Abandoned Russian Riviera: Resort Paradise to Ruins [46 PICS]

June 21st, 2011 Permalink

Once upon a time, in a subtropical climate on Georgia’s Black Sea coast, there were glorious scenic wonders like beautiful beaches, lush wooded mountains, and buildings of grandeur at a resort paradise known as the Russian Riviera. But a bloody war erupted in Gagra and countless thousands were murdered, an extermination of the Georgian people. Gagra became a war-torn paradise resort in ruins. Now this “Russian Riviera” is an abandoned ghost town. [46 Photos]

Abandoned Gagry Beach - Paradise Gagra Resort to Ruins

Abandoned beach at paradise Gagra in Russia, resort to ruins. After several centuries of wars, in the late 1800s, the town was “discovered” by a member of the Russian royalty. Prince Peter of Oldenburg saw the potential of the subtropical climate and built Gagra into a resort on the Black Sea. He added a park with tropical trees and even imported parrots and monkeys to give it an exotic feel. It’s the warmest city on the Black Sea coast and beautiful beaches stretch on for miles. Like any posh resort in a warm location, both the beach and the surrounding mountains added to its charm and made Gagra a popular tourist destination. During World War II, it served as a health resort in Imperial Russia during the days of the Soviet Union for the rehabilitation of wounded soldiers. From then onward, Gagra grew in popularity and reputation into the “Russian Riviera.” Photo #1 by Svetlana Grechkina

worn torn paradise in ruins - gagra

In 1989, Gagra had a population of 26,636. But all-out war erupted between 1992 and 1993, leaving the resort city of Gagra as a war-torn paradise in ruins. Hundreds of thousands of Georgians were expelled from their homes and so very many were massacred. Gagra turned into an abandoned ghost town due to “ethnic-cleansing and mass expulsion of ethnic Georgians from Abkhazia.” Photo #2 by Vyacheslav Stepanyuchenko


Old Gagra - houses in Gagra, Abkhazia

Old houses in Gagra, Abkhazia. Photo #3 by Vyacheslav Argenberg

Gagra, View from the Black Sea

Gagra, view from the Black Sea while it was still an idealistic resort. Photo #4 by Daniel Rogalsky

Road to Ritza - Ritza Lake and Stalin`s cottage and Gagra

The war changed Gagra from the happy place to a land most would dread to tread upon. Since countless thousands of murders happened here, an entire extermination of people, the overgrown ruins of war-torn Gagra are seeped in trauma. Some folks claim that Gagra is more than a ghost town; some folks claim it’s actually haunted with real ghosts. This is the road to Ritza – Ritza Lake and Stalin’s cottage and Gagra. Photo #5 by Daniil Dugaev

gagra boats

No more fun boat rides at the Russian Riviera. Photo #6 by Svetlana Grechkina

yellow cabin to abandoned cable lift in Gagra

An abandoned yellow cable car remains as the only part of the ride that once transported Gagra visitors from place to place at this paradise resort. The photographer noted that there used to also be a red tram car, but it was blown up during the filming of a movie. Photo #7 by © Oleg Slesarev

cableway at Seaside Park, Gagra

View from the former relaxing cable ride at Seaside Park. Photo #8 by Vyacheslav Fomichev

Castle of the Prince of Oldenburg 'The Seagull'

The once grand castle of the Prince of Oldenburg was called ‘The Seagull.’ Photo #9 by Vyacheslav Fomichev

Castle of the Prince of Oldenburg

Castle of the Prince of Oldenburg after the war. Photo #10 by Vyacheslav Fomichev

Prince of Oldenburg Castle, The Seagull, abandoned and rotting ruins

Once upon a time, this room offered a princely view over the Russian Riviera resort, but now The Seagull is beyond abandoned. Photo #11 by © Oleg Slesarev

Prince of Oldenburg's Holiday home 'The Seagull' was robbed and then not restored

Prince of Oldenburg’s holiday home ‘The Seagull’ was robbed and never restored from the ruins. Photo #12 by © Oleg Slesarev

Ruins of The Seagull

More rotting ruins of the prince’s Seagull castle. Photo #13 by © Oleg Slesarev

mosaic at gangra

Echo of grandeur remains in this mosaic wall. Photo #14 by Vyacheslav Fomichev

foot bridge into foggy Gagra, cross it if you dare

Foot bridge into foggy Gagra, cross it if you dare. Photo #15 by Ivan Ermokhin

overgrown ponds, fountains, sleepy statues

The once pretty ponds are now overgrown, while the fountains and statues slowly grow slimy. Photo #16 by Vyacheslav Fomichev

3 Graces Fountain - Gagra

3 Graces Fountain. The photographer explained that this was called Gagarin Square and was decorated with a “fountain out of gear called ‘Three Graces’.” Oleg added notes from a 1980 “Black Sea coast of Caucasus” tourist edition magazine: “Gagra – one of the finest resorts in the Black Sea coast. Pinned to the sea, mountain range, it stretches along the shore of Mirror Bay. Gopami protected from the cold continental winds and at the same time open from the warm sea, Gagra on their climatic conditions – one of the best places in the Soviet Union. This is the warmest and driest place on the Black Sea coast of Caucasus. The average annual temperature reaches 15.2 degrees +, and rainfall is 1300 millimeters per year . begin to bathe here in May and the end of autumn, in November, when most of the country the mercury thermometer drops below zero, and in some places already raging snowstorm. The best time of year – August, September, October. In these months the temperature of sea water ranges from 18 to 28 degrees.” Photo #17 by © Oleg Slesarev

