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

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

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


54 thoughts on “Abandoned Russian Riviera: Resort Paradise to Ruins [46 PICS]

  1. Geri bildirim: Las ruinas del Paradise Resort ruso

    • “Russian billionaire doesn’t buy it and restore it”…that will be absolutly unfair,why russian?it is not russia’s teritory!!!It’s Apkhazia!!!It’s Georgia!!!

  2. As many sweaty arm-pits to build all this as were wasted building Detroit City. Both, Communism and Capitalism failed the working folk that made these wonders possible. Will the new, Oriental philosophy based empire rising in Asia today do any better?

  3. The only difference between Gagra and Detroit is that there was never any ethnic cleansing in Detroit. You can count me out when it comes time to buy that property… bad karma…

    • True. it is Bad karma. Anybody trying to touch this or own this will suffer. All those souls of the fallen and the murdered will not be very forgiving.

      • I don’t know if I agree with that. Wouldn’t they be happy to see someone erasing the bad memories and improving upon it?

  4. Images like this are really heart breaking! I’d love to see it done up again, with emphasis on education about the ethnic cleansing that happened. If people are told about the horrors of what happened here, then it would go towards making sure nothing like it happens again.

  5. It is Georgian land and always will be. It was unrightfully invaded and thousands had to flee and leave their homes. So no its not a pity that a russian billionaire hasn’t restored it. Probably because everyone in the world still recognizes it as Georgian territory, same a Sukhumi, Abkhazia. They are beautiful photos but bitter sweet, because once it flourished and was inhibited by many different ethnicities but now it is a memory of war and Russian imperialism. So the article I’m sure was written in good nature but the headline should be shortened and Abandonded Russian Riviera- which it is not – should be left to just Paradise Left to Ruins.

  6. > It is Georgian land and always will be.

    It had never been georgian (can you see russian letters here on old photos?).

    And it will never be (once georgian government starts and loose war with Abhasian people).

  7. Geri bildirim: Legături #55 | ArTiStul mă semnez

  8. Abkhazia isn’t Russian – it’s Georgian. Why Russian language? Because Russia occupied Georgia for many years. Abkhazia is part of Georgia. Might is not right…

    • Could not agree more..

      Beautiful pictures thou and the place would be beautiful again when Georgians will return there.

      Russia never cared and never will about development of occupied lands!

  9. Sad that Gagra is gone, I was there when I was 5-6 years old, now even if I wish to go I cant, as I m Georgian.
    Hate the fact that Russia has done so much damage to our little country, and I really hope, that one day Abkhazia will realize that they re more part of Georgia than Russia… Will need generations though.

  10. Russian letters are all over the post soviet countries and cities. And you can see Georgain letters also on the same photos, by the way. So it is not an argument.

  11. Geri bildirim: Photo Of The Day - Page 38 - London Fixed-gear and Single-speed

  12. Really enjoyed reading this and the photography used. I’m surprised a rich developer hasn’t gone in, bought it all and made a real go of it. Looks a beautiful place. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Like so many places around the world, this was a paradise under the peaceful local population (in this case, Abkhaz and Georgian), turned into a nightmare and ruins under Russian intervention.

  14. Why?….why change anything at all?…it is so beautiful just as it is,..occupied by those unseen that may have been a part of this place in its heyday. There is beauty in decay that simply can’t be replicated by the hands of man…..

  15. Geri bildirim: Russian Riviera. « Dixie makes a statement.

  16. Nice. It would be a great complement to Sochi.

    What’s up with Georgians whining in this thread. Please leave your political bickering at home.

  17. Gagra is not in Russia. It is in Georgia. It is currently militarily occupied by Russia which also expelled the Georgian population from there in an ethnic cleansing campaign. Every single country in the world except Russia, NIcaragua and Hamas recognizes Abkhazia as the Georgian territory.

  18. Could anyone tell me if this beautiful town has been restored at all or is it continuing to decay? Do people live there again and has tourism started again?

  19. Geri bildirim: Five Abandoned Places | Crasstalk

  20. I’d live there, me and ghosts get along pretty fine really … they’d enjoy my company i reckon. it is sad that people fight and will cotinue to be horrible to each other until they learn that fighting sucks.

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