The Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, have cost the nation nearly $US50 billion, making them the most expensive Games in history.
Much of the work to transform the resort town into a professional outpost for everything from curling to bobsledding took place over the last 11 months. That included rebuilding residences and installing new shopping centres and hotels for the expected influx of tourists.
These side-by-side Reuters photos show just how much Sochi’s landscape has changed in preparation for the 2014 Winter Olympics. Photos on the left or top were taken in February 2013 in the village of Krasnaya Polyana, near Sochi, while their counterparts were taken just this month in the same locations.
Roads in Sochi and its surrounding villages were newly paved.
Nearby buildings got a spruce-up.
Lots of new construction appeared in the village of Krasnaya Polyana, near Sochi.
New chain hotels were put up in anticipation of the influx of tourists for the Olympics.
They also built a new shopping center in Krasnaya Polyana.
Construction for the Olympics continues on the outskirts.
Even this building that housed Olympics construction workers over the past 11 months got an updated facade.
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