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(sô`chē), city (1989 pop. 337,000), Krasnodar Territory, S European Russia, on the east shore of the Black Sea, in the foothills of the Caucasus. It is a port and subtropical resort, established as a spa in 1902. Tourism is important to the city. Sochi was host city for the 2014 winter Olympics, and ski slopes and resorts were developed nearby for the games.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a city under krai jurisdiction in Krasnodar Krai, RSFSR; the largest balneotherapeutic and climatic health resort in the USSR. Area, 3,506 km2. Population, 247,000 (1975; 71,000 in 1939; 127,000 in 1959; 224,000 in 1970).

Sochi is located on the slopes of spurs of the Greater Caucasus and extends along the Black Sea for almost 150 km, from the Shepsi River in the northwest to the Psou River on the border with the Abkhazian ASSR. Greater Sochi (1961 boundaries) includes the Adler, Khosta, Tsentral’nyi, and Lazarevskoe city districts and the health-resort settlements of Magri, Makopse, Ashe, Lazarevskoe, Golovinka, Loo, Dagomys, Mamaika, Khosta, Kudepsta, Adler, and Krasnaia Poliana.

The Sochi area is traversed by a railroad line (Rostov-on-Don-Samtredia) and the Black Sea Highway (Novorossiisk-Batumi). A seaport, Sochi also has a large airport in Adler. The climate is humid and subtropical. Winters are mild, with an average January temperature of 6°C, and summers are very warm, with an average July temperature of 25°-28°C. Annual precipitation totals 1,400 mm. There are 2,300 hours of sunlight annually.

Balneotherapeutic remedies in Sochi include sulfide, hydrosulfide-hydrogen sulfide, and iodobromite waters drawn from wells in many health-resort settlements, including Matsesta, Khosta, Kudepsta, and Mamaika. The main horizon of the sulfide springs is confined to the rock mass of bituminous and fissured limestones (Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous) of the Sochi-Adler Artesian Basin. Wells opened at various depths (1,280–1,550 m to 2,600–3,300 m) contain the following waters: sulfide waters (H2S + HS, approximately 350–430 mg/liter [/]), hydrogen sulfide-nitrogen-carbonic acid-methane thermal waters (45°–65°C), highly mineralized waters (15–40 g//), and slightly acid sodium chloride waters (pH 6.6–6.7). Approximately 4,500 m3 of sulfide water is supplied daily by the Matsesta and Khosta areas and more than 1,000 m3 by the Kudepsta and Mamaika areas.

The water from Sochi’s mineral springs is used for therapeutic baths, inhalation, and irrigation. Local silt mud is used in Adler Raion. The sea-bathing season is from May to October, and Sochi’s climate is conducive to good health. Diseases of the cardiovascular system, musculoskeletal organs, female genitalia, and skin are treated. The Lazarevskoe and Adler districts provide treatment for nontuberculous respiratory diseases and functional diseases of the nervous system. Sochi has more than 50 sanatoriums, five health-resort polyclinics, seven bathhouses, and 82 houses of rest and hotels.

Sochi is a major resort and one of the main stops on Black Sea cruises. Thirty all-Union tourist routes pass through the city, which offers camping facilities and ten tourist centers.

Popular sites for hiking and excursions include Mount Akhun, the Agura Waterfalls, the Eagle Rocks, the yew and box grove, the subtropical garden in Adler, the Vorontsov Caves, Krasnaia Poliana, and Lake Ritsa.

In 1838 the settlement of Aleksandriia was founded on the site of the modern city. Located on the Turkish border, it was later renamed Navaginskii Fort. During the Crimean War (1853–56) the fort was abandoned by Russian troops. It was rebuilt in 1864 under the name Post Dakhovskii, which was changed to Dakhovskii Posad in 1874. In 1896 it was renamed Sochi and became a city and a district capital of Black Sea Province.

Sochi started developing as a health-resort city in the early 20th century. The health resort Caucasian Riviera opened in 1909. Soviet power was proclaimed in January 1918 and firmly established on Apr. 29, 1920. Sochi has been part of Krasnodar Krai since 1937. During World War II the city served as a military hospital base, from which approximately 500,000 soldiers and officers were able to rejoin the fighting at the front after receiving treatment. Under Soviet power, Sochi has been completely rebuilt and many modern conveniences added. An esplanade 3,000 m long was constructed, with gazebos and scenic lookouts, and numerous parks, squares, and flower gardens were laid out.

The main thoroughfare running through central Sochi is Kurortnyi Prospekt, connecting an entire planned system of parks, squares, and large sanatorium complexes, including the Institute of Health Resort Science and Physical Therapy (1931, architect A. V. Shchusev), the Zaria Sanatorium (after 1964; includes the former Gornyi Vozdukh Sanatorium [1931, architects A. A. Vesnin and L. A. Vesnin]), the sanatorium of the Ministry of Defense of the USSR (1931-33, architect M. I. Merzhanov), the G. K. Ordzhonikidze Sanatorium (1934-37, architect I. S. Kuznetsov), the Pravda Sanatorium (1936, architect P. P. Es’kov), the Primor’e Sanatorium (1937, architects N. D. Kolli and I. P. Kastel’), the Metallurg Sanatorium (1956, architect Ia. O. Svirskii, engineer O. A. Ugriumova), the Zolotoi Kolos Sanatorium (1933-35, architect P. P. Es’kov), and the Frunze Sanatorium (1962, architects V. I. Ochinskii and G. Kh. Nazarian, engineer A. S. Sidorov). Also located in Sochi are the Sputnik International Tourist Camp (1960, architects include N. V. Milova and G. S. Rzhevskaia, engineers D. D. Iakunin and V. M. Simonovskii) and such large hotels as the Kavkaz (1964), the Magnoliia (1965), and the Leningrad (1966); all three hotels were designed by L. Iu. Gal’perin and other architects. The city also has a railroad station (1952, architect A. N. Dushkin), a seaport (1955, architects include K. S. Alabian), a theater (1939, architect K. N. Chernopiatov), the Sputnik Movie Theater (1962, architect E. A. Serdiukov, engineers include G. I. Vakulenko), and many other public buildings. Sochi has a memorial to V. I. Lenin (bronze and granite, 1957, sculptor Z. M. Vilenskii, architect L. V. Rudnev).

Sochi has more than 40 industrial enterprises. The primary industry is food processing, with milk, meat, and experimental canning combines, as well as a brewery and a poultry plant. The city has the general technical department of the Krasnodar Polytechnic Institute, a secondary specialized polytechnic, a school of medicine, the Scientific Research Institute of Mountain Fruitgrowing and Floriculture, a scientific research forest experiment station, and the Soiuzmorniiproekt Scientific Research Station. There is a museum of local lore in the city and the N. Ostrovskii Memorial Museum of Literature (in the house where the writer lived intermittently between 1928 and 1936). Also in the city are the Caucasus Preserve and the Arboretum. In addition, Sochi has a circus and an exhibition hall.


Romanov, N. E. Sochi. Krasnodar, 1972.
Zaitsev, I. L., A. M. Komarov, and I. A. Maksimov. Sochi: PutevoditeV po gorodu. [Krasnodar] 1962.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


a city and resort in SW Russia, in the Krasnodar Territory on the Black Sea: hot mineral springs. Pop.: 328 000 (2005 est.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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