FIFA 2018 FANS’ FESTIVAL

DESCRIPTION OF THE FESTIVAL AREA

Sochi is the Black Sea and a sea of football!

So far, Sochi is an all-season resort of international level.

The resort capital of Russia – the city of Sochi, with its unique landscapes and climate, since 2014 has become world famous, associated with sports. Every year, millions of tourists, holidaymakers, fans and athletes visit this amazing city.

For the duration of the Festival, Russian and foreign tourists, keen on football will join  the townspeople and local fans !

It is in June when the real summer comes to the Black Sea coast and the number of holidaymakers increases noticeably, this is due, in part, to the beginning of the vacation season, and to the end of the school year for students and schoolchildren, which contributes to the huge influx of young people and families!

That is why, the FIFA Fans’ festival in Sochi should become a grandiose football celebration “For the whole family” and for young people, and the most attractive event for a wide range of visitors!

Fest Location:  South Mall of the Seaport

Capacity: 10,000 people

Cultural and historical significance: The southern pier of the Sochi sea port is a traditional area where mass events are held for Sochi residents and guests of the resort. Here are the main events of the celebration of the City Day.

The building of the Sochi sea port is an architectural monument of federal significance, one of the business cards of the city. Like many attractions in Sochi, the building combines history and modernity. Many guests come to the city through the sea gate, while others seek to visit here shortly after their arrival. In addition, the pedestrian zone of Sochi seaside embankment begins from the South Mall.

The main city holidays, including the Victory Day, the City Day, the opening of the Black Sea regatta of large sailboats in 2014, took place here. Also there were some concerts of the music contest “New Wave” in 2015, many major international forums and fairs.

In 2014, there were live broadcasts of the FIFA World Cup matches in Brazil ™, and in 2016 in February, 500 days before the FIFA Confederations Cup were celebrated.

 

A WALK IN THE CITY CENTER

The center of Sochi with pedestrian alleys and squares, an amusement park and seaport, quays, the Winter Theater and the Cathedral of Michael the Archangel have been familiar to many Russians since childhood – almost half of the country has visited the resort city at least once. You can take the route in two or three hours, but you can devote to it all day.

RAILWAY STATION SOCHI

Located in the heart of the resort, Sochi station can be both a start for walking around the city, and a finish. From here one can get almost anywhere in the city and the coast with almost no change.

Snow-white walls, high arches, marble columns, stucco decoration, massive wooden door-gates, patios with fountains and flower beds make it unlike any station in Russia, except for the “twin brother” – the station in Simferopol. Created by their great Moscow architect Alexei Dushkin, who in both his projects allowed an “error” – a random order of the zodiac signs on the tower clock. The tower itself, overlooking the center of the city, has long become one of the symbols of Sochi. The station appeared in the early 1950s, and almost 20 years later it was recognized as an architectural monument of federal significance, as well as other works of the architect, famous for his projects of Moscow metro stations. At the station there are several souvenir shops for tourists, excursion agencies and accommodation offices.

SEA PORT

One and a half kilometer from the railway station there are the sea gates of Sochi. The Marine Station was created like a palace and is recognized as an architectural monument. The building, which today became a shopping and entertainment center, was built in the middle of the 20th century by the architects Karo Alabyan and Leonid Karlik. The majestic colonnade, open galleries, wide stairways and arches, and a seventy-meter tower with a spire make it look like the Admiralty in St. Petersburg.

The central tower is decorated with a sculptural ensemble: the figures of the girls personify the seasons, the men – the side of the world, and the dolphins – it is a symbol of the wealth of the Black Sea coast. After a large-scale reconstruction and construction of new buildings on the northern pier, the passenger port in Sochi became the largest one in the Black Sea, it is open for large-tonnage ships all year round. World cruise exhibitions and regattas are held regularly here.

A WALK IN YACHT

But not only professional yachtsmen can appreciate all the beauty and comfort of the Sochi marina. Every day tens of yachts leave here for walks, which help, as they say, to feel the real taste of life, to feel all its beauty and freedom. Especially if you go sailing. Bathing away from the shore – with nothing incomparable sensations. Warm clear water, flocks of dolphins frolic quite close, and the boundless sea surface around … Contrary to the established opinion, yachts are the lot of not only millionaires! A mini-trip on a snow-white beauty can afford even economical tourists. For this it is necessary to gather a small company and forward, to sea adventures off the coast of Sochi!

THE WALK ON THE SEA MOTORSHIP

If all the same the financial circumstances are different, but you still want to go out into the sea, it does not matter. There are even more budget options. A whole hour or even more can be spent away from the shore on a boat trip, which are carried out by motor ships “Dagomys”, “Gagra” and “Aqua Loo.” An important significant difference is that you can not jump from the boat and swim. Safety precautions prohibit that.  But on the “Dagomys” night parties are held – from 21:00 to 24:00 you can hang out with a view of the resort town’s  lights which is especially beautiful at a warm summer night.

GRAND MARINA

Sochi Marine station today is not only a cruise harbor and a yacht marina. Today it is a real pilgrimage place for fashionable women, fashionistas and shoppers. The main boutiques of Sochi are now all in one place. In the renovated building of the sea terminal and in the “Grand Marina” complex there are shops of brands: BOSCO, Articoli, Etro, La Perla, Gucci, Marina Rinaldi, Guiseppe Zanotti, Louis Vuitton, Omega, Cartier Swatch, Sublime and many others.

