As part of the USSR, Tskaltubo was a popular spa resort, famous for its healing mineral waters and radon bath treatments.

Bathouse #8

The first bathhouses are believed to have opened in 1870 and in 1925 the first sanatoriums were built. Development continued and in 1931 Tskaltubo was designated as a balneotherapy centre and spa resort by the Soviet government and it was one of Stalin’s favourite vacation spots. During WWII the hotels were used as hospitals but after the war, their popularity increased and by the ‘80s Tskaltubo was one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in the Soviet Union, in close competition with the many other resorts dotting the Black Sea coast.

Still working Bathouse #6

Bathhouse Number 5

Sanatorium Savane

There were around 5000 beds in 19 hotels and sanatoriums built in a ring around the central park where the baths and thermal springs are situated.

At the height of its spadom, up to 1500 people a day were taking treatments at Tskaltubo. Today the numbers are a fraction of that but the Georgian government is looking for investors to help restore Tskaltubo to its former glory.

Sanatorium Metalurgist

During the 1992/1993 Georgia-Abkhazia conflict, some of the by-then abandoned hotels and resorts were used to house Internally Displaced Persons. Over 200.000 people fled from the breakaway region of Abkhazia and 9000 of them were given refuge in Tskaltubo hotel rooms. It was supposed to be a temporary arrangement but 25 years later, these apartments have become permanent homes for new generations of families. The condition of the buildings appeared extremely poor and although basic utilities are connected, kitchen facilities mostly consist of a single portable gas burner and there are no funds for routine maintenance.

Hotel Sakartvelo

Hotel Shaxtiori & Sanatorium Iveria, which are most interesting to explore are sadly closed, bought by Russian tycoon and fenced.

Old cable cars of Chiatura

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