Resort Avenue is the main street in the Central district of Sochi. It starts at the Sochi River and stretches along the seashore for 10 kilometers, to the Old Matsesta. Previously, it was the main transport artery of the city, but with the construction of a bypass road, there were significantly fewer cars on Resort Avenue.
In the Central district of Sochi, Resort Avenue runs about 600 meters from the Black Sea coast. It separates the resort area from residential development. Between Resort Avenue and the sea, there are mainly park areas, theaters, museums and other sights of Sochi. It is very pleasant to walk along the Resort Avenue itself in the shade of its alleys.
The design and construction of Resort Avenue is connected with Joseph Stalin`s decision to make Sochi a resort of All-Union significance. In the late 1920s, he first came to the hydrogen sulfide springs of Matsesta for the treatment of hand disease, and it helped him. Since then, he started coming here almost every year. In 1931, Stalin`s Summer Cottage was built on a hill above the Matsesta River. After Stalin, party leaders began to come here, and ordinary people followed them.
In 1933, a program for the reconstruction of Sochi was adopted, for which an astronomical, at that time, amount of 1.4 billion rubles was allocated. One of the main points of this program was the development of the transport infrastructure of the region. The construction of Resort Avenue in Sochi began in 1933. Initially, the avenue was built from the center of Sochi to Matsesta, where Stalin`s Summer Cottage is located. Subsequently, it was extended by another 3 kilometers, till the entering Mount Akhun.
The height of Mount Akhun reaches 663 meters. It is the highest mountain on the Black Sea coast in these places. Stalin proposed to build a tower on its top, in the style of a medieval castle with a beautiful observation deck. An asphalt road was laid to the top of Mount Akhun from Resort Avenue so that Stalin and his guests could come here.
In addition to the construction of the Resort Avenue itself, the plan for the creation of a resort city involved the construction of monumental buildings there. In 1934, a Winter Theater was built in the Central District. The huge theater building is designed in the style of a Greek temple with porticos and columns. In 1936, the City Council was built nearby, which was later transferred to the Art Museum. It also has the appearance of a Greek temple.
The famous Ordzhonikidze Sanatorium is located 6 kilometers from the center of Sochi on Resort Avenue. It was built in the period from 1934 to 1937 in the style of Italian Renaissance palaces. Therefore, Stalin wanted to show that he was creating a resort infrastructure not only for himself or the party elite, but also for ordinary people. After the completion of these large-scale construction projects, the avenue was called Stalin’s, and only in 1957, it was renamed as Resort Avenue.
The most interesting sights of Sochi Resort Avenue are located within 3 kilometers, between the Sochi River and the Sochi Arboretum. It starts near a small bridge that connects the Riviera Park and Komsomolsky Garden. Riviera Park is one of the main attractions of the Central district of Sochi. It was founded in 1898.
Right behind Komsomolsky Garden on Resort Avenue begins the famous Sycamore Alley, which was laid back in 1913. This alley makes Resort Avenue not just a transport artery of the city, but also a place where people come for a walk. The length of the alley is 250 meters, more than 60 plane trees have been planted here. From the sea side, various park areas are adjacent to the Sycamore Alley, where palm trees and other tropical trees are planted. The Sycamore Alley ends near the stele of the Archangel Michael.
Further, Sochi Resort Avenue is mostly planted with magnolias. This tree is one of the symbols of the city. In Soviet times, there were even songs where Sochi was called "the land of magnolias". Near Ostrovsky Square, high-rise buildings of modern hotels rise above the avenue, and then the Arts Square begins, where the monumental building of the Art Museum is located. The Winter Theater was built not on the Resort Avenue itself, but closer to the seashore, near the Seaside Park.
One of the main attractions of the city is the Sochi Arboretum. It is located on a mountain slope that crosses Resort Avenue. The arboretum was founded in 1889, its area reaches 46 hectares. Sochi Arboretum is one of the largest resort parks in Russia.