RESTAURANTS

The southern wing of the Sochi Marine station was empty for a long time, but once upon a time almost every Russian dreamed to visit him. But not only Russian – every Soviet citizen drew idealistic pictures in his dreams – a glass of wine, a light sea breeze and an endless blue sea, which for some reason called the Black … Or a gentle pink sunset and an orange sun on the waves of this very Black Sea.

In a word, now this dream is quite real for all comers. After the reconstruction, the restaurant “Sea-gull” and the café “Swallow” were opened here. They will help to make the old dream come true. A nice bonus would be a real haute cuisine. In the menu – a variety of seafood, fine wines and dishes of Europe.

Up to snuff you can feel in another restaurant nearby (Voykov St., 3). “Weeping Willow” is a name familiar to every Soviet citizen from Leonid Gaidai’s favorite comedy “The Diamond Arm”. It is for sure not known whether it is possible to perform the “Song of the Hare” in the restaurant, but the dish of wild game will be served to you here.

However, today there are a few other culinary delights that are eagerly prepared for their guests in the “Weeping Willow”. The basis of the resort menu, of course, seafood, but such dishes as “Veal tongue with a sauce of morels and wild garlic” will make even the most sophisticated gourmets tremble.

SCULPTURE COMPOSITION "DIAMOND ARM "

“Weeping Willow” in movie version  was in another part of the city (more about this later), but the location of the “Willow” is also quite justified today. It was in the Sochi marine station where the scene of the “Diamond Arm” was shot with the departure of the ship “Mikhail Svetlov” and it was here, in the promenade zone of the sea terminal, that the most beloved Soviet smugglers and the respectable Gorbunkov family greeted the guests of the city in the thick shade of plane trees.

To the sculptural compositions there are always queues – everyone wants to be photographed with the people’s favorites. In the holiday season, there can be observed a pandemonium every day. And this is despite the fact that everyone lingers at the movie heroes for no more than a minute! Thousands of photos from this place scattered around the world – that’s why some parts of the sculptures have already been polished to a golden luster. It’s customary to sit on a suitcase, take Semyon-Semyonych by the arm, rub smugglers’ noses …

MONUMENT OF PETER AND FEVRONIA

And one more monument located nearby, in a special honor among lovers and newlyweds. Although the spouses with experience are not averse to be imprinted against its background. This is a monument to Peter and Fevronia, which is set next to the main Sochi wedding palace. With the advent of this composition, a new tradition was born in the city – every couple who marries on leaving the Civil Registry Office is necessarily photographed against the background of the saints. And local young people and girls have a belief: if the marriage proposal is made at this monument, the couple will live happily ever after, and separation will not threaten it.

BLACK CHERRY ORCHARD

Sochi has always been a wonderful city! You often notice that here and there, the cunning smile of His Majesty Sochi. He loves to joke, to play upon words, to be eccentric… Do not believe me? Then consider carefully signs, pointers, ordinary ads. Pay attention to the little things and be sure to see!

Only in Sochi you can see, for example, the monument to Ear. Or to  a Horse in a coat. And the “legendary movie Tree” here literally is on every corner.

And “Tree – in!” And from the bay leaf (which so nicely shades the taste of home pelmenies), here, next to the marine station, a dense green hedge!

By the way, more about the trees. Immediately, in the vicinity of the sea station, in the spring, a small square with countdown clocks is raging with colors. “What a marvelous black cherry orchard” the guests of the city sigh with enthusiasm and begin to quote Chekhov. But no, again Sochi smiles slyly. The garden is BLACK cherry …Not Chekhov’s tart cherry orchard. The real one. For a thousand days before the 2014 Olympics, dozens of seedlings brought from the most black cherry country, Italy, were dropped here, in Sochi, by famous politicians, musicians and athletes. In general, catch the moment, and then, perhaps, you can imagine what the Japanese feel when sakura blossoms .

CATHEDRAL OF MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL

The construction of the first and main Orthodox cathedral in the territory of the Black Sea district began in 1874, but due to the difficulties with financing it stretched for 16 years. For the construction of the temple used stones from the walls of the military fort Alexandria, from which the city of Sochi began and whose ruins can be seen just a few meters from the cathedral.

According to the project of architect Alexander Kaminsky, the snow-white church is made in the form of a four-pointed cross with an elongated facade branch. The branches of the cross of the building are covered with arches, and the center with a dome. The length of the building of the main Sochi Orthodox Cathedral is 25 meters, width is 17, the height of the bell tower is 34 meters. In the thirties the church became a granary, and during the Great Patriotic War it was again opened to the parishioners. Despite more than a hundred-year history and two reconstructions, the Cathedral of Michael the Archangel, considered the patron of Sochi, looks almost the same today as it was at the first divine service.

UPPER MARITIME QUAY

The seaside park, which is the Upper Seafront, stretches from the concert hall “Festivalny” to the square in front of the Winter Theater. This is a great place for walking and relaxing on the numerous shops overlooking the sea and the port. One of the most beautiful buildings here is the hotel “Primorskaya”. Its main building with snow-white balconies and sand facades facing the sea was built in 1936 by architect Jan Rebayn.

