RBTH has made a list of top 10 most interesting and remarkable monuments in the Olympic capital that are worth the attention of vacationers.
The monument to Lenin
Every Russian city has a sculpture to the famous communist politician Vladimir Lenin. In Sochi the monument to Lenin can be found practically in the center of the city, at the Art square , next to the Art museum . The Statue was installed in 1957 in order to commemorate 40 years since the October Revolution. During the years of the Soviet Union, pioneers and veterans used to gather there to pay tribute to the famous statesman. Today communist politicians come here only during different ceremonial events. Today spending time on this Square is very common among teenagers, old couples, young mothers with their children and tourists. To this day some art historians say that Lenin's monument is the best architectural piece in Sochi.
Another sculpture dedicated to Vladimir Lenin appeared in the city in 1980, just in time for 110 years since his birth. To take a picture in front of a red stele with a mosaic print of the politician is a famous tradition among tourists coming to Sochi.
The monument to War Heroes
Not far from there, next to the "Riviera" park is a memorial architectural complex named " A heroic deed in the name of life ".
This sculpture consists of a 20 meter arc and 3 figures on a pedestal. The arc itself symbolizes the road to life, whereas the three human figures symbolize a moment from one of Sochi's hospitals during the Great Patriotic War: a surgeon, an injured soldier and a nurse, coming to his rescue. This is devoted to medical workers who selflessly worked during the War. At that time the holiday resort turned into a hospital of the Soviet Union. All Sochi hospitals and sanatoriums accepted injured warriors. In four years the city's doctors saved at least half a million soldiers, having contributed to their well-being almost twenty thousand liters of their own blood.
The monument to Sochi's Patron
It's not a secret that the most significant monument in Sochi is the monument of the Archangel Michael , the city's patron. The architectural composition soars 32 meters high over the Kurortniy Prospect. The location of this monument has a special meaning to it- it was chosen because many Russian soldiers who took part in defending the Alexandria fort, modern Sochi, are buried here. The Archangel Michael is said to be the conqueror of all evil spirits, of all sources of diseases connected to the holiday resort. The city's main Cathedral – the first Christian Cathedral of the Black Sea coast is also dedicated to Archangel Michael.
The monument to lovers
The Archangel Michael is not the only Archangel who has a monument dedicated to them in Sochi. Approximately four years ago a new sculpture was installed in front of Sochi's Wedding Registry Office - a sculpture of Knyaz (Prince) Petr Muromskiy and his wife Fevronia Muromskaya , patrons of love, family and fidelity. These bronze saints are wearing monasterial clothing and are standing under trees, in the crown of which there is a family of doves. In Sochi it’s a well-known tradition to offer marriage next to this monument. As for the wedding itself, the bride and groom should take a picture here and ask the patrons for a happy union.
The monument to a horse in a coat
Besides the aforementioned, there are monuments in Sochi that are famous even outside of the city. Every Russian knows the popular fairytale character "the horse in a coat". This monument to Russia's national epos is situated not far away from the Winter Theater . Clad in an expensive English coat the horse is sitting pretentiously in an armchair, sipping wine and puffing its pipe, happily smiling his big horse-smile. This sculpture is especially interesting because it is made out of an ordinary metallic water pipe with a big diameter – the signature material of Sochi's architect Akop Halafyan.
The monument to Soviet movie industry
In Sochi there is a special monument, dedicated to characters and heroes of the Soviet movie industry . «Brilliantovaya ruka» ("The Diamond Arm" movie) is loved by Russians almost as much as Pushkin's poetry. The monument to the characters of this famous Soviet comedy is situated in Sochi's marine port- right where some movies scenes were shot. This sculptural composition shows the main character departing into his over sea cruise. The Gorbunkov family - the husband, wife and children are all sitting on suitcases, dreamily looking into the distance. There are two more characters – the smugglers, also with suitcases, sitting close by. The total weight of this monument is 1.5 tons, so they were brought to the port one by one.
The monument to a tourist
How can Russia's main holiday resort exist without a monument to a tourist ? Just like any true Soviet tourist, this bronze vacationer is clad in a tank top, shorts, flip-flops and baseball hat. On his nose he has sunglasses, there's a camera hanging from his neck and a thick wallet on his belt- just like in the old times!
The monument to an ear granting all of your wishes
How about a gigantic " Ear, granting all your wishes "? This ear is also situated right in the center of the city- you won't miss it- it's an enormous orange and blue ear with a bronze print of a hand right inside of it. According to a local legend, it you put your hand inside the Ear and whisper your wish, it is bound to come true!
The monument to a father of triplets
A truly significant for Sochi place – the Art square has a real collection of different architectural ensembles. Little and rather big, concrete and metallic. One of these ensembles is a serious eagle-owl surrounded by three little chicks on a bench. Can you guess to whom it is a tribute? No, not to wild birds, but to fathers, raising triplets! According to the creator's idea, an eagle-owl is a red-listed bird and having 3 chicks is really rare for it – just like in human life! In 2010, when the monument was installed, there were only five fathers of triplets in Sochi. Their last names are engraved in gold onto the scroll, which is attached to the bench. After the first appearance of this feathered father of many, Sochi adapted a new tradition – to ask this eagle-owl for healthy descendants.
A monument to the Golden rune
Another rather unusual monument is located near the Art square. This monument is a Golden rune, a symbol of an ancient Greek myth about the fur of a golden sheep, which was protected by a dragon in the area where modern Georgia can be found. The rune was stolen by Argonauts with Jason at the lead and was taken to Greece. The creator of this sculpture – the director of Sochi's Art Museum Petr Hrisanov wanted to mark the historical unity of Greece and Sochi, being convinced that this myth is about marine voyages near the Black Sea coast that actually took place. The fur really is covered with gold plating, that's why it is under video surveillance 24/7.
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