the name of the river and of the place of the ubykhs tribal nation, who had inhabited this territory till 1864. The examining and exploration of the Caucasus Black sea coast curative factors started after the end of the Caucasian war in 1864. The process of the land division was passing very quickly at that period on the Black sea coast. The government was not able to solve the problem of the industrial development of the region, and it was possible to cope with it on the basis of the private capital only. Russian bourgeoisie, in its turn, felt benefit from this region. New opportunities of investing the capital and of increasing the profit appeared here.
A villa "Vera" was built in N.N.Mamontov's estate in 1872. This building can be considered the first construction of a dacha type on the territory of Big So chi . Then some decline in dacha building was observed. The activity of the special commission on exploring the Black sea coast from Novorossiissk to Sukhumi, which had started its work in 1898, was an important page in the history of the development of the resort Sochi. The professors A..I.Voeikov, F.I.Pasternatsky and a mountain engineer A.V.Sergeev were included into the commission. The report of the commission was presented at the I All-Russian congress on climatology, hydrology and balneology in Petersburg in 1898. The reports said, that due to the natural richness of the Black sea coast, the foundation of the balneological and climatic resorts was quite possible. However, considerable sums, the governmental support and the co-action of the people, experienced in this matter, were demanded.
The rich land of the Black sea coast attracted manufacturers and business owners more and more at the end of the XIX- beginning of the XX centuries. According to the Resolution of May, 23 1896 the Black sea district, which had been included into the Kuban region, was separated as an independent Black sea province. It was the smallest of all Russia's provinces (6455 square versts). Simultaneously, the trusteeship of Sochi area was reformed into the district. The borders of Sochi district stretched from the Dederukai river (nowadays- Lazarevsky district) till Sukhumisection (Gagra).
The borders have been expanded at the cost of Sukhumi district since 1901. Since that time Sochi district occupied the territory between the sea and the Main Caucasian Ridge from the Shakhee river in the north till the Bzyb river in the south, including Gagra. By the same resolution (of May, 23 1896) Dakhovsky settlement was re named into settlement Sochi after the name of the tribal community of the ubykhs "so- atshee", who had inhabited this territory till 1864. Since May/I 1898 settlement Sochi was in cluded into the list of the settlements with the simplified public governing, i.e. it had the status of an urban type settlement . The administration consisted of a headman, his assistants and of 12 plenipotentiaries, elected by the citizens.
Sochi got the status of a town only in July, 31 1917 after including the suburbs of Vereshchaginskaya, Khludovs- kaya, Katkovo-Leontievskaya dachas, as well as the private people estates-, the Kostarevs's, the Tolokonnikovys's, the Khudekovs's and others, into the urban area of the settlement. There were big private estates of the earl S.D.Sheremetiev, S.I.Kovalevskaya, of the Great prince Mikhail, the tsar's estate "Dagomys", etc.
An architectural aspect with peculiarities and originality, typical only for the seaside resort towns and distinguishing them from other provincial regions, was formed in Sochi at the end of the XlX-the beginning of the XX centuries.
The main principle of a town-constructing approach, when building Sochi, was aimed at the creating a resort as a garden-town. Architecture had the features of pavillion-like buildings, typical for the park ensembles, where the main architects' goal was achieving harmony of the architecture with natural landscape. The parks comprised the particular pride of Sochi health-resort town.
The architecture of the buildings was accomplished in strict harmony with the environment and had specific features of its time. The buildings and constructions, erected at that period, have been attracting the attention of the inhabitants and of the guests since then.
Sochi Fine Arts Museum (the former building of the Plenipotentiary Central Elective Committee (CEC) of the USSR in Sochi-Matsesta resort), the Zimny (Winter) theater, Ordzhonikidze sanatorium - are the monuments of architecture and town building of the republican grade.
Natural setting, environment and climatic conditions of Sochi's location are really unique. In fact, a health-resort Sochi in a body is a part of the State Natural National Park, and a part of Sochi has been included in structure of the Caucasian biospheric reserve not without reason.
90% of territory of Sochi are mountains and foothills of the Western Caucasus covered by boundless deciduous forests. Because of a soft climate, plants from all parts of globe are collected here.
The altitude of highest mountains is more than 3000 m above sea level. Only here you've got an opportunity for simultaneous sun-bathing, sea baths taking, and for mountain skiing.
A land along-shore the Big Sochi, from settlement Magri in northwest, up to the river Psou on border with Abkhazia squeezes through gaps between the Black Sea and piedmonts of the Western Caucasus.
Warm coastal sea cur rents, glen winds and breezes render softening influence on a climate, creating surplus of a moisture under high summer temperature.
The network of mountain ridges protects coast from severe dry continental winds and creates a unique subtropical micro-climate in this territory.
Source : History of Sochi
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