Today it is recognized as a monument of architecture. Near the hotel, among the palms, the famous Sochi bronze panther is languishing in the sun. Not far from the hotel, in the shade of a tree. there is a library named Alexander Pushkin, resembling a small castle, and behind it – a monument “Anchor and a cannon.” It was installed in 1913, in honor of the 75th anniversary of the foundation of Fort Alexandria, from which Sochi began, and the 300th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty.

In the middle of the 20th century, the monument was also dedicated to the victory in the Russian-Turkish war of 1828-1829. The constituent parts of this composition are more than two hundred years old: a cast-iron gun was made in 1807, and the anchor cast in 1779 at the Votkinsk plant was removed from a Russian military ship sunk into a storm. In the seaside park there are buildings of the Russian International Olympic University.

THEATRE SQUARE

The square in front of the Winter Theater is one of the main places of city festivities. On weekdays, parking is organized here, and during the festivals and days of festivals the motor traffic is blocked. From the square, festive processions and parades begin on May 1 and Victory Day, on stage, which is placed on wide steps near the theater, actors perform. The most famous festival on the square takes place during the days of the international film festival. Here there is a red path along which the stars of the domestic and world cinema go to the theater, as well as the auditorium for watching films in the open air. The square is surrounded by a park, where a few years ago there was a pump room with local mineral water “Plastunskaya”, which you can try for free.

CENTRAL QUAY

The main place for the promenade in Sochi is the embankment: a narrow strip between the sea and the rocky coast stretching from the seaport to the circus. This is the busiest place in summer Sochi.

Love and popularity among residents and tourists, the quay deserved thanks to the long beach strip, divided by breakwaters into small areas, which are equipped with sun beds and aerariums, showers and massage booths and other beach attributes, right up to the open-air cinema. There are all kinds of cafes and restaurants with open-air tables or under the roof.

Shopping lovers will be pleased with the variety of shops and souvenir shops, resting with children – attractions, just having a rest – simple show of artists, dancers, musicians and even manufacturers of sweet cotton wool.

STATUARY OF NEPTUNE

The statue of the sea god with a trident is installed on one of the beaches opposite the ascent to the hotel “Primorskaya”. The first version of the statue was created by the sculptor Vladimir Guslev from the tree and stood for several decades, becoming one of the symbols of the resort. Today you can see his image on old postcards and prospectuses about Sochi, as the hot sun, rain and sea spray destroyed the wooden sculpture. Modern Neptune is made of concrete and also loved by residents and tourists.

Monument to Michael the Archangel

In the center of Sochi, not far from the Marine Station, where Gorky Street merges with the main transport artery of the city, Kurortny Avenue, the monument rises.

It is impossible not to notice it – from the 25-meter height he looks at Sochi, – the patron of the city, Michael the Archangel. The seven-meter bronze statue is established here not by chance – Russian soldiers killed in the battles for Fort Alexandria (shore fortification, from which the history of Sochi began in 1838) are buried nearby.

Near the main city Orthodox Church  – St. Michael the Archangel Cathedral is located. And most important thing is that  the sculpture is installed so that the enemy will not hide from the eyes of the Archangel – neither from the sea, nor from the mountains. The leader of the army of heaven, the winner of the dark forces, protects Sochi day and night, guarding it from uninvited guests.

The monument simultaneously embodies the long history of the resort and demonstrates a contemporary history – by the order of the former mayor Victor Kolodyazhny the monument was erected in 2006, but despite the relatively “young” age, it became another landmark resort, a new sight of Sochi. And another thing. Recently, it is the day of St. Michael the Archangel on the Orthodox calendar (November 21) when they celebrate the City Day in Sochi.

Navaginskaya Street

One of the central streets of Sochi. It runs parallel to Gorky Street, starts from Platanovaya Alley and rises up to the railway station. It is remarkable that it is one of the shortest (a little more than a kilometer), crowded and beautiful in the city. Navaginskaya (emphasis on the third syllable NavagInskaya) in the period of the great pre-Olympic construction was subjected to a global reconstruction, due to which there was one more, its main feature. Several years ago it became pedestrian. The townspeople hardly imagined then how it would be possible to do without this transport capillary, where there was a rather brisk two-way traffic, however, they got used to changing very quickly. Now the Navaginskaya is a large walking area, laid out with an excellent paving stone, along which the flower beds are broken. The best city landscapers work over their design, that is why the motley floral carpets on Navaginskaya please the eye all year round: when the flowering period for one plant ends, another one is dissolved.

In addition to the fact that you can relax here, lovers of Selfie are simply required to make some of the most important Sochi photographs. It is on Navaginskaya where the figures of the mascots of the 2014 Winter Olympics are located, along with the huge Olympic rings, Zabivaka, which is the football mascot of the 2018 World Cup, and on the square of the flag there is a unique musical fountain, the Olympic glory museum in the building of the Sochi State University and a little further – a monument to the usual the human ear … fulfilling desires! And, of course, dozens of different shops, cafes and access to the famous Sochi Trade Gallery. In short, one can not succeed in running this kilometer for five minutes. In a nice day you can walk here for hours.

If you are tired, it does not matter – in the shade of huge palm trees cozy elegant shops are located, in the evenings no less elegant street lights are lit, multicolored street illumination is activated, thanks to which you immediately feel like in a fairy tale…

Park «Riviera»

The Park «Riviera» is one of the most popular places in Sochi for walks and fun holidays. It is believed that every guest of the city must visit it. After all, the Riviera combines modern attractions, long history, local culinary flavor, the spirit of competitions on sports grounds and many secrets, riddles and surprises. Here you can spend a whole day and at the same time without noticing how time flew past – there is a lot of entertainment! But first things first.

