On the east coast of the Black Sea lies the Soviet/Russian resort of Sochi. In 1937 Stalin built a large summer house (datja) for him and his family to spend holidays and also inviting friends from the inner circle. The house itself consisted of several houses and wings. Stalin himself preferred to visit Sochi in the autumn. In addition to spending holidays there with his family, Stalin also received statesmen from other countries, including former Chinese dictator Mao Tse-tung in 1949. The house was painted green to blend in with the trees in the surroundings and it was well equipped with all kinds of luxury, including indoor pool, cinema and billiards salon. The security of the house was rigorous and the entire area was cordoned off in several security zones.

Current status: Preserved with museum (2018).

Location: 43° 32' 42.90" N 39° 48' 05.75" E

Get there: Car.

My comment:

The House lies embedded in dense vegetation and can be difficult to spot. It is possible to visit individually and it’s a good idea to book an english speaking guide in advance to make sure you get in. They only let in a limited number of visitors at on time, and buses with a large number of passengers can ’cause a problem getting inside if you don’t have prebooked. The House is privately owned and not everything is open to visitors. Part of the house is rented to tourists and the future of the museum is not clear, but there is a hope that part of the house will still be open to visitors.

Follow up in books: Montefiore, Simon Sebag: Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar (2004).