mountain landscape on a cloudy summer day - from the observation deck on the top of the mountain Stone Pillar (about 2500 m) - Aibga ridge, Western Caucasus, southern Russia.
The first settlers on the territory of Sochi appeared 400-350 thousand years ago in lower Paleolithic age. A plenty of artifacts and archeological monuments were discovered and studied here: caves, open sites, ancient settlements, dolmens, ruins of fortresses and temples, burial grounds and mounds. Archeological works conducted in the area of Sochi denoted the territory as unique in variety, number and concentration of archeological monuments, 200 of which are registered and looked after. Among them are a Roman-Byzantine fortress on the river Godlik, a medieval cathedral in the settlement of Lo’o and etc. In the period of 4-1cc BC on the northeast Black Sea coast tribes of Geniokhs inhabited the major part of the area modern Sohi occupies. Aboriginal historical monuments well preserved to our days must be comprehensively studied. Starting the second half of the 16th century the Caucasus turned into the cockpit for Russia, Turkey and Persia; as the result of the war the Black Sea coast from the mouth of the river Kuban to the fort of Saint Nikolay passed to Russia. Later, in the 19th century several forts were built in Sochi, their ruins are regarded as historical monuments. After the Caucasian war of 1864 the aboriginal population was forced to leave their mother land. Native dwellers were replaced by the Russians, the Ukrainians, the Byelorussians, the Armenians, The Georgians, the Greeks and other nationalities forming a cosmopolite people stock of modern Sochi. The end of the war marked the beginning of study of the Black Sea coast therapeutic factors. However, Russian government wasn’t able to develop the new lands on its own and, in order to fix the problem, entrepreneurs and businessmen of that time were offered to invest money in the Sochi Region. Russian bourgeoisie saw the true value of the land; that is why so many estates, which used to belong to famous families of the past can still be found in this rich and beautiful land. An important role in Sochi’s becoming a resort was assigned to the special commission conducting the study, with start in 1898, of the Black Sea coast right from Novorossiysk to Sukhumi. The survey proved that, due to natural resources the Black Sea coast possessed, balneotherapeutic and climatic health resorts could be constructed there. Sochi got the city status July 31, 1917, when estates of rich Russian noblemen, counts along with imperial mansion Dagomys were determined as a part of the city. In the end of 19 – the beginning of 20cc. the peculiar architecture style of Sochi was being formed. The main principle of the construction implied creation of the city - garden. The architecture style was specified by pavilion-shaped houses special to parks, as architects tried to make the layout of the city and the natural landscape form a perfect whole.After the revolution of 1917 the city was intensively reconstructed, especially in 1930s. The soviet government sponsored building of numerous sanatoriums, bridges (civil architecture monuments) and other complex facilities. Sochi becomes the all-soviet health resort.In 1961 Sochi annexed the districts of Adler and Lazarevskoye and, according to the new borders, stretched for over 150 kilometers along the Black Sea coast. Now Sochi is developing very fast, as it hopes to hold Olympic games-2014.