A monument of nature and history, an object of cultural and historical heritage, the park «Riviera» used to be a private estate.

Its owner, the famous Russian merchant Vasily Khludov dreamed of establishing a huge park, and he succeeded. At the best place of the land a villa was built, and from it, like rays of the sun in different directions, alleys ran along which a variety of trees were planted. After a while the businessman was forced to sell the park to the city and since then this place became the beginning of the city, as a resort and one of its main sights.

The area of the park «Riviera» (almost 15 hectares) allows it to combine «2 in 1»: 1 – a noisy amusement park and attractions with thousands of bright lights and loud music; 2 – quiet shady alleys, where you can walk, left alone with yourself and nature. Do not forget to grab the camera and nuts – there are a lot of squirrels, and most likely, you’ll be lucky enough to meet some of them. As for entertainment, in addition to the already mentioned attractions and numerous shooting galleries, there are a variety of exhibitions, concerts of pop stars in the open Green Theater, every day there is the program in the Dolphinarium, the Oceanarium works. Literally on every corner one can make pictures.

That blooming magnolia, a fragrant rosary, or a bright green palm tree, or a funny sculptural composition, an animated statue, or a strange bench. At the «Chaika» fountain, in the very center of the park, there are two such at once: a reconciliation bench, which makes peace for those in quarrel, and a lovers’ bench, which strengthens heart unions. There is also the bench «Beavers» – they say, if you sit on it, all problems with work are solved.

Alley of writers, Alley of astronauts, the pond «Black Sea», drinking pump room with local mineral water, gnomes with a bag of coins, helping to find wealth… One can enumerate endlessly. It is worthwhile simply to come here, to see everything with your own eyes and to allow yourself to get lost for a while in time, having plunged into the Sochi fairy tale.

Concert hall «Festivalny»

Almost 40 years ago (in 1979) on the stage of «Festivalny» the curtain was first raised. This honor was awarded to the choreographic company «Bereska» – the most famous group of Russian folk dance. Since then, thousands of performances have taken place here. On the stage there were, without exaggeration, all the stars of the Russian stage and many foreign performers. Not every city can boast such popularity. And this despite the fact that the hall works only a few months of the year – with the onset of the summer holiday season in «Festivalny» the tour season simultaneously starts. There are several reasons for this. The first one is that after all, in Sochi, most entertainment is aimed at vacationers. Well, and secondly, the site for 2500 seats is built in such a way that it can be used for its intended purpose only in the warm season – the auditorium is covered, but it remains open. On the one side, the eyes are pleased with the huge pine trees, on the other there is a gorgeous sea panorama. Spectators can listen to their favorite music, watch the performance and at the same time breathe fresh sea air.

«Festivalny» is located in the heart of Sochi, almost on the shore, next to the Sochi lighthouse and the FIFA Fan Fest site. In summer it is especially crowded here – in the evenings someone comes back from sea bathing, and someone just goes for a walk, to the main seaside embankment. So the number of the performing artists’ listeners is noticeably up – outside, around the concert hall, the music is also heard perfectly. At the same time, the sound remains high inside – the acoustics of the hall are carefully thought out.

The square around the «Festivalny» is no less attractive – the city guests always adored to be photographed here amid lush pampas and blooming flower beds. But they have become much more since the moment when reconstruction of the fountain complex – another local landmark was completed. A stunning composition is located on the descent to the concert hall from Ordzhonikidze Street. Fourteen bowls are connected in a common cascade system and are a truly fascinating sight.

singing fountain

After the global pre-Olympic construction, and the very Olympics-2014 singing fountains in Sochi became several – on the Flag Square (in the heart of the city), in one of the biggest shopping center in Sochi and in the Olympic Park. But the most important singing fountain is still the one that is located on the Platanovaya Alley, at the bus stop «Melodiya». Comparatively small and, of course, not as spectacular as its modern «descendants», but it is the very first and most famous in Sochi since the times of the Soviet Union.

The singing fountain was inaugurated in 1970. Then it was a real breakthrough. The jets of water rose and fell in time with the music, all this was accompanied by a bright illumination, together creating an incredible spectacle – the madness of the mystical dance of water and light. In 2009, the fountain survived a global reconstruction. Now it’s not just a single bowl, but a whole fountain complex with a small waterfall.

In all its glory, the fountain, of course, appears on warm summer evenings – dozens of residents and guests of the resort are going to see it. Every evening here turns into a small representation with the participation of street musicians, animators in growth dolls, sellers of balloons and sweet cotton wool… Hundreds of funny and beautiful photographs have dispersed all over the world from this very place.

Finding the main Sochi singing fountain is very simple. Almost all city bus routes pass along the Platanovaya Alley. A walk through the center of Sochi will sooner or later lead to it – from the Marine Station and the fan zone of the FIFA Fan Fest, an underground pedestrian crossing will lead here. It is best to orientate yourself on the street Navaginskaya. At its very beginning, talismans of the White Sochi Olympics Bear, Leopard and Bunny were installed. If you stand facing them and turn to the left – you can see the singing fountain. Although you will not have to look for it – the sound of water, music and dozens of photographers will help you to orientate without error.

