19 Photos Of Sochi From 1974, When It Was A Popular Soviet Resort Town

Sochi 1974

We’ve heard plenty of travel horror stories out of Sochi since the Olympics began, and many have questioned the city’s level of preparedness for the Games.
Despite the controversy, however, Sochi has a long history as a popular resort town for Russians and other eastern Europeans.

Sochi was first developed in the 1920s under Stalin, who was attracted to the area because of its mineral springs, which helped ease his joint pain. The dacha he built there was his favourite of the seven vacation homes he owned around the country.

Over the next few decades, the city by the Black Sea became a favourite destination among Soviet citizens.

We got in touch with German Manfred Schammer, who took some beautiful photos during a trip to Sochi in 1974. He gave us permission to use his photos, which paint a beautiful portrait of the city as it was 40 years ago.

Schammer stayed at the Hotel Leningrad, seen here.

He could catch a glimpse of the Black Sea from the hotel room.

The bridge leading into town was busy with tourists.

People milled about on the main street.

These machines distributed water to thirsty crowds.

Here's a look at Sochi's central train station.

The rocky beach was just as popular then as it is today.

Deck chairs were set up for catching some rays.

He snapped this photo at a restaurant by the beach.

The surrounding area is lush and mountainous.

This is the arena where Sochi's circus put on performances.

Schammer also paid a visit to one of Sochi's popular sanatoriums.

Like many of the other places of leisure that were built in Sochi in the 1930s, it was made to look like a Greek temple, complete with sculptures and imposing columns.

The spring water used at Sochi's sanatoriums was thought to have many health benefits.

The vendor at this wagon gave out kvass, a non-alcoholic beverage popular in Russia and Ukraine.

Women sold flowers in the Central Market, open every morning except Monday.

Pet birds were among the things for sale at the market.

Potential customers examined some handmade baskets.

There were also fresh fruit and vegetables for sale.

And here's a glimpse at what Sochi looks like today.

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