Founded in 1898 on the territory won in the Caucasian War, Sochi from the very beginning served as a resort area. The discovery of the salubrious sulphuretted hydrogen springs contributed greatly to its rapid development as the most popular health resort in Russia. By the beginning of the 20th century, several hotel complexes and numerous private summerhouses were constructed in the town. Some of them have been preserved and show excellent examples of Russia's Art Nouveau architecture. At present Sochi stays one of the most popular summer resorts in Russia. The major attraction of Sochi is its natural beauty. Pristine rivers and streams down the picturesque Caucasus mountains, mixed primeval forests, boundless golden beaches make Sochi the gem of the Russian South.

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