The building of the Sochi branch of Russian Geographical Society

In 1829, after the end of the Russian-Turkish war according to the Adrianople Peace Treaty, the territory of the Black Sea coast from the mouth of the Kuban River to St. Nicholas Fort (south of the modern city of Poti) passed to Russia. During the Caucasian War of the 1830-s the Black Sea defensive system of coastal fortifications was created. In the territory where Sochi is now located, the following fortifications (forts) were built: the Holy Spirit (Adler), Alexandria (Sochi), Lazarev (Lazarevskoye), Golovinsky (Golovinka).

After the end of the Caucasian War (1864), the native peoples: Shapsugs, Ubykhs, Abazins were forced to leave their territory, and the new settlers came to the Caucasian Black Sea coast. In 1866, after the approval of the "Regulation on the Settling of the Black Sea Area", a resettlement movement began, which changed the ethnic map and brought about a new national formation of the region. Sochi was settled by Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Georgians, Armenians, Greeks, Moldavians, Estonians.

Having appeared as a military fortification, in 1870 Sochi began to develop as a civilian settlement.

In the second half of the XIX century, the active development of the southern territories of the Russian Empire begins.

On the initiative of the government in 1898, a commission composed of climatologist Professor A.I. Voeikova, Professor F.I. Pasternatsky and engineer I.V. Sergeeva conducted a thorough survey of Sochi, Matsesta and Krasnaya Polyana. They came to the  conclusion that the Black Sea coast is truly “the Russian Riviera”.


The Commission determined the importance of Sochi as a developing health-resort by three main factors:

- its geographical location (40 + 34 - latitude of Nice);

- its location on the seashore;

-its protection from the north winds by the mountains.


These factoes provided relaxation and treatment here all year round. Healing water of Matsesta hydrogen sulphide springs was added to sea bathing, which immensely increased the value of the resort of Sochi.

The development of the resort depended on the state of communication. In 1891 the construction of Novorossiysk-Sukhumi highway began, it connected coastal settlements. Before this the communication between them had been carried out only by sea on rowing or sailing boats or on foot along the coastline. In 1900, an engineer and architect Tikhomirov completed the construction of bridges on the highway. Steamboats started moving regularly along the Black Sea coast. In 1896-1899 under the guidance of a talented mining engineer Konstantinov, the Adler-Krasnaya Polyana road was built.

In 1903, Dr. Podgursky’s hydropathic center was built and opened, it was advertised as “the only spa resort in Sochi”. In 1907, the cottage construction began to rise in Sochi, Dagomys, Uch-Dere, Matsesta, Khosta, Adler. The first resort "Caucasian Riviera" was developing rapidly.

Revolution and civil war brought many changes to Sochi. The country began the nationalization of resorts. In 1926, the government adopted a decree on the formation of the Sochi-Matsesta resort for national purposes. In 1933, the development of the general plan of Sochi-Matsesta resort reconstruction was completed. In 1934, the Soviet government included Sochi in the list of primary construction projects in the country.

Leading Soviet architects took part in shaping the resort view. They were to create a dynamic combination of architectural ensembles over 30 km of the coast with dominants on the hilltops. The coastline was regulated by a system of beaches with moorings and marinas. The main requirement was a maximum use of natural relief. 

The building No.113 on Kurortny Prospekt (Stalin Avenue), the principal avenue of the city, was built simultaneously with the Matsesta rotunda (1937). It was a summer cottage No. 1 for the Security Chief of I.V. Stalin, whose home was located higher up the slope (one of the buildings of the “Green Grove” sanatorium.) The building was designed by a famous Soviet architect Miron Merzhanov, the author of many Sochi sanatorium ensembles, in the traditions of Soviet neoclassicism. Initially, the building housed the Main Security office, Generals Vlasik and Smorodinsky, former Security chiefs.

By the decision of the Sochi Administration No. 544/3 of December 4, 1985, the building and the land plot were transferred to the Sochi branch of the USSR Civil Society (since 1998 - the Sochi city branch of the All-Russian Public Organization - Russian Geographical Society or SGO VGO RGO). On July 03, 2019 the building of the SGO VOO RGO entered the unified Russian Federation state register of objects of cultural heritage (historical and cultural monuments).

On May 27, 2019, the order of the administration of the Krasnodar Territory No. 75-KN “On the inclusion of the identified cultural heritage object“ The building of the Main office of the Government Cottages Security, architect M.I. Merzhanov ”, the 1930s, located in Krasnodar Territory, Sochi, Khostinsky District, Kurortny Prospekt, 113, lit. A, A1, a, a1, a2, a3 into the unified Russian Federation state register of cultural heritage objects (historical and cultural monuments) as an object of cultural heritage of regional significance.

In accordance with paragraph 5 of Article 3.1, Articles 5.1, 18 of the Federal Law of June 25, 2002 No. 73 – ФЗ “On Objects of Cultural Heritage (Monuments of History and Culture) of the Russian Federation”, paragraph 37 of part 2 of Article 5 of the Law of the Krasnodar Territory dated July 23, 2015 No. 3223-KZ “On objects of cultural heritage (historical and cultural monuments) of the Russian Federation located on the territory of the Krasnodar Territory”, by order of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation dated June 4, 2015 No. 1745 “On approval of the requirements for drawing up draft borders of of cultural heritage sites area”, clause 3.9.4 of the Regulation on the State Protection of Cultural Heritage Property Administration of the Administration of the Krasnodar Territory, approved by the Decree of the Head of Administration (Governor) of the Krasnodar Territory dated December 8, 2016 No. 1000“ On the State Protection of Cultural Heritage Property of the Krasnodar Territory Administration», The cultural heritage site is included in the unified state register of cultural heritage sites (historical and cultural monuments) of the Russian Federation as an object of cultural heritage of regional significanceing), the subject of protection, the borders and mode of use of the monument area are adopted in accordance with Annexes 1, 2, 3 to the Order № 75, 05.27.2019.

This order is published on the official website of the administration of the Krasnodar Territory in the information and telecommunication network "Internet" and on the "Official Internet portal of legal information" (www / pravo / gov / ru). It was sent within seven days from the date of adoption in the Office of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation in the Krasnodar Territory to 1) the Office of the Federal Service for State Registration, Cadastre and Cartography of the Krasnodar Territory and 2) to the Administration of the resort city of Sochi.


Sources:

1. Information on the historical and architectural value of the building on Kurortny Prospekt, 113 in the Khostinsky district of Sochi.

2. A.A. Sharks. The architect of Stalin. Documentary story. Ryazan. Publisher Sitnikov, 2004.

3. Museum of the history of the resort city of Sochi. Sochi: pages of the past and present. Illustrated collection of articles. Sochi 2003 year

4. Scientific passport No. 21 “A Monument of history and urban architecture”