გაგრა, Гагры 1950-х
Фотографии Cемен Фридлянд
Gagra in 1950
Photographs by Semyon Friedland
Gagra is a town in Abkhazia, on the northeast coast of the Black Sea, at the foot of the Caucasus Mountains. Its subtropical climate made the town a popular health resort in Imperial Russian and Soviet times.
The town was actually establlshed as a Greek colony in the Ist century BC. before being absorbed into the Roman Empire. During the 16th century, Gagra and the rest of western Georgia was conquered by the Ottoman Empire. During the ensuing .centuries, Gagra's fortunes declined and had been reduced to little more than a village. The town suffered badly in the Russo-Turkish War, 1877-1878, when Turkish troops invaded, destroyed the town and expelled the local population. Russia won the war, however, and rebuilt Gagra again.
The town was "discovered" by Duke Alexander Petrovich of Oldenburg, a member of the Russian Imperial family.
During the Russian Civil war, the town and the rest of Georgia was incorporated nto the new Soviet Union.
Vladimir Lenin, issued a decree in 1919 establishing a "worker's resort" in Gagra, nationalising the resort that had been built by Oldenburg. It became a popular holiday resort for Soviet citizens and during The Great Patriotic War gained a new role as a site for the rehabilitation of wounded soldiers. After the war, various state-run sanatoriums were built there. The resort grew and was developed intensively as part of the "Soviet Riviera".