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Sochi arboretum is a remarkable monument of landscape gardening architecture located in Khostinsky district of the city. It is one of the most popular arboreta in Russia. It hosts almost a million visitors every year. Nowadays the arboretum belongs to Sochi National Park.

The arboretum was founded at the end of 19th century by a famous Saint-Petersburg publisher S.N. Hudekov. It was designed by Karl Langau, a well-known gardener. Saplings of trees, sprigs of bushes and seeds of flowers were brought from Nikitsky Botanical Garden close to Yalta; Alexander of Oldenburg’s nursery garden in Gagra; and also from the best gardens of Berlin, Dresden and Leipzig. The founders of the future “Arboretum” decided to combine elements of an Italian terraced garden with an English landscape park. The central part of the park takes Italian gardens as a model; there are many architectural constructions there. The English landscape park, which is mainly laid out on the geographical principle, constitutes the rest part of the arboretum’s park. The arboretum contained Caucasian, Mediterranean, Japanese, Chinese, Australian and Mexican nooks. The formation of the park was mostly finished in 1892 and this year is considered to be a foundation date.

Well-known Parisian masters, Alexander Durane and Piero Capellaro, made a collection of sculptures on the antique theme for the park; “Dancer” occupied the central place among these sculptures. Cast-iron bowls for the “Arboretum” were made by craftsmen of the famous Kuznetsov’s porcelain works in Konakovo, Tver province.
Much later, in the middle of the second half of the 20th century, series of sculptures were placed there. In 1969 Sochi’s sculptor Vladimir Bogatyryov created the fountain “Tale” inspired by A. Pushkin’s works. On the bas-relief of the pedestal for the Swan Princess one can see different Pushkin’s heroes: Prince Gvidon, the prankish squirrel, and beautiful knights led by sorcerer Chernomor.

In the 1930th, when building of Kurortny prospekt, the main Sochi avenue, was over, the arboretum was divided between two parcels: Upper and Lower parks.

In Upper park located on the hillside, there is a main area of plantations, Sochi National Park’s office block, a pavilion “Flora”, a greenhouse and an ostrich enclosure. In Lower park situated on the plain closer to the Black sea, there is a splendid rosary, a host of shady ponds and an exotic sea aquarium. The ponds are inhabited by different water birds including rare species from the Russian Red List.

Here one can admire graceful white and black swans, pink pelicans and rare species of ducks. Depending on the season, the aquarium is inhabited by up to 30 species of the Black sea fish. Both parts of the park are connected by a tunnel under Kurortny prospekt.

Nowadays, the arboretum occupies 50 ha of land. A unique collection of trees and bushes from all over the world has been created there: oleanders and laurels from the Mediterranean; eucalyptus and acacias from Australia; camellias and wisterias from Japan; bamboos and azaleas from China; agaves and yuccas from Mexico; palm tree from South America.

There, one can find plenty of exotic plants such as honey and cabbage palms, soapbark, argan, cork, strawberry and marmalade trees, sugar maple metasequoia from China, the last one is considered to be extinct. The largest collections of pines and oaks in Russia are gathered in the park. Altogether among arboretum collections and trial plantations of exotic trees in Loosky trial forestry, there are more than 1700 species of tree plants, including more than 300 rare species.

In summer the arboretum is open for visitors from 8.00 a.m. to 9.00 p.m., seven days a week; in winter from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. One can get to the arboretum on any bus or minibus, running along Kurortny prospekt.

Via Joint Information Center

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