Art Museum

The Sochi Art Museum was built about a century ago. At the time the popular style was the classical Renaissance, could not be better fitted into the architecture of Sochi in the thirties. Many years on the building was recognized as a monument of architecture, because it was always of huge cultural and historical interest.

In the early seventies the Sochi exhibition hall moved here, then there were several years of reconstruction, and since 1976 the Sochi Art Museum has settled. For more than forty years, this modern temple of art has hosted about 7 million guests.

The museum’s funds are several thousand exhibits: paintings, icons, samples of decorative and applied art and antiques. There is a permanent exposition, and also temporary ones are updated from their own collections every month. For many years permanent director of the Sochi Art Museum is a well-known Sochi citizen, Petr Khrisanov. It is his creative piece of art which can be seen to the left of the museum entrance (if you face it).

The grandiose composition «Golden fleece» is a huge terrible dragon who guards gold sheep skin, stretched between the two pillars. The meaning of the composition is very symbolic – according to the author’s intention it reflects the unity of Sochi (the Olympic capital of Russia) and Greece (the homeland of the Olympics). In addition to the dragon, several video cameras guard the monument around the clock, but this is not a prohibition against selfie with it.

Fort Alexandria

There is a place in Sochi where, may be said, the city itself originates. Fort Alexandria (later the Navagin fortification) was built in the spring of 1838. The first half of the 19th century became a very turbulent time for this place. But the prolonged fierce battles ended in the unconditional victory of the Russian troops.

The official day of the fort’s founding is April 21 – the day of the angel of the Empress Alexandra Fedorovna, the wife of Nicholas II. It was in her honor that the fortification got its name – Alexandria. The construction was being carried out thoroughly, as the saying goes, «for ages» – a stone-shell rock for these walls was taken from Kerch, and the dimensions of the building were impressive: 256 meters in length and 160 in width.

Part of the same structure has survived to this day. Just think about it! This piece of the wall is 180 years old! And meanwhile, anyone who wants to touch the history can do it. The FIFA Fan Fest guests have a great opportunity for this – the ancient fortification is very close, just a stone’s throw from the South Pier. The easiest way to find this place is if you take the Sochi registry office for a landmark, from which a long beautiful staircase leads to Fort. There is also a landmark object here – a zero kilometer of Sochi, where both guests of the city and the residents of the resort like to take photos. By the way, it is here that one of the most popular walking routes of the Sochi center – the historic boulevard – begins.

Main Sochi Lighthouse

There is the main Sochi lighthouse not far from the FIFA Fan Fest site. To the left and above the concert hall «Festivalny» one can see an inconspicuous white building. Many years ago it was precisely the «point of attraction» for these places – to get here, to Dakhovski post (this is another old name of Sochi), was possible only by sea. The lighthouse, without exaggeration, was the guide for hundreds of ships of the Russian Shipping and Trade Company. It was this company which acted as the main “sponsor” of construction, having accepted the offer of businessman Anastasiadi to build and equip the lighthouse. In 1874, near the fort of Alexandria, at an altitude of 35 meters above sea level, the work began. The building was being built from the remnants of the Navagin fortification’s dismantled walls, but still there was not enough money, so the construction was delayed for six years. The work was also slowed down by the Russian-Turkish war. So the first signal fire lit up here only in 1890. The Sochi lighthouse started to shine constantly in 1892.

The heart of the lighthouse is a small lantern, which was made in France, this fact is confirmed by a small bronze tablet with the inscription «construit à Paris». A composite complex lens also comes from France (invented by physicist Auguste Jean Fresnel). The three-meter construction, consisting of dozens of concentric rings, is relatively light and at the same time functional – thanks to this unusual lens the angle of coverage of the Sochi lighthouse is 235°, and its light extends to as much as 32 kilometers. Earlier, inside the lighthouse, there used to be an ordinary kerosene lamp, today it is an electric lamp with a power of 1000 watts which is constantly on. A hundred years ago the Sochi lighthouse shone with an even, white light. Then a long time it was red, and now the unblinking green one spreads to a distance of 17 miles.

To see the Sochi lighthouse will be obtained only from the outside – the caretaker will not let in inside, since the object is not a tourist one, although it is considered a landmark for Sochi-city.

The Garden of Russian-Japanese Friendship

As we have already said, Sochi is able to surprise and delight. So, finding yourself in the Southern capital of Russia, you can easily make an instant trip in time and space, visiting… the land of the rising sun.

In the heart of Sochi there is a small and cozy corner – the Garden of Russian-Japanese Friendship. Previously, it used to be called, of course, the garden of Soviet-Japanese friendship and symbolized just that – the warming of relations between countries. A friendship society between Russia and Japan was even created, and its branches were opened in different cities. Sochi did not become an exception – apart from everything else, they also broke a thematic garden square in the immediate vicinity of the main artery of the resort – Kurortny Prospekt. More precisely, it is located on Kurortny Prospect, opposite the Arts Square (bus stop «Stereo», or «Sochi-Magnolia»). Despite the relatively small area, about 60 ares, the garden contained dozens of unique plants, growing in Japan.

The author of the creation of this wonderful corner was the famous Sochi landscape designer of the Soviet era, Sergei Venchagov – the work under his leadership began in 1981 and ended in 1986.

