The Soviet House of Rest

Sochi and the World of the Soviet Sanatorium


This is a virtual tour of the Soviet House of Rest exhibit at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

The idea of this exhibit arose out of two trips to I made to Sochi: one in 1989, and another in 2009. A great deal had changed in those twenty years, and even greater transformation is on the horizon as the city prepares to host the 2014 Olympics. New high-rise apartments and hotels loom over the old architecture. Sadly, some of the old Soviet resorts are being torn down or rebranded as luxury hotels. Many people I spoke with are not happy about this, and feel nostalgia for a past that we explore in this exhibit.

In putting the exhibit together I was assisted by the Russian students at UC Santa Cruz, who contributed materials from their family collections and interviewed family and friends about their experiences vacationing on the Black Sea. They also helped translate some of the materials.

The marvelous posters and paintings were loaned to us by the
Wende Museum in Culver City, California.

The exhibit would not have been possible without the support of the funding for the Licker Research Chair in Cowell College.

William Nickell