Sochi is one of the youngest cities in Russia, founded only in 1838, but is one of the most surprising places in Russia too!
The city is full of paradoxes: it’s the first summer beach resort that hosted Winter Olympics. And you can sunbathe in the morning and go skiing in the mountains in the evening, as Caucasus mountains are less than an hour drive away. Here are 30 fascinating facts about Sochi.
- In 2014 Sochi hosted XXII Olympic Winter Games and XI Paralympic Winter Games. Winter Olympic Games in Sochi were the only one in history which were held in subtropical climate.
- This was Russia’s first time hosting the Winter Olympic Games, and its first time hosting the Paralympic Games.
- By January 2014 the construction costs were reported to exceed $50 billion, which made it the most expensive Olympic Games in history.
- Sochi is also one of the host cities for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and the Russian Formula 1 Grand Prix from 2014 to 2020 (or longer).
- Sochi is the second longest city in the world streching for 145 kilometers along the shores of the Black Sea near the Caucasus Mountains. It’s also the largest resort city in Russia.
- Sochi is about 1,603 kilometers away from Moscow. In comparison, the distance between Paris and Berlin is approximately 1000 km.
- From the 6th to the 11th centuries, the city area belonged to the kingdom of Lazica and kingdom of Abkhazia. The area became part of Russia only in 1829 as a result of Russia’s victory in a Caucasian War and Russo-Turkish War.
- Centuries ago this pace wasn’t a famous Russian resort but the place for banishment of prisoners.
- Sochi is the motherland of Russian tea.
- Sochi is one of very few cities in Russia where you can see real palms, eucalyptus, magnolia and such fruits as fig and grape which are very strange for average cold Russian climate.
- Sochi is located at the same width as world famous resorts of Cannes, San-Remo and Nice, and has the same weather conditions, that’s why it’s also called the “Russian Riviera”.
- Stalin had his summer dacha in Sochi, and during soviet times the city was very popular among leaders and politicians of our country.
- Like Athens, Sochi has its own ancient Parthenon, according to a legend people lived there 100 000years ago, long before it became the part of Russia.
- Sochi is the southern city in Russia, at the same time the world’s most northernmost city with subtropical climate.
- The main Olympic stadium Fisht could accommodate 40 000 people. All Olympic stadiums and objects still exist and sportsmen go training there.
- The building of Olympic constructions took 7 years.
- In 2010 scientists found an underground river at the bottom of Black Sea near Sochi.
- There are 200 archeological sites that make Sochi a city with unique old history.
- Caucasus mountains are located just 40 km from the sea, which allows people go mountain skiing and skateboarding and have beach lifestyle at the same time.
- 90% of the city consists of subtropical forests and parks.
- The best Russian skateboarding lines and schools are surprisingly also in Sochi, at Roza Khutor Alpine Resort.
- Sochi has hundreds of natural mineral springs which also makes this city one of the most popular health resorts in the world.
- Sochi is one of those cities that boast 300 days of sunshine per year.
- About two million people visit Sochi each summer during the annual film festival “Kinotavr“.
- Loo in Lazarevsky City District was once owned by Princes Loov, a noble Abkhazian family whose royal title was sanctioned by Emperor Heraclius in 623 AD. Loo is home to the ruins of a medieval church that dates back to the 8th century.
- The Silk Way Rally took place in Sochi in 2010 as a part of Dakkar series.
- Average rates for 3-star hotels are $38 per night and 5-star hotels will cost you around $116 per night.
- Aside from Russian traditional dishes, Sochi has its own region cuisine with authentic flavors.
- Akhshtyr Gorge is a natural wonder of the Aldersky City District: its 160-meter-long cave contains traces of human habitation from about 30,000 years ago.
- Among Sochi’s twin towns and sister cities are Rimini (Italy), Long Beach (California), Vancouver (Canada) and Baden-Baden (Germany).
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