Don’t be surprised to see many Greek business names, Greek cousine restaurants, or even meet locals who can speak Greek when you visit Sochi. Especially in Krasnaya Polyana (mountain cluster venues), which was founded by Greek settelers. Sochi, and whole coast of the Black Sea, has very close historical ties to Greece.
This is actually pretty cool – few days ago archeologists finished digging up Byzantine church from 10th Century in Lesnoe Village in Adler district of Sochi – that’s were my father was born! :)
Archeologists believe this church was build by Greeks who were trying to convert locals to Christianity. However, when Byzantine Empire got weaker, the church was abandoned. Looking at the video clip by local TV agency «Kuban» there appears not much left of it. However, archeologists, and students from Sochi colleges who are helping out, have found some remains and ancient objects which were turned over to specialists for study.
The locals were visiting this church (or whatever was left of it, anyways), which they call Church of Saints Constantine and Elena, for a long time, and on the big holidays priest comes over for church services – this is not surprising, as Lesnoe is all Greek village. Archeologists started working on this location a year ago.