The dacha was built for Stalin in 1937. It is situated on a hill 50 meters above sea level, with scenic views of the Greater Caucasus mountain range and surrounded by a forest. The views and fresh air were supposed to help improve Stalin’s health, but he probably valued them even more for the security they provided.
You can appreciate that fully if you decide to scale the hill by foot and then attempt to locate the moss-green house among the trees and shrubbery. This natural defense shield was not enough to relax Stalin, so he had the dacha surrounded by three security cordons while staying there.
Also anxious about his privacy, Stalin had special keyholes made in his bedchambers to prevent any overly curious servants from spying on him. Stalin usually stayed in Sochi from August to October and was accompanied on these visits by his wife, Nadezhda Alliluyeva.
After Alliluyeva’s death in 1932 and the completion of Stalin’s personal dacha complex, members of the party elite took up nearby cottages to keep their boss company. These included Vyacheslav Molotov, future foreign minister, and the head of the secret police apparatus Lavrenty Beria. The country’s most powerful men would come to the dacha at mealtimes and discuss political questions over food. Some of the key decisions about the repressions were made here and then orders were dispatched by telegram to the capital.
The Dacha became a safe haven for Stalin’s daughter, daughter-in-law and granddaughter during World War II and the ruler himself came here incognito in 1945 after suffering a stroke.
Stalin lived in a separate building from his support staff — allegedly, he disliked the clatter of plates and the smell of food in the dacha kitchens. One local legend claims that there was supposed to be a fountain in the middle of the complex, but it was taken out because Stalin did not want to be disturbed by the sounds of dripping water.
See how Stalin lived
You can see how the Soviet leader lived by arranging a visit to the dacha, the lower ﬂoor of which now functions as a museum. Stalin’s billiards table and personal items are on display and a wax ﬁgure of the dacha’s original owner sits behind the worktable in uniform. Also take note of the low staircase steps, designed this way due to Stalin’s rheumatism.
Open Daily, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tickets 300 rubles
Kurortny Prospekt, 120 +7 862 267 0502