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.
The Times article from 1960’s, the copy of which I posted couple of days ago, brought some nostalgic memories :) and desire to elaborate on it and compare to present day. The article is rather good, so, these are not the notes of critique. To follow the read below you’d probably want to read the original article first.
I was born in Sochi in late seventies, and growing up there in eighties I have to note, that not much was changed since the times described by the Times’ correspondent to my childhood days. There were still putevkas, trip vouchers of a sort, and savages, the people who traveled to the Black sea resorts on their own. “Savages” (dikari in Russian), because their lodging was not civilized — or rather not luxurious, by Soviet standards, as stay of people settled in Sochi spas.
The source of the problem
The city of Sochi was established Read the rest of this entry »
As you may have heard, UK’s Times newspaper has opened free access to its complete archive — all papers since 1785! I’ve searched articles on Sochi, and found a few that mentioned the city — confrontation of Reds and Whites in the beginning of the century, bombings by Nazis in 40x, travel ads in 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s — but found only one article all about Sochi. It is “Contrasts on Black Sea Riviera” published on November 28, 1961.
Even though I wasn’t around in 1961, I was growing up in Sochi during 80’s, and have to say it was mostly the same as described in this article. The article is rather long, so I’ll post only the copy of the article itself here for now, and my comments on it will come later in a separate post, along with some old postcards scans, so you can get a feel of what Sochi was like three-four decades back.
So, follwing is the “Contrasts on Black Sea Riviera” Times article about Sochi from 1961: Read the rest of this entry »