«Japanese smart garden», as it is affectionately called by local residents, immediately became a favorite place for romantic walks and numerous photographs. Pagoda, a picturesque pond, a garden of stones, bonsai and narrow paths for walking – all this helps to plunge headlong into an unfamiliar and such a wonderful world. By the way, the entrance to it is guarded by a small dragon on the pedestal, but you can admire the blooming cherry blossom, see Korean fir and Japanese larch at any time and absolutely free of charge – the entrance to the Japanese garden is free.

The hall of organ and chamber music

One of the most significant places in Sochi is the famous Hall of Organ and Chamber Music, which is located not far from the Japanese garden. For fans of classics – this is a real place of attraction. After all, in the walls, at first glance, of an inconspicuous building, the divine voices of the grand piano «Bechstein» and His Majesty the Organ sound. The organ hall was built in the late 60s of the last century, however, at first the musical school was located here. Only 20 years later, in 1986, the organ was installed in the school’s concert hall. In October of the same year, it first sounded directed by the famous musician Harry Grodberg.

The organ is of interest in the first place, of course, with its majestic sound but also, and its history. This is one of the most ancient musical instruments, the ancestor of which is Babylonian bagpipes (19th century BC) So the Sochi organ is a relatively young and modern model. There is the pedal, two and a half thousand pipes, three manuals and 33 registers in its mechanism. The instrument sounds not only solo – often during concerts the organ can be heard accompanied by a piano, a violin, a cello, or in an ensemble

Since 2005, the Sochi Organ Hall has been named after Alisa Debolskaya. A well-known resident of Sochi city (honorary citizen of Sochi, Honored Worker of Culture) for many years was the director of the institution and made a special contribution to its development, as well as to the cultural life of the whole city of Sochi.

The organ hall today is not only concerts of symphonic and chamber music. These are numerous exhibitions, children’s competitions, festivals (including the annual jazz festival «Black Sea»). But nevertheless the organ takes center stage. A small auditorium, for 350 seats, allows to create a cozy atmosphere, as well as perfect acoustics. It is thanks to this combination in those moments when the organ sounds, it is possible to feel the connection between generations that stretches through the ages…

The Sochi museum of history

Literally in two years (in 2020) the Sochi museum of history will celebrate its centennial anniversary. In 1920, according to the decision of the Sochi regional executive committee, a local history museum was established. But the first collection was formed much earlier – in the period from 1902 to 1917, when the local department of the Caucasian Mountain Club worked under the guidance of the local historian Vasily Konstantinov on the territory of the Sochi settlement. The club’s tasks included studying the nature of local places – plants and animals, archaeological riddles, as well as acquaintance with the life and ways of local people. Of course, in the process of work there were many interesting things that later became part of the collection. It was kept then in a detached house, at the place of the mountain club head’s mother, Catherine Maikova. After the death of the woman, the collection became the state property. On February 15, 1921 the first visitors examined the museum exhibits. Truly speaking, they were located in a completely different place – where the «Primorskaya» hotel is today, on the upper seaside embankment. The museum moved several times and even curtailed the exposition – during the Great Patriotic War the collections had to be hidden in the depths of the Sochi caves.

On the street Vorovskogo, where the Sochi Museum of the history is located today, museum funds were transferred in 2000. In the building of the former general education school, built in the mid-thirties, the reconstruction was made and the first exhibition halls were open. Today there are 14 such operating halls, each of them reflects different epochs of life and development of the place where the most famous resort of Russia is located today. Here you can see the tools of the Stone Age, antique gold and silver jewelry, Byzantine coins, objects of culture and life of the first settlers. A separate room, designed in the form of a ship’s cabin, is dedicated to the foundation of Sochi and presents to the visitors’ attention weapons and maps of those years. A special place is given to the period of the Great Patriotic War, when the resort turned into a hospital: photographs, letters, military uniforms and weapons – each of these things is a living witness to the terrible times for the country. The exposition «Cosmonauts in Sochi» is constantly deployed in the museum. It includes unique exhibits, such as the descent vehicle of the «Soyuz-9» spacecraft, food and spacesuits – all that the conquerors of space use outside of the earth’s atmosphere. There are collected photographs of cosmonauts, which visited Sochi in different years. A lot of interesting and mysterious things are hidden in the exhibits of the museum of the Sochi museum of history. You can get acquainted with the nature of the Western Caucasus, learn about the inhabitants of the Black Sea depths and even touch the «local relative» of the Egyptian pyramids – a real dolmen, installed at the central entrance to the museum.

Pushkin Library

Another oldest agency in Sochi is Pushkin Library, one of the first libraries of the entire Caucasus coast. It is located in the heart of the resort, on the upper seaside promenade. The funds hold about 70 thousand books and magazines, which are read by about 60 thousand people a year. The first readers came to the library in 1899 – the agency was opened on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the birth of the great Russian poet, Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin. But the first library funds were located then in another place – in the so-called People’s Home of the Society of the Benefit to the Poor. Taking into account the huge interest of the population, it was decided to erect a new building – a more cavernous, spacious and suitable for storing books. The money for construction was collected by the citizens themselves – ordinary Sochi residents. An invaluable contribution was made by many well-known entrepreneurs in the city of those times, as well as representatives of the clerisy. In addition to material assistance, people also helped in the formation of the library fund – they brought their personal collections of books, donating them to the library for free. All this work lasted about three years. And on May 27, 1912 the renovated library opened in a new place, in a new building. By the way, today the building is an architectural monument and has been under state protection since 1975.

