54 Days at Sea — Akhun Tower and Stalin’s summer dacha


Stalin’s summer dacha

Outside Sochi are two interesting stops. The first we’ll look at today is Mount Akhun, atop which stands the Romanesque-inspired Akhun Observation Tower.

Akhun Observation Tower

This tower was built in 1936 by architect Sergei Vorobyev. Akhun Tower is approximately ten stories tall, but when you add to that the height of Mount Akhun, then you’re talking an elevation of 2,297 feet/700 meters.

Akhun Observation Tower

In front of the tower you’ll find this fun little piece of statuary:

Akhun Observation Tower

Also outside Sochi is a bit of history directly tied to one of the most barbaric rulers of the 20th Century. That would be Joseph Stalin, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. This is “Green Grove,” Joseph Stalin’s summer dacha.

Stalin’s summer dacha

Stalin’s summer dacha

As you can see, this is quite the little summer retreat for a man who basically starved to death between 3.3 and 7.5 million peasants in an act of genocide known as the Holodomor.

Stalin’s summer dacha

Inside you’ll find nifty little home details such as the keyhole with a privacy feature to keep out prying eyes:

The privacy keyhole cover

You’ll also find “Uncle Joe” sitting at his elaborately adorned desk:

Uncle Joe

Joseph Stalin’s desk

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