Tskaltubo was once of the Soviet Union’s flagship spa resorts, famous for its therapeutic mineral springs and water therapy
The Tskaltubo health complex consisted of 19 sanatoriums and 9 bathhouses. At its busiest, 4 trains would service the town from Moscow daily, packed with visitors on state sponsored retreats. There was even was a bathhouse built especially for Joseph Stalin.
After the Soviet Union collapsed, the sanatoriums were quickly abandoned and the once-grand structures were left to decay, until war broke out in the nearby Abkhazia region in 1992. An estimated 200000 ethnic Georgians fled the conflict, with around 8000 refugees given temporary shelter in the vacant sanatoriums.
Years later, many families are still living in these once grand, crumbling relics of the past.
This is Sanatorium Iveria, which has been marked for renovation but was still standing empty and behind fences in 2023.
© Firecracker Collective 2023