Monument to Nikolaу Ostrovsky

A ten-meter monument attracts attention on a small square between Kurortny Prospekt and Mikhail Archangel’s Temple – a lean man in a long fluttering coat resolutely moves forward. He holds a small book in his right hand, in the left one – he presses the saber to the coat flap. This is a Soviet writer. Nikolay Ostrovsky. Like many famous people, he lived a short but bright life. And his adulthood was closely connected with Sochi.

Nikolay Ostrovsky was born in 1904. The boy had unique talents since childhood, therefore he was admitted to the parochial school before his age, and he finished it already at the age of nine.

From the age of 12 he worked and studied at the college simultaneously. The active and partial sharp lad quickly grew up – at 14 he already participated in the Bolshevik underground activities, for about a year he was a courier of the revolutionary committee, and in 1919, a month before his fifteenth birthday, he volunteered for the front. For a year Ostrovsky fought on the battlefields of the Civil War, until he was injured (back injury and eyes) and demobilized. So the consequences of the wounds brought the writer to Sochi years later – here he came in 1928 for treatment with the waters of Matsesta, and then decided to move to permanent residence. Sochi air, sea, landscapes – all this inspired the writer for his most famous work – a cult novel in the USSR «How the Steel Was Tempered». The book was published in 75 languages of the Soviet Union’s peoples, the total circulation was almost 54 million copies. How did this piece of work become so hugely popular? The novel was not just fascinating, but inspiring to heroic deeds, which was especially important in the years of the Civil War, and then in the times of the Great Patriotic War – in 1942 the first screen version appeared – the feature film «How the Steel Was Tempered». The readers were also attracted with the fact that the book was written by their contemporary, a young Soviet man who was confined to bed.

Nikolay Ostrovsky wrote his main novel when he was seriously ill. Every day he lived was a struggle – with ailment, with himself. He almost completely lost his sight and wrote to the touch with the help of special devices, which he himself invented. The novel was already adapted to his dictation – during his work the health deteriorated noticeably. One of the catch phrases is still among the most popular in Russia, however, in the course of time it has been greatly reduced, leaving only the main sense, without specifying: «The most precious thing for a person is life. It is given to him once, and it must be lived so that it would not be tormentingly painful for aimlessly lived years…» These words are immortalized in the Sochi bas-relief of Nikolay Ostrovsky – in the area of the Teatralnaya stop on Kurortny Prospekt. By the way, there is a museum nearby named after Nikolay Ostrovsky, one of whose parts is the house where the famous writer lived and worked. Here, the interior environment and atmosphere that surrounded the Ostrovsky family were preserved. It should be noted that this house was presented to the writer by the Soviet government – as a reward for his work.

In 1937, the writer died. But his name remains to live. Like another catch phrase: «Be able to live even when life becomes unbearable; make it useful.». These words helped to survive in peacetime many Soviet soldiers and officers who returned from the war with disabilities. Of course, now, years later, the younger generation knows little about the writer, but the words from the book «How the Steel Was Tempered» are quoted so far, though, having already significantly changed the meaning, but with pleasure and humor: «The most precious thing for a person is a life. It is given to him once, and it is necessary to live it… in Sochi»

Olympic Park

Of course, one of the places of attraction for each Sochi guest are the facilities, one way or another related to the 2014 Olympics. And obviously, the main of these objects is Olympic Park. Four years ago, the main sporting events for the country and the world took place here, and today it is the venue for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The main event, naturally, will be held at the stadium «Fisht», but in Olympic Park there is something to see and what to do not only on the days of matches. Time here flies imperceptibly. Olympic Park is located in the Adler district of Sochi, on the picturesque coast. The total area of the park is about 200 hectares. That’s why bicycling, or electric cars, is so popular here – you can not get anywhere on foot. Even if you start this «Olympic» trip from the very morning, from the park opening (working hours from 08:00 a.m. to 00:00 a.m.)

So, what can you see in Olympic Park and where to make memorable pictures? At the very beginning of the train station visitors are greeted by a stunning beauty cascading fountain. Some mistakenly take it for the musical one, the same that flashed in the frames of the Olympic chronicles. But no, this is only the beginning, although, the photos are good here. Next there is the symbol of the Winter Olympics, colorful rings, and only then the «Cup of the Olympic flame» The stele – cresset and the dancing fountain is the real, living “heart” of the park. In any case, it is this feeling that is formed by the audience, who come to admire the unimaginable ensemble of water, music and light. Fountain is switched on several times a day.

Several sports facilities were built on the territory of Olympic Park: Fisht Stadium, Shayba Center, Winter Sports Palace «Iceberg», the large ice palace, indoor skating center «Adler-Arena», and Ice Cube curling center. All the sport palaces are not idle after the Olympics, but function all year round. On the territory of Olympic Park, a wide variety of events are constantly held: concerts, performances, sports, music and literary festivals, summits and championships. Without exaggeration, today Olympic Park is the center of all major events in Sochi.

One of Olympic Park highlights is Sochi-Autodrome – the track of Formula-1, where you can go on a tour even to have a master class, or ride a real racing taxi.

There are also museums which are worthy of special attention – the Museum Center, which essentially unites three museums under one roof: the Tesla Electric Museum, the Leonardo Museum, which displays exhibits collected from the drawings of great da Vinci and the Museum of the USSR. The latter is also called the time machine, because it illustrates clearly and in detail the life of Soviet citizens – a country that today does not exist on any modern map.

Further in the list of «Sochi Auto Museum» and the Museum of sports and classic cars. Here are the grandparents and novelties of the world car industry.

Further there are the Sochi Auto Museum and the Museum of sports and classic cars in the list. Here are the grandparents and novelties of the world car industry.

Of course, one can not ignore the famous Sochi Park – Russian Disneyland. That’s where you can forget about time at all! Swings, carousels, labyrinths, heroes of Russian folk tales, as well as a dolphinarium, a laser show, a multimedia aqua show… and all this is included in the price of one single ticket bought at the entrance to the park!

Sochi Olympic Park holds a lot of surprises, and to disclose all the «clues» is just not right. Although there will be still a piece of advice. Here, in the Imeretinskaya lowland, you must find time and swim in the sea. The water here is clean and transparent. There are only 21 beaches, including those claiming the international quality mark «Blue Flag». It is necessary to take a walk along the Imereti embankment – this is the longest sea promenade in the Sochi with a lot of European restaurants and the famous miniature copy of Olympic park in bronze.

Krasnaya Polyana

In Adler district of Sochi there is a unique mountain village, which gained worldwide fame a few years ago. Of course, we mean Krasnaya Polyana, a Russian ski resort. After the Winter Olympic Games in 2014, everything changed here. The small remote settlement has turned into a real pilgrimage place for lovers of winter and summer mountain sports: snowboarding, skiing, mountain biking, hiking along the blossoming slopes of the Caucasus Mountains… What can be more beautiful? Perhaps, only that literally in 40 minutes of driving there is the warmest sea of Russia – the Black sea. The unique Sochi climate allows you to make a trip from winter to summer in just one day and vice versa: very often in January-February, when snow flakes in the mountains of Krasnaya Polyana, in the center of Adler or Sochi – the sun is shining, mimosa flowers, and the temperature can reach up to +15°C. On such days the most desperate city guests even dare to plunge into the sea! And then again they return to their skis, snowboards and other entertainments of Krasnaya Polyana.

In the village there are three mountain climatic resorts: Rosa Khutor, Gorki Gorod and Laura Gazprom. The total length of the ski slopes is 150 kilometers.

In the warm season, dozens of pedestrian and equestrian ecological routes open in Krasnaya Polyana. There is also the unique ethnographic complex! My Russia» in the mountain cluster of Sochi. It is an open-air museum in which all the most famous architectural monuments in the country are recreated – from the Buddhist temple in Buryatia to the Moscow Kremlin. Here you can get acquainted with the life and traditions of the peoples of the Caucasus, Southern and Central Russia, the Russian North, the Urals, Siberia

By the way, there are several ways that you can get to the village: a new motorway with a network of tunnels, in parallel there is a railway branch – the «Lastochka» train regularly runs on it. And there is still an old road – through the village. The path is longer, but you can visit several interesting places. Trout farming, where the famous «royal» fish and several species of sturgeon fishes are bred. For a fee you can visit it with an excursion, fish, tasting products: red and black caviar, fish of its own pickling and smoking.

On the way the famous Krasnopolyansky Medvezhiy ugol will be met. It a complex for outdoor recreation, within the boundaries of Sochi National Park, on the bank of the river Chvizhepse. With the same name there is also a spring nearby it is a narzan one with delicious curative mineral water. It is necessary to gain a little for future use.

Another interesting object on the way to Krasnaya Polyana is the Trinity-St. George’s Convent. It is located away from the noisy highway, in seclusion, among the forest and mountains. Believers go here to touch the relics of Orthodox saints. And curious tourists are eager to see with their own eyes the place where a few years ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin was celebrating Christmas among the parishioners.

Nearby, by the way, the world famous Skypark is located too. Here you can stroll along the longest suspended bridge on the globe – its length is 439 meters, and height – 207. Those who are braver, reaching the middle of the bridge, can jump from it to the abyss, of course, wearing the necessary ammunition. «Bungee jumping» – this is the name of this extreme entertainment.

Hard to believe that a few years ago, Krasnaya Polyana was like a normal high-altitude settlement. Today you may not notice how the vacation flies, if flying upside down from a skyscraper height alternates with the ascent to two thousand meters above sea level. Or to be drunk with local mead and transparent mountain air… To look at the living inhabitants of local places: wolves, bison, deer, eagles and vultures – they are all pets of the famous Enclosure complex near the resort «Laura Gazprom». In the evenings, you can live it up on the beach of the artificial lake of the resort «Rosa Khutor», visit bars, restaurants, nightclubs, water parks and spas. And since 2017 at the resort «Gorki Gorod» there is also a casino, so it’s quite real to remind Lady Luck about you by playing a couple of times in Russian poker or American roulette.

Krasnaya Polyana keeps a lot of mysteries, which, alas, will not be solved. Old fortresses, dolmens (relatives of the Egyptian pyramids), ancient burials – all this will only increase surprise and delight. Well, walks through the beautiful nature nooks of Krasnaya Polyana will forever remain in your memory: lakes and waterfalls, snow-covered mountain peaks and alpine meadows… And the village itself is unique, it gives a sense of secrecy and privacy. It’s so easy to get lost among the little charming little houses on cozy flowering streets! No everyday problems, worries and thoughts about work should be here – from all and sundry majestic mountains will protect their guests reliably and carefully.

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