Railway station in Abkhazia

Railway station in Abkhazia. The photographer wrote, “This is an abandoned railway station in Abkhazia, former Russian territory. It stays untouched since the collapse of USSR – the railway connection of Abkhazia and Russia stopped and railway station left out of demand so nature could take over the left-overs of Soviet architecture. In my opinion it reminds somehow the Prince of Persia video game scenes or scenes from the movie of the abandoned civilization after some major disaster.” Photo #18 by antidigital_da

Resort to ruins - Gagra is a city in the Abkhazia

Resort to ruins – Gagra is a city in the Abkhazia, sprawling for 5 km on the northeast coast of the Black Sea, at the foot of the Caucasus Mountains. Its subtropical climate made Gagra a popular health resort and “paradise” in Soviet times. Photo #19 by Vyacheslav Argenberg

abandoned resort Gagra

Abandoned resort at the Russian Riviera. Photo #20 by Svetlana Grechkina

Mysterious chair at Gagra

Haunting image. Mysterious chair at former resort pool. Photo #21 by Daniil Dugaev

amazing preservation of stucco on the Gagra cinema ceiling

Amazing preservation of stucco on the Gagra cinema ceiling. Photo #22 by © Oleg Slesarev

archer, Gagripsh restaurant, seaside park gagra

Archer statue and fountain in front of the Gagripsh Restaurant at Seaside Park. Photo #23 by Vyacheslav Fomichev

Inside Abkhazia, Gagra railroad station

Inside Abkhazia, Gagra railroad station. Photo #24 by © Oleg Slesarev

abandoned railway station Abaata

Abandoned railway station Abaata. Photo #25 by © Oleg Slesarev

resort to ruins gagra - russia

Resort to Russian ruins. Photo #26 by mikesub

abandoned gagra

Depressing… Photo #27 by mikesub

Battle of Gagra - Destroyed Georgian military bus near Gagra

During the Battle of Gagra, this Georgian military bus and its occupants were destroyed. Photo #28 by Антон Буслов

Obsolete and abandoned park in gagry

Obsolete and abandoned park. Photo #29 by Daniil Dugaev

architectural beauty of old gagra

Among the ruins, you can still see architectural beauty. Photo #30 by Vyacheslav Argenberg

Gagra statue

Another statue from the former days of Gagra glogy. Photo #31 by Vyacheslav Argenberg

Ruins of Stalin's summer-house by the lake Ritsa

Ruins of Stalin’s summer-house by the Lake Ritsa. Photo #32 by Vyacheslav Argenberg

nature starting to reclaim the ruined resort

Nature starting to reclaim the ruined resort. Photo #34 by antidigital_da

Terraces station with ivy and thorns

Terraces station with ivy and thorns. Photo #35 by © Oleg Slesarev

river Zhoekvara scenic view near Gagra

Despite the ruins which have taken over the resort, nature remains as spectacularly gorgeous as always. Here is the River Zhoekvara scenic view near Gagra. Photo #36 by © Oleg Slesarev

гагры - trees and sunlight in abandoned resort gagra

Trees and sunlight in abandoned resort Rагры (Gagra). Photo #37 by Svetlana Grechkina

Gagra - troll forest - Cool shade, the moss covering the trunks and clumps hanging from the branches - a real Troll forest

Cool shade, the moss covering the trunks and clumps hanging from the branches – a real Troll forest. Photo #38 by © Oleg Slesarev

Gegsky waterfall in Gagra

Gegsky Waterfall in Gagra. Photo #39 by Vyacheslav Argenberg

Strolling along Gagra - semi-abandoned resort paradise

Strolling along “ruins” of Russian Riviera. Photo #40 by Vyacheslav Argenberg

Gagra beach - semi-abandoned paradise

Beach at a semi-abandoned paradise. Photo #41 by Jenjke Bykov

View of Gagra's wharf sometime between 1905 and 1915

View of Gagra’s wharf sometime between 1905 and 1915. Photo #42 by The Library od Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog

Colonnade at Gagra town park when it was still a resort paradise

Colonnade at Gagra town park when it was still a resort paradise. Photo #43 by Dims

The Beach at Gagra now

The Beach at Gagra now. Photo #44 by Svetlana Grechkina

gagry - Nature at Russian Riviera is still gorgeous

Nature at the former Russian Riviera is still stunning. Photo #45 by Svetlana Grechkina

Still gorgeous Gagra

“Old” Gagra is still gorgeous, but a new Gagra was built a ways off from this beautiful Black Sea coast. Why would people not rebuild exactly on this spot of paradise? Is it indeed true, that the resort ruins of abandoned Gagra is filled with ghostly visitors who refuse to move on? Photo #46 